In the spotlight – Oddwall

In the spotlight – Oddwall

In the spotlight – Oddwall: Odd Wall is a 41 year old music producer from England, who released his debut album ‘Fear’ on 1st October 2021. He has been involved in music for around 20 years, starting out with DJ’ing on pirate radio in someone’s kitchen and ended up with in venues with the likes of Fatboy Slim, Pendulum, Chase & Status and others.

“I was always interested in making music and I learned a lot over the years from being in peoples studios and having friends that made music. It wasn’t until 2020 after we went into lockdown, that I decided I was going to dedicate my time to really learn production.”

When were you first introduced to music? How has music influenced your life?

“My earliest memory of any music was watching Michael Jackson’s Thriller video. I would guess I was around 4 years old and from that moment I was obsessed. My whole adult working life has been influenced by music, my first ‘real’ job was at HMV so even then I was listening to music all day and when I became a DJ I was listening to it all night.”

Is there a song that always lifts your mood?

“Alexander O’Neil – Criticize. I always loved this song and it’s an instant mood raiser when it comes on the radio or at a party. Any cheesy party songs are always good to lift the mood as well.”

What’s one album you could listen to over and over from start to finish?

“This is a tough one because there’s a lot of albums I could listen to over and over again and I’m into so many different genres. If I had to pick just one though I would have to say Makaveli’s The Don Killuminati album. I remember it came out when I was 15 and one of my friends on the estate was the first to get it so we all sat in his room and listened to it and I was instantly blown away. I still listen to it all the way through at least once a month.”

In the spotlight – Oddwall

You’ve made music in the past, why did you stop making music in 2014?

“Lack of self belief really. I’ve made tracks before with people who knew what they were doing a lot more than me so when it came to trying to produce on my own I just really doubted myself. I would overthink everything and in 2014 I was just of the opinion ‘oh what’s the point’ and ended up selling a lot of my equipment. It wasn’t until Covid hit and I was at home instead of working that I thought, let me just have some fun. I really started enjoying the process of producing tracks and I put in a lot of effort to learn so many things that it was a real confidence boost for me. It was then that I thought ‘well if I like this song I’ve made, surely other people might like it’ so I decided to start releasing music.”

What can you tell me about your stage name Odd Wall?

“So, after I decided I was going to release music again I didn’t want to use the same name as I did when I was a DJ. I wanted a new name, something fresh to start all over again. Honestly, this took so long. I could not think of anything. I was going on websites, I was using name generators but they were all just terrible. Then I thought what about an anagram of my real name. So I ended up using my surname which is Dowdall and swapped it around a bit and came up with Odd Wall. It was the best of a bad bunch of names I could come up with.”

Can you describe your home studio? What DAW do you use and why?

“I’m lucky that we have a spare utility room in our house and it’s on the side of the house with no neighbours so that’s where my studio is. I use Logic Pro X because that’s what I used a lot back in the day and once I get used to the way something works I don’t like to change. I use a M-Audio midi keyboard, PreSonus monitors (I miss my old Yamaha’s that I sold), evo4 audio interface and a rode NT1A mic. I’ve just recently added a guitar as well as I’ve been trying to fit in time to learn it.”

I always like to hear about the creative process, what can you tell me about yours?

“It does vary a lot but most of the time I will always start with a piano and try to get some chords down. Sometimes it’s like 10 minutes, other times I can sit there for a hour just working out a chord progression. I build the track from there, sometimes add a bass pattern sometimes it’s drums. It really does depend. A couple of times I’ve come up with a melody in my head first. On the track ‘No More’ I had the melody and the lyrics in my head so I just sang them into a voice note. About a month later I went through my voice notes and found that one so I built the chords around the melody. I’ve started tracks with the drums first as well, it honestly just depends on the day, the time of the day, my mood, the genre. That’s what I love so much about creating something from scratch, a lot of the times it can be a throwaway track but every so often you can create a gem. It’s magic.”

You’ve done quite a few collaborations. Who’s your ideal musician to collaborate with and why?

“I love collaborating. Being able to throw ideas around is what it’s all about. My ideal musician? That’s a tough one. It would have to be either Eminem or Timbaland. Even better, a beat produced by me and Timbaland with Eminem spitting on it. I’ve always been a fan of both of these guys. In ’98/99 I went to see Eminem before he really blew up at a small venue for like 2000 people and from then I was blown away by him. Timbaland’s productions have always been different to everyone else’s and it’s always blown my mind when you hear one of his tracks. Trying to work out how he does certain things. Sorry I couldn’t pick just one.”

You were quite nervous about releasing ‘Take Me Down’ because it’s a completely different genre to what you usually make. Is there anything different that you would like to explore?

“Yeah, pretty much anything. I just love music so I’m always open to trying to make anything. Obviously my tracks are steered more towards urban and dance genres but I think once I’ve mastered the guitar I would love to make a rock song. That would be something completely different wouldn’t it. Haha. Maybe in about 10 years.”

Who would you say is your target audience?

“Hmm. Good question. People who like the more urban side of music I would say. If you’re into hip hop, garage, drum & bass then my music is for you.”

If you won an award for your music, who would you thank?

“My family and friends that have supported me and put up with having to listen to my music all this time. Haha.”

In the spotlight – Oddwall

What’s the biggest problem you’ve had to overcome so far? If you could start over, what would you do differently?

“The biggest problem is just getting your music heard. To be able to get it in front of people’s ears is hard and more often than not it will cost money. There’s a reason people are in the top 40 and being played on commercial radio all the time and that’s money being put into their marketing and promotion.”

“I don’t think I would do anything differently to be honest. They say it takes about 10 years to be a overnight success so I’ve got many more years to keep working and learning.”

What’s next?

“So I’ve got another drum & bass track called ‘How Many Times?’ which will be my next single. I’ve been collaborating with some really talented artists, I’ve got a track with Charlie Sanderson which is FIRE if I do say so myself and will be out later in the year, I’ve got another track called ‘Gold’ with a Canadian artist called Fenmore, another track with Azuma who was on ‘Take Me Down’, I’ve made another track with Cameron London who featured on my album ‘Fear’ and I’m also in the middle of making a EP with rapper Ill Knob who I’ve already worked with a few times. I’ve also produced a couple of tracks for rapper King Kamaal’s album and been working on ideas with producer Shadow Of Light. There’s definitely more but my head has gone blank now.”

Can you tell me a fun fact about yourself?

“I’m named after Elvis Presley.”

What’s your favourite song from the Cool Top 20 and why?

Dusty Grant – Oceans. It’s simply brilliant. Really gives me Staind vibes. Love the mood of the song, lyrics, voice, production. He’s got himself a new fan here.”

What track would you like to add as a bonus track?

“My pick for a bonus track is a song called ‘Supermodel’ by The Involved. It’s such a great summer track from a really good album and I feel like it hasn’t got the love that it deserves so I would love to get more peoples ears on it. It’s an absolute TUNE.”

Oddwall’s social media accounts:
Twitter – @oddwallmusic
Insta – @oddwallmusic
FB – @oddwallmusic
TikTok – @oddwallmusic