Oscar Key Sung
Oscar Key Sung’s music is a passion perfected through equal parts discipline and obsession, a sound that leaves you in a state of being consumed, used up, enjoyed, existing completely inside a space that is, at once, intimate and vast.
Fusing subtle melodies with a more throbbing and visceral soundscape, he creates a sound that is watery and elemental, one that has the pulling and pushing rhythm of a tide. In his live performance, there is a feeling of being held within an intimacy that is individualistic; a feeling that both you and he are the only two people in the room. It is this tension between intimate moments, and the more impersonal, very danceable RnB and pop music fuelled moments that make his style so impalpable.
Oscar’s latest EP ‘No Disguise,’ made in Point Lonsdale and Mexico City, and then revisited while living in Berlin and Los Angeles, captures the potency of a state of being that is immersive and transient. Each song is like a container of feeling and experience, memory and time. “I wrote the core lyrics for the single ‘Simple Luv’ across a 24-hr period. Starting while walking through an airport and finishing while in a hotel room in Paris. I had spent my flight from Melbourne to Paris in a fever, waking up from intense dreams and crying about things I had bottled up. Once I got on the plane I think I could drop my guard.”
Since his debut EP, released back in 2013, Oscar’s career has been gathering motion in a gradual and constant accent. ‘Holograms’ featured singles ‘It’s Coming’ and ‘Sure Thing’ that received national radio rotation in Australia was featured and reviewed by internationally recognized Pitchfork and earned Oscar airtime from renowned tastemaker and BBC Radio 6 presenter Gilles Peterson. And it was this release that was hand-picked by Mercury Music Prize-nominated mc Ghostpoet and Brooklyn-based artist MeLo-X for their MELOGHOST project.
Following the hype of his first release, the second acclaimed EP ‘Altruism’ demonstrated a cohesion and progression in Oscar’s unique explorative world.
The signatures of Oscar Key Sung— its panoptic production and lyrical exposition— are underscored on Altruism, deepening Key Sung’s sense of conflict; its glacial beauty and modern dread. “Key Sung is locked in tension” Oscar says finally, “but that’s what makes it work.” Key Sung’s diligence in maintaining a captivating and high quality output was met with a UK support tour alongside London 3-piece and 2015 BBC British Artist of the Year nominees – Years & Years. The tour would prove to legitimise Oscar Key Sung’s swelling Australian profile into a realm of international accolades and success.
More recently, Oscar has toured festivals in Australia and the US, performing at South by South West as well as touring clubs throughout Europe, Japan, and the US. The past year has seen him transpire as both a singer song writer and producer, moving into a realm where he feels as though he has fully come into himself. “I don’t feel restricted by genre. It’s amazing how quickly you can enter into scenes and get a grasp of how you want to take on influences. Travelling and living in places like Berlin, Mexico, and LA, allowed me to be fully immersed in the music scenes that have influenced me, whilst simultaneously creating something that is completely my own.” A sentiment that rings true in the lyricism of his latest track ‘No Disguise’ where he sings, “set all my disguises on fire, part of me knows who I want to be.”
Driven by an urge to capture and distil emotions through storytelling, each track on the latest EP stands alone, but the collection as a whole is pulled together by a strong and unique thread. Having studied sound art installation, Oscar approaches song writing like a fine artist would. Designing a body of work that is diverse and yet intrinsically linked by a textural and spacial awareness that is more concerned with creating a sonic mood than maintaining aesthetic continuity. To listen to this EP is to step inside a living art object; one that will make you dance insatiably and then leave you in a heightened, almost hallucinatory state of emotion.