Updated: May 12
OTNES is a dream pop artist hailing from the songwriting capital of Nashville, Tennessee. Delicately woven melodies with minimalistic yet layered production, they have caused quite a stir in their local scene and beyond with their stirring brand of alt-pop. Their new single 'LIGHT AS A FEATHER' has just had the video released for it, fully directed and performed by OTNES & Mossflower Pictures.
Taking the full creative reins from production to direction, OTNES has taken full form in this infectious and ethereal track and video, channelling the youthful notion of feeling like the only one who's left out at a party. We sat down with this rising songwriter to talk about the single, the video and their many plans for the year ahead. Have a read below, exclusively for FLEX!
Hey OTNES, how’s it going?
Going so well! We're about to head out for part of our tour starting May 13th. Always a blast to be with my band and share our music. We'll be headed to Asheville, Durham, and Richmond.
Who influences your music and the way you approach it?
My good friend Max (who passed away a couple years ago) influences so many of my choices-- he used to produce the music under the Emily Blue project, and I learned so much from him. I try to keep it spontaneous and lean into what feels good when I'm producing now. So much of how I approach music is just based on a first instinct, and then refining it after the fact. My band also has a lot of influence on how the music sounds as I've been getting them in the studio more and more. I'm a huge fan of incorporating live instruments with electronic production.
How did you first find your talent for music?
I wrote myself lullabies as a child, I remember being as young as 2 or 3 and singing about whatever was on my mind. There are a lot of home videos where I just sing for long stretches of time, it's always been something I enjoy. I grew up playing lots of instruments and starting bands, I don't think I could ever do anything else.
How did you find your sound?
My sound is constantly developing. What I've found is the better I get to know myself as a person, spending time with my hobbies and listening to artists I like, the more my sound refines into something that feels authentic to me. I grew up with pop and classic movies / musicals, and I also grew up loving the sounds of the 80's and 90's. I incorporate a lot of retro and vintage aesthetics into my work both sonically and visually.
Tell us all about your new single ‘LIGHT AS A FEATHER’?
This song is so special to me. Before I moved to Nashville I went through a breakup, and I also lost a good friend of mine (Max, that I mentioned earlier) so I was dealing with a lot of loss. This song was my way of grieving people I've lost and realizing that the time spent was worth it, and I'm better for it. Whether it be due to hard learned lessons or the people in my life shaping who I am, I will always carry those experiences with me.
What inspired the video for this? We love it!
I directed this with my friend Luke from Mossflower Pictures. I knew that I wanted to create the 'alone at the party' feeling, because when you're grieving you sometimes feel isolated even when surrounded by support. I also wanted to show ethereal, peaceful scenes and love water, so we shot at Percy Priest Lake at sunrise. This part represents my higher self who sort of guides me through the difficulties of life.
One of the other things I wanted to show in this video is the tearing off of the face masks, which were used in my last video 'SPIN.' This was just intended to show that we are all connected and that we can remove barriers between each other, and we should always make the bold choice to show who we truly are.
Watch the full video for 'LIGHT AS A FEATHER' here:
What was the creative process for ‘LIGHT AS A FEATHER’?
I honestly think I started this song years ago and just never finished it. It was a journey in production for me as I slowly put the pieces together. We had an incredible couple days incorporating the live band members into the recording as well, so the guitars and drums you hear are recorded from our homes here in Nashville.
And what’s next for OTNES this year?
A full length album is in the works, and lots and lots of touring. Stay tuned!
Stream 'LIGHT AS A FEATHER':