Barcelona born singer songwriter Odina caught up with our writer Rebecca Moynihan for the last interview as part of this year’s Coffee House Sessions tour.
How does it feel to be the final performing artist on the Coffee House Sessions tour?
I guess it’s a bit of pressure because I think about how many people must have done it before me, but it’s cool!
Have you enjoyed it so far?
Yeah, it’s really cool! It’s the first time I’ve toured. It’s so cool to get the chance to tour for the first time and it’s such a good experience being in front of so many students all the time.
Are you a student yourself?
Yeah, I study at UTL in London; I’m studying International relations, so nothing music related.
So how do you manage to balance your studies with your music?
Oh, I don’t… I just try and do as much as I can and hope that it all works out. I’d love to do music full time, but it’s tough so I’m also doing uni. Of course though, music is a priority for me.
I read you take influence from Keaton Henson and Bon Iver. What is it in particular that you like about these artists?
Keaton Henson for me is a big one on lyrics because I find you could just take out his lyrics and they’re like a poem…I think you can do that with a lot of songs, too, but not necessarily. Bon Iver, I just like his sound in terms of how he uses all these different elements, like backing vocals, or just another instrument, and that really inspires me.
When was it that you first became interested in music?
I guess from a young age, I started playing the piano and taking lessons when I was like four or five. But then I haven’t really continued playing the piano because that was classical. So I guess it started there, but then it’s shifted in different directions.
Do you think it’ll shift again from where you are now? Or have you found a sound you’re happy with?
I’m sure I’ll shift again, yeah. I just don’t know how or when.
Do you think moving from Barcelona to London has affected you musically in any way?
I think so but it’s hard to explain how, because you may not be aware of it, but I think when you live in a different place, wherever that place is, it always affects what you’re surrounded by, or it affects your writing or whatever creative stuff you’re doing.
Have you come across any challenges so far?
I think London has been tough because so many people are doing the same thing that you’re doing, so realising that can be hard at the beginning.
Are there any songs you’re listening to on repeat at the minute?
I’m listening to a lot of the new Laura Marling album; I love it!
Is there any artist who has been a favourite live act for you?
I have been blown away by so many people I’ve seen live! Maybe most recently I’ve been blown away by this singer-songwriter called Aldous Harding; you should listen to her if you’re a fan of Bon Iver. Her performance really affected me because she had this presence. And the way she looked at the crowd, it was so intense and that really made me look up to her I guess.
How has it been releasing another new single and what was the process like?
It’s been really cool to see it come together and I’ve had an amazing response so far, so I’m really happy! I write a lot of my songs from personal experience. I’m a person that struggles to say things; I’m a bit shy sometimes and I keep it all inside and then I guess it bursts out into a song. Sometimes it’s difficult, because the way I approach songwriting isn’t like if you were writing a pop song and you can just sit down and write it, because I write about what happens to me; if nothing happens I can’t write a song. I can’t force it because I think you’d be able to tell in my music. But I’d rather have fewer songs and make them real because I think people can tell the difference.