BIMM x DIY: Oscar Lang by Taylor Duffy

3rd August 2021


Earlier this year, we announced our latest partnership with DIY magazine to celebrate our #MusicMadeUs campaign. As part of this new partnership, students from across our colleges interviewed artists and industry professionals in collaboration with DIY and through the lens of Music Made Us. They also received guidance and mentorship sessions before the interview with DIY’s journalism and editorial team.

Singer-songwriter Oscar Lang candidly speaks about his Million Little Reasons, why music matters so much, how he got here and all the moments in between in this interview with BIMM Institute Manchester’s Taylor Duffy.

“Music made me” is not an uncommon phrase to hear when speaking to artists, producers and even avid music listeners. As simple and cliche as it is, it is often whole-heartedly true. This applies to London-born Oscar Lang. “I always sort of knew music was my calling. I fell in love with music when I was a kid.” He further explains, “Me and my mum used to listen to a lot of music together. She used to drive me to school and she always had the radio on. She died in 2007 and one of the things that really got me into music was when my dad made me a CD of all her favourite songs. I used to put that on. She was hugely into the band The Feeling, they have been a huge influence on me.”

I always say my biggest influence is my life, I could never put my inspirations down to one person

Officially starting his musical career at aged 17, Oscar has come a long way since his first EP ‘To Whom It May Concern’. The singles ‘Are you Happy?’ and ‘Stuck’ from his upcoming debut album ‘Chew The Scenery’ are strikingly different from his self-proclaimed Sad-boy music that kicked off his career. He has musically evolved, and his inspirations are constantly changing. “My music is an extension of me, so it’s an extension of everything I’m feeling. So that’s why it’s okay for it to go back and forth between sad and happy.” Unable to pinpoint any one particular song or artist as his main influence, Oscar goes on to say “I always say my biggest influence is my life, I could never put my inspirations down to one person. I used to watch those YouTube videos about how Kevin Parker is Tame Impala, I always thought you needed a studio to do music.”

He offers a different, realistic perspective on the bittersweet feelings of being a growing success in the competitive industry. “Everything was enjoyable at first, it was all very exciting. The concept of going to a studio to me just seemed crazy and it still does but there’s aspects of it that I have struggled with. It hit me really hard when I was working on my EP ‘Over Funk’, which is why it is called Over Funk. I wanted to be impressive so I was really hard on myself and was going round and round in my head about it, recording things 3 or 4 times to get it right. I’ve grown up and having all this time in Lockdown has helped with that.”

However, it isn’t all excessive pressure and difficult struggles; there are reasons why to be a successful musician is such a holy grail job and with a smile; Oscar sheds some light on one of the moments that made him remember why being a musician was so important to him in the first place. “I remember getting back from that tour and thinking I could die happy. We did a show supporting Gus Dapperton, we went from playing basement shows with like 5 people, using my phone for backing tracks to having a full band set up and played to about 1000 people. It was amazing. It was the first experience thinking wow I’m playing my music to a crowd jumping, this is fucking sick. I always think back to that moment and think that was pure happiness. It was one of those ones where we were looking at each other with a tear in our eye like, wow this is beautiful.”

For me music is my everything, it’s like my therapy. It just makes me feel better, it encapsulates emotions and allows you to feel them

This is a moment any music lover – musician or not – could only dream of experiencing. If you didn’t already realise it after the year that’s just passed, music matters; it is a beautiful part of our existence as humans. Oscar poetically describes it as “a hot drink at the end of a long day”, before he continues with his personal thoughts on it: “For me, music is my everything, it’s like my therapy. It just makes me feel better, it encapsulates emotions and allows you to feel them. There’s no other media that allows you to feel things so personally. Music matters because it has an emotional release and helps me get through things.”

Our Music Made Us campaign is told through the students, graduates, journalists, experts and passionate people who have been shaped by this creative outlet. Discover their stories here.