Owl Eyes: “Tokyo is a beautiful chaotic city”

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Owl Eyes, Australian indie-pop song writer and songstress is back in Japan for the Snow Machine Music Festival and her debut Japan tour.

Owl Eyes regularly performs with Flight Facilities, including coveted slots at Coachella and Glastonbury. In 2019, Owl Eyes released two singles “You and I” and “Le Soleil” and is releasing a new EP quite soon.

Ahead of her Tokyo appearances, Owl Eyes shares her romantic relationship with the city of Tokyo, her love for Haruki Murakami and more.

We heard that Tokyo is close to your heart. What makes Tokyo so special to you?

I fell in love with Tokyo when I first visited a few years ago. It’s a beautiful chaotic city. I think what I love most are the people. They are so sweet and genuine.

You have said that you love the food in Japan. What do you love about Japanese food and what is the first thing you will eat when you arrive in Tokyo?

I love the time Japanese chefs take to master their craft. The never-ending quest for perfection is admirable. I really like how everything on the plate has a purpose and is proportional. I had a traditional Japanese breakfast last time I was in Tokyo and I loved it, It felt so nourishing. I think the first thing I’ll eat when I get there is ramen, it’s one of my favorites and so comforting after a long flight. 

However, this is your debut tour of Japan. What excites you about traveling outside of Tokyo? What new and exciting experiences do you hope to have in Japan this time around?

I can’t wait to try skiing in Hakuba, it will be my first time skiing outside of Australia. 

What can audiences expect from your performance at the Snow Machine Festival in Hakuba Valley?

Hopefully a lot of fun! I am putting together an upbeat set. I just want people to be able to dance.

You are performing at more intimate shows in Tokyo. Having also performed at such huge festivals as Coachella and Glastonbury, which setting do you prefer?

They are both such different experiences. I enjoy both for different reasons but I appreciate anyone at my headline shows even if it’s in a tiny room as it feels special because I know they have come to see me. I also feel a lot safer at those shows to slow down and experiment.

In Tokyo you will perform Mei Oki at Nanahari and DJ Gakuji“Chabe” Matsuda at TRUNK(HOTEL). Are there any Japanese musicians or designers that have inspired your music and style?

I really love the author Haruki Murakami. His writing is beautiful. I recently read Dance Dance Dance, which I loved, and I just started Norwegian Wood.

I remember walking around Tokyo feeling calm, it felt so much bigger than me and my problems.

Your song “Tokyo” is described as “a heart-drenched ode to love and confusion in the capital.” What aspects of Tokyo inspired the song, and is it based off of a true story?

Yes it is. I was in the middle of a personal relationship breakdown while in Tokyo a few years ago. It was such a bittersweet time for me, I felt as I was falling out of love with a person I was falling in love with a place. I have such an attachment to the city. I remember walking around Tokyo feeling calm, it felt so much bigger than me and my problems. Something about the complete chaos made me feel less alone. I was traveling at the time and when I got to Los Angeles the song just poured out of me. 

You have been touring extensively as a vocalist with Flight Facilities, but what else have you been up to since you released your debut LP in 2013?

I have been living and growing as a woman. Trying to travel and soak in as much life as possible. I’ve been falling in and out of love. I’ve also been trying to grow as a song writer by writing for myself and other artists and last year I re launched my project and started touring again which has been exciting. 

Why did you decide it was time to begin recording your own music again?

I felt a little burnt out from touring. As mentioned the touring was quite extensive. So I had a little break from everything and went to Europe and after talking some time out I just knew I was ready to start writing again. 

Your 2019 singles “You and I” and “Le Soleil” obviously have a more mature sound. The soul and funk grooves are a bit of a departure from your pop roots. How did you develop your current sound and what makes you excited for people to hear it?

I think as a pop artist you can have the freedom to explore other genres. I’m just trying to do what comes natural to me in the moment. 

What can we expect from your new EP?

It’s a mixture of upbeat pop mixed with vulnerable moments. 

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