Oscar

by Amy Marie Slocum

“At first it wasn’t this instant hit as New York let’s say,” says Oscar Scheller in a deep, lauguorous voice that is at once cheerful and self-aware, much like his entrancing pop songs that have been gracing the airwaves since his Beautiful Words EP was released last June “But it had a strange feeling to it; it’s like a slow burner and once you’re in it, you’re clearly under its spell.”

The 24-year-old Londoner—who musically goes by a single name: Oscar—and I are speaking about his recent trip to L.A. and how his life has changed since the most recent EP was released. “It’s definitely been a lot busier. I haven’t been able to go on any dates, but I think it’s really positive because people have been getting excited and that’s what makes me excited, but I still clean the kitchen, do recycling, and do anything that my mom asks me.”

Oscar crafts spartan melodies and lyrics that are delicate and unapologetic. He views pop music as the most direct way to connect with an audience, and values the succinct nature of the medium, “You’ve only got, like, three minutes per song,” he says, “And you’ve got to do the best job you can do to get people to connect to it and that’s not much time.” Originally a classically trained musician with a degree in sculpture from St. Martins, Oscar is an unlikely choice for a pop star, but given his parents—his mother a frequenter of ’70s disco haven The Mudd Club, and his father a member of New Wave band The Regents—it isn’t hard to see how he fell on this path.

Our conversation veers to the hypothetical city of CALIFUK, and as a native Londoner he has some thoughts, “Everyone is so aware of history [in London] and they maybe find it quite hard to be original or that’s certainly their thought process as being an artist. What’s so great about L.A. is that people just kind of go their own way, it’s what people do, they go to L.A. to be an actress or be a singer.”

The ability to mold your image is one that is unique to our time, and it strikes me that Oscar is the example of a new kind of artist: one that is allowed to be serious, sweet, goofy, depressed, and hopeful, who can study sculpture at St. Martins, and record a few songs on his MacBook, and then get a profile in a fashion magazine, and yet can still take out the trash for his mom.

Photographer: Bella Howard for Sixsevenphotographic.com.

Executive Producer: Jane Everett for Pranaproduction.co.uk.

Production Assistant: Louise Baker for Pranaproduction.couk.