OL Music is a production team based in London.
Féz is a Nigerian born London raised songwriter, producer, musician and founder of OL Music. Bastian Testori is a French born London based producer and multi instrumentalist.
The duo has been creating records from different genres over the years. Their versatility and talent lead them to work with various artists in the UK such as Dinachi, Jennifer Kamikazi, Pyramid Park, Jake Isaac and many more.
OL Music recently produced the singles ‘Parables’ by Dinachi and ‘Old Friend’ by Jules Rendell released in October 2017.
When did you start making music?
We have both been making music for a long time.
Féz: I started writing songs at the age of 11 or 12, partly because I thought it was cool but mostly because I was trying to impress a girl. I started on guitar and soon after started playing drums.
Bastian: I started making music when I was 7, I saw an advert on TV of a guy playing drums and I thought he looks so cool. Everyone was watching him and all the girls were around him and I thought, I want to be like that guy. I initially started on drums and soon picked up the guitar.
How did you guys meet? When did you know you were meant to work together? How do you complete each other?
Féz: We met at a studio in East London called Smokehouse Studios. I had heard about Bastian through a mutual friend. I was at another studio writing and producing singer songwriter pop songs with various artists and my good friend told me about this guy at the studio I was moving into who also wrote and produced pop songs. At this point I wasn’t particularly looking to collaborate with him.
Bastian: We used to see each other everyday and Féz is the kind of guy that would talk to everybody so we’d speak from time to time. We’d hear each others songs but didn’t really collaborate until one day I spoke to Féz about writing some lyrics to a couple of songs and that was pretty much the beginning.
Féz: I guess we soon found out that Bastian was incredible at the things I wasn’t good at and vice versa.
Do you remember the first track you did together? How was it like to work together for the first time?
Féz: We kinda started with an albums worth oft racks lol. We spent some time selecting what we thought were our best instrumentals/songs and reworked and rewrote them in the hopes to release and get some attention.
Bastian: Oh actually it was a song called ‘Over My Head’, it’s kind of a tropical summer song that we wrote in September 2016. Still hasn’t been released yet but it’s been one of our favourites for a while.
How would you define OL Music?
Féz: Well OL is short for Outlanders and what that really means is that we are slightly off centre/quirky guys. Our musical tastes and musical output is so wide that it makes it difficult to put us in a specific box. We pride ourselves on being adaptable and we are massive fans of individuality.
Bastian: When I left France, I left my family and my friends and pretty much left my comfort zone. OL has pretty much become my new comfort zone, I can be myself and create what I want. That’s a massive deal to me.
What did you grow up listening to?
Bastian: I remember my mum bought ‘Usher - Yeah’ and I literally listened to that on repeat. Also listened to a lot of Abba, Boney M and a lot of jazz music, my father was into jazz. Pretty much heard a lot of Rock, jazz and pop early on.
Féz: Well I grew up in a household that music was always playing. My earliest memories are Earth Wind Fire, Barry White, Fela Kuti, Miles Davies and pretty much anything that had soul and a groove. Gospel music pretty big as well.
Could you tell us about the record you did with Jake Isaac ‘I Got You’. How did this song come about? How was it like to work with him?
Féz: Jake is a really good friend and I had been on the road as his drummer for years. At the time he was writing his album and he’d always send over songs he was working on for me to listen to. This one time he sent a rough demo of ‘I Got You’ after a session he had with Levi Lennox who’s the mastermind behind ‘Pillowtallk’ by Zayn Malik. He asked me to help with the song and that’s pretty how it all came about.
You’ve been in this industry for quite some time. What is you biggest accomplishment so far?
Féz: We or should I say I always find it hard to answer this question because in various ways every song is an accomplishment in itself.
Bastian: I’d say my biggest accomplishments have been my failures. All of them have led me to where I am today.
Féz: I should have said that lol.
What are the most essential skills a producer needs to have?
Bastian: A bottle of water - just kidding. The ability to adapt in every situation and environment. Whatever the artist wants, regardless of how you feel or how comfortable you are with the genre you need be able to adapt to all situations. The goal is to make the artist shine.
Féz: Aside from your musical ability its important to be able to maintain a conversation. We always want to engage with artists beyond the music and that takes getting to know one another. It doesn’t hurt to be a nice person, the bonus is that you make good music as well.
What music softwares do you usually use?
Bastian: I started on Cubase and then when I moved to Quebec city it was Logic Pro and Reaper. When I moved to Oxford I started using Pro Tools.
Féz: I dabbled with Cubase when I was younger but now I use Logic and Ableton.
What makes a good beat?
Bastian: It’s always changing. What’s cool now is going to be old tomorrow.
Féz: I personally think what makes a good beat is the song we rarely think about beats in that nature, our focus is always to create is great song.
Could you tell us about your OL ADS project?
Bastian: We choose our favourite adverts and try to match it with some of our songs and so far we’ve been having a blast.
Féz: That’s pretty much it. We wanted to get into the advertising world because we believe people want to hear videos and watch music . So we decided to start an Instagram page with already existing adverts but with our music. It’s amazing how you can watch some and feel something so differently based on the music. The hope is that it leads to some opportunities.
You are living in London. How would you describe the music/creativity atmosphere out there?
Bastian: Well in the charts in the UK theres so music diversity in the Top 10 and that says a lot about the musical output, in comparison to France where the majority of songs in the Top 10 would be rap. I guess that speaks volumes about the music and creativity in London.
Féz: The standard is so high because London is overly saturated with creatives. We work in a building that’s 3 floors of creative businesses from animators to fashion designers and there is such a beauty in that because we all get to feed off each others energy in various ways. That’s pretty much what London is like.
What is the most challenging thing about working in the music industry?
Bastian: Everything lol.
Féz: Agreed. You don’t get a big break you earn a big break. We’ve been on this journey for a long time and grateful for every step of the way.
What would be your definition of music?
Bastian: Music to me is like a woman who whispers exquisite words to you, sometimes she becomes angry and then calms down or vice versa, no matter the cause she still ends up falling asleep next to you.
Féz: Well I can’t beat that lol. So let’s just go with it lol.
What keeps you going?
Bastian: If I’m honest with myself, revenge is kind of part of it.
Féz: I made a promise to my dad and I’m holding up to my end of the bargain.
Who have you been working with recently? Any upcoming projects?
Féz: We’ve got 33+ songs that have been completed and will be released over the next 5 months - an album and some EP’s that we are super excited about.
What is your goal?
Bastian: To leave my footprint in the world.
Féz: To keep making music…oh and to win a Grammy(s) lol.
What is your motto?
Bastian: Nobody knows nothing about anything.
Féz: The song is KING.
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