Spotlight: Mei Ohara

By Dom Smith
By November 19, 2012 Band, Spotlight

Our next Reverbnation spotlight is on Boston-based electric violinist Mei Ohara.

S] What, or who are your great musical inspirations?

M] “I think subliminally I was really influenced by video game soundtracks growing up. Now that translates into being a major electronic music fan, which manifests in my love of Depeche Mode. I studied classical violin most of my life so a lot of inspiration comes from what I learned over the years. Also, my interests outside of music inspire me a lot, in my attempts at embodying the feelings they evoke in me.”

S] What about personally, what kinds of themes and ideas can inspire your songs?

M] “I like to make personal messages to keep myself in check. A lot of my music in the past year was centred around taking hold of my own identity. I also seem to write a lot about the universe – it’s such a big, nostalgic, intimidating concept and I sometimes feel like it is best grappled with as an instinctual feeling. I try to take that feeling and make it into sounds.”

S] What song that you are working on right best defines your sound, and why?

M] “I think ‘Never Beam Again’, the final song off of my upcoming EP, is a good representation of the direction my sound has been developing. It has the mix of electronics and classical, with my vocals, beats, and violin all showcased. I think I like the juxtaposition of sweet and ethereal against rough and industrial, and this song has all of that.”


S] Do you have a message for any UK fans?

M] “I dream of coming to play in the UK as soon as possible. I spent a term studying violin in London and my biggest regret is that I didn’t get to check out the local scene as much as I wanted. I love so many artists from the UK, I imagine the local bands and fans must be awesome as well.”

S] What can people expect from your live show?

M] “I switch it up, playing keyboards, violin, and singing sometimes all in one song, so I think there is a lot of potential stimulation! I also like to wear fun things and put glitter on my face.”

S] What are some of your biggest challenges right now?

M] “Being a solo independent artist means having so many tasks to juggle at once. I actually am enjoying the business and technical side of music, but sometimes I have trouble balancing everything. I am also in a place where I have a lot of new things I want to explore in terms of gear, so I have to figure out what to try out first. At least my challenges are all pretty fun ones to have.”

S] What’re your plans as we move into 2013?

M] “I am planning to release my EP at the beginning of the year. I hope to continue to perform in all kinds of new places. I recently played in a desert in California, and since then I have been itching to travel more. I hope to expand everything about my music, from my live set-up to possibly making my first music video.”

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