Collective 026: ONUR

Collective 026: ONUR

Welcome back to the twenty-sixth feature from the Collective Series by The Idle Man. Where we meet up with interesting men who either work in the creative industry, or we just admire the work they do. written in the words of our Editor Georgia Jackson, read the full feature below as we believe it's more about what we do, rather than what we wear.

Meet ONUR aka Onur Sevigen, London based singer/songwriter making a name for himself on the contemporary R&B scene. Arriving fresh on the scene ONUR has had an explosive year writing, recording and producing music, dropping his debut EP ‘A Millennial Rhapsody’, which saw great success and has given him a sweet taste of the industry and the drive to create more music. Based in London, Onur takes his inspiration from his day-to-day life in the busy city and from the diverse art and creative scene that it has to offer.

On October 10th (2019) ONUR released his brand new single ‘What U Do’. With its blaring brass and chivalrous electric guitar, this laid-back, modern love story sets the mood for an explosive chorus that might inspire your next grand gesture. The new single was written and produced by himself and friend Max Marlow, who has also worked with Kodaline and Snow Patrol. The creative pair were destined to work together after attending neighbouring high schools and having many mutual friends, the two only met years later at university. Since leaving university, the duo have spent many hours in the studio jamming and collaborating some of ONUR’s previous tracks.

Along with the up and coming artists' new single, ONUR has set his ambitions high. Soon to be jetting off to America for a few shows he is picking up speed quickly. The 'Beautiful Timesinger will be back for the 13th November where he will present 'What U Do' on the London stage of Amersham Arms for a new concert. 

Before we lose track of ONUR, The Idle Man is sitting down with him to hear more about the man behind the music.

Growing up, were you always into music? 
Yeah 100%. I always loved music. My mum and dad instilled a love for music in me from such a young age that I don’t remember a time when music wasn’t a big part of my life. My mum would play classical music to me and would make up a story about the journey of the piece of music we were listening to. My dad would jam out to Michael Jackson and other pop stars in the car. So from a young age, I was exposed to such a wide variety of music.

How do you find inspiration for your music? 
I mean honestly it can come from anything. Nowadays, because I’m very much in my own lane of sound and storytelling, I draw inspiration from conversations and just more realistic and simple things rather than cinematic expressions of my imagination.

Photo credit: Yana Goverdovskaya

You’re currently based in London, what’s it like living there? 
Well I love it. I’ve pretty much only lived in London! I lived in Istanbul for 2 years when I was younger, but that’s another story… But what’s so sick about London is how quickly your environment can change. It’s never boring and there’s always something to do or discover. Honestly, I just love the vibe the city has at the moment. 

How would you describe your sense of style? Who do you look for guidance? 
My sense of style comes from I guess a mixture of things. As a young boy, my mum liked to dress me up all smart. So she used to make me wear a lot of Burberry. And I love skateboard fashion and culture. So I guess I just mix and match, creating a blend of British heritage brands and streetwear. My guidance? Haha, I don’t really have one other than the culture and styles I see around me. I couldn’t pinpoint it to one particular thing though.

Photo credit: Yana Goverdovskaya

Tell us about ‘What U Do’.
It’s a banger. No mash. I was once told that a great pop song is something complex explained in a simple way. I think that, this is exactly what this song is. To be so infatuated with someone and to swallow your pride and confess “It’s what YOU do to me”. To completely surrender yourself. I think you’d also say ‘what you do’ in conversation to someone anyway. So, I think it’s a simple but powerful and relatable statement.

What was it like writing and recording the single? How did the collaboration work? 
I mean it’s funny, Max Marlow and I started that song ages ago! We literally had 75% of that song done last year when we started it. And for some reason we were never really satisfied. It literally took so long because of some nuanced details in production and arrangement. Max and I have been making tunes together for a couple years now! We both make such different music from each other, that when we both describe this single we just say, ‘we got the perfect blend of our styles into one song’ and I agree. 

Photo credit: Yana Goverdovskaya

You sold out a headline show when you released ‘A Millennial Rhapsody’. Do you reckon another headline show is on its way? 
Haha yeah that was SO MAD. I had never sold out anything before! I was so sure that no one was going to come. But YES A NEW SHOW HAS BEEN ANNOUNCED! 13th NOVEMBER, THE AMERSHAM ARMS, NEW CROSS. DOORS AT 7PM. BE THERE!

Do you have any party tricks? 
I can out smoke Snoop Dogg haha... Maybe not, but dammit I’d try my hardest.

If you could relive any era, which would it be and why?
Musically speaking, I actually think the era we live in now is amazing. So much cool, interesting and insanely creative music is being made because... well, people have the access to do it! But I’d probably go for the 80s though...Prince, Michael Jackson... no internet. 

Photo credit: Yana Goverdovskaya

What are your plans for the future of your music? 
To release a collection of singles from now till summer! Play some festivals, and get people to hear what I’m about! To continue to grow, develop my sound and fanbase, keep doing what I intend to do with my life – which is music of course – and to not take anyone else’s opinion of me too seriously. I think it’s so easy to pigeon hole people. I once had a meeting with an A&R (who shall not be named) and he was asking me, ‘I’m confused, so like, are you pushing your ethnic angle or your British angle?’. I think the beauty of what music and culture are slowly becoming is that, these questions will soon be irrelevant, and I won’t have to feel the need to explain myself for the style of music I make. So another long-term plan is to make sure that someone of my background, doesn’t get badgered or shelved because their ethnicity wasn’t fitting a label’s quota of urban acts.

You can keep up-to-date with ONUR via:

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