SDX, a creative incubator set up by Superdry’s creative studios, is on a mission to champion creativity and empower young talent along the way.
To date, SDX has partnered with Birmingham City University, mentoring final year design students who used donated recycled garments and materials for their final design piece, with one finalist awarded a paid internship with the SDX team. For design project SDX Blanks, SDX works with emerging artists using 100 per cent cotton blank tees to bring their vision to life, supporting them with production, logistics and distribution.
Now, to celebrate the global launch of SDX, THE FACE has partnered with the brand to spotlight four nascent talents from across the UK music scene. Each naturally reflects the brand’s progressive values and community-spirited ethos. KEYAH/BLU, p‑rallel, Jossy Mitsu and Oscar Jerome – it’s over to you…
So to start, can you tell us a little bit about your music?
I make music that’s got a little mix of everything; hip hop, electronic. It’s just this big mesh of everything I love – it’s KB init.
Give us a look at the process behind the music…
I’d say my process is really insular, where it’s just like me in a room with my laptop, my guitar or like a piece of paper. The ideas are really just coming from the space around me, and I’m just kind of feeling for it and to see what happens, but it’s all very experimental. I don’t have one process or one way that I make things.
How does it feel then when you’re putting stuff out and releasing something? What type of emotions do you go through?
Releasing music can be, like, really big and really quite heavy sometimes, because it’s this big part of you that’s been a part of you and you’ve grown it yourself. It’s like pushing a baby out into the world and then it’s subject to all this judgement and criticism and you just have to deal with that. So it’s an emotional process, releasing something that means so much to you into the hands of anyone who can say anything about it. And it can be quite scary. But I’d say it’s rewarding more than anything. It’s being able to disconnect from something that’s so important to you and allow it to exist in its own way. However the world wants to take it.
Describe your music…
My music involves soul. As long as it’s got some sort of soul in it, then I’m there.
When it comes to making music, do you have a specific process or approach?
If I’m going to be really honest with you, I don’t remember how I made any of the music that I’ve released. You can pick a song and be like, how did you make it? And I’ll have no clue. But I can just tell you that the vibes of the sessions where they’re mainly with if I’m working on someone else, that is probably the highlight of making music, just sitting in a room with someone else and just creating ideas.
What advice would you give to a new artist or musician?
If you really want to be a musician, you need to make sure that your mental health is the main thing that you pay attention to. I think you don’t really want to go into making music [when] your mind’s all over the place, because then your music’s all over the place. You want to be quite natural, quite clean. You just need to want to do it, not just feel like you have to do it because the people around you are doing it. You have to make sure that your mental [health] is telling you that this is what you want to do, that this is what makes you happy, and just do it.
If you could have a studio session with any artist in the world, who would it be?
It’d probably be Erykah Badu, mainly because I have a lot to learn from her. The session would probably be a lot of talking before we even make anything. I feel like she’s gone through a lot of things in life, especially as a Black woman, that I would love to learn about and know about and then eventually create something amazing based on what I’ve learnt.
When it comes to building a track, how do you start out?
The style of music that I make is 130 BPM and upwards. Influenced by house, garage, jungle – anything bassy and fast, basically.
Whenever I start creating a track, I usually have some type of stimulus. Either I’ve heard an inspirational melody, or I’ve been out to a club or something and it’s stuck in my head and I want to recreate it.
RIP the club. How do you feel about 21st June?
I think it’s going to be carnage. To be honest, I’m kind of worried for myself and my friends because I’ve been waiting for that for a long time. But I’m definitely excited, 100 per cent.
How do your nightclub crew 6 Figure Gang inspire you?
I definitely think being around close friends and doing music together is probably the most inspirational thing because we all bounce off each other. We have the same sense of humour and a tiny bit of competition between each other.
What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out their music career?
A piece of advice I’d give to anyone starting a music or anything creative really is just focus on being yourself. I think we hear it a lot, but there’s no point trying to be anyone else. And I think finding who you are is the most important thing you can do and stick to.
Tell us about yourself…
Hello, my name’s Oscar, I’m from Norwich originally. I’ve lived in London for the last 11 years. I make music that’s very influenced by all sorts of different types of music, but especially jazz.
How did you get to where you are today?
I started playing guitar when I was about eight years old. Growing up as a teenager, I loved rock bands like Rage Against the Machine and Jimi Hendrix. I started gigging when I was about 14. And then I moved to London. I started studying jazz at Trinity College of Music and I met amazing musicians, especially the scene in South London. I’ve worked with loads and loads of different bands. The last few years, I’ve really been focusing on my music as a solo artist.
Do you have any good tips for staying creative?
I think the best tip I’ve ever had would be to listen to the artists that you love as much as you can. Twenty four hours a day, if something really grasps, really captures you, trying to immerse yourself in that. Also, setting time periods of focussed artistic time. Having time away from the phone and focussing on the art. It’s been really helpful for me to have that discipline.
What do you love most about being an artist?
The fact there is no routine and you can do things on your own, which is really nice. Also being able to see the world and connect with people. I feel like through music, people often trust you because they feel like you’ve given them something. And often it can be a really good way to be able to see the side of a place or a culture and be welcomed into that.
Executive Producer: Rosanna Gouldman
Senior Project Manager: Rachael Bigelow
Creative Strategist: Leo Robins
Producer: Louise Nindi
Production Assistant: Sami Ambrose
Digital Operator: Daniel Gurton
Lighting Assistant: Joe Smart
Director & Editor: Millie Gray
DOP: Jake Erland
DOP Assistant: Ruben Nev
DOP Assistant: Tobias Williams
Stylist: Julie Velut
Make Up: Crystabel Riley
Make Up Assistant: Mari Kuno
Hair: Takuya Uchiyama
Grade: Ruth Wardell at OKAY STUDIO
Soundmix: Oliver Pearson at OPM