Dunedin four-piece band Soaked Oats will bring their brand of indie pop to this year's Womad festival. We catch up with drummer Conor Feehly to find out what fans can expect.
1. Tell us who you are and where you're from.
We are Soaked Oats, and we formed in Dunedin. Three of us, Max, Oscar, and myself come from Christchurch, and Henry is from Waimate, a small town infamous for having a wallaby population.
2. Describe your sound in one sentence.
Sludgey, guitar-pop songs with contemplative lyricism.
3. What do you think is the key thing WOMAD festival artists have in common?
From what I have seen I think they all bring authentic and unique styles, it also seems that the different artists have deep ties to the communities from where they originate. Everybody seems really ready to embrace the influences that their own cultures have had on them. Is that three things?
4. Which of your songs is your favourite to perform live and why?
At the moment my favourite song to perform is My Mud, Your Shoes, it's a song from our new(ish) EP. I really like playing it because there is lots of space at the beginning with just vocals and some guitar but it reaches a point when everybody comes in together and it feels quite powerful.
5. What can the WOMAD audience expect from your performance at the festival?
People say we bring lots of energy to our performances, and Oscar our vocalist isn't shy from a little bit of audience interaction. The four of us share a pretty great connection and I think that comes across in our live performances.
6. What was your first reaction to knowing you'd be playing Womad New Zealand?
Pure excitement! I was probably more excited about getting to watch all of the other amazing artists rather than us being asked to play! I immediately wanted to know who else was performing.
7. What does success as a musician mean to you?
That's a tricky question and one that I have been thinking a little bit about lately. For me it's something like getting better at making songs, honing your craft, and feeling proud of yourself for what you have created. I also think working with people who you admire, and maybe having a valuable/positive influence on others who want to create music.
8. What would you tell a young person wanting to be a successful musician?
Find some like-minded friends to jam with. Play as much as possible. Be nice.
9. Who or what excites you most about music right now?
We as a band are currently working on our debut album. It's exciting going through all of these random little ideas, some from two years ago, and trying to turn them into something that resembles a song. For a while we were focused on perfecting our live set/performance but right now I'm super excited about getting into some songwriting.
10. You can only fit one album by another artist on your device — what is it?
According to my Spotify yearly roundup it would be Harlem River by Kevin Morby or Designer by Aldous Harding. But if I had to choose (Yes - Ed) ... Electric Hawaii by Opossum.
• Womad is a three-day festival of world music, arts and dance to be held TSB Bowl of Brooklands, Pukekura Park, New Plymouth, from March 13-15.
Artist performing (in alphabetical order:
Albi & The Wolves (Aotearoa/NZ), Blind Boys of Alabama (USA), Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita (Wales/Senegal), Destyn Maloya (Réunion), Ezra Collective (UK), Flor de Toloache (Mexico/USA), Hiatus Kaiyote (Australia), Hot Potato Band (Australia), Ifriqiyya Electrique (Maghreb/Europe), KermesZ à l'Est (Belgium), Kim So Ra (South Korea), King Ayisoba (Ghana), L.A.B. (Aotearoa/NZ), Laura Marling (UK), Liniker e os Caramelows (Brazil), L Subramaniam (India), Marina Sattir & Fońes (Greece/Sudan), Minyo Crusaders (Japan), Orquesta Akokán (Cuba), Reb Fountain (Aotearoa/NZ), RURA (Scotland), Salif Keita (Mali), Soaked Oats (Aotearoa/NZ), The Black Quartet (Aotearoa/NZ), Trio Da Kali (Mali), Troy Kingi (Aotearoa/NZ) Tuuletar (Finland), Ziggy Marley (Jamaica).