69 – ‘Japanese Fighting Fish’, ‘Ozonna’ and ‘Monarchy of Roses’
Japanese Fighting Fish:
“The man getting his regular short back and sides smiles with intrigue at the figure in the doorway. This Camden hairdresser isn’t used to visits from unfamiliar faces. The bespectacled guest, dressed in a faded denim jacket and rolled shorts, begins to strum a Ukulele, giving his adopted crowd a rendition of his latest song, “I love me”. Even the stubborn buzz of the last few clippers has been silenced within moments. Two minutes later he leaves, followed by looks of affection and bemusement.
African-born electro popper Ozonna may have chosen an unusual way to market himself, but in today’s hyper competitive music industry it pays to be original. Even pop queen Lady Gaga used to have to stand scantily clad on tables in bars, screaming along to Black Sabbath records to get noticed. Visiting some of London’s coiffeurs to play impromptu gigs may not hold the same shock-value, but it’s the perfect place for Ozonna to deliver his message.
And that message is simple; he is trying to empower people through his music. “I want people to feel positive about how they look and feel,” he says. “Playing at the hairdressers, I wanted to tell people that they don’t need to spend lots of money to look beautiful, they are already. It is positive music for the soul.”
Ozonna himself even admits that the message can be seen as clichéd. But it’s the way that message is delivered on his new single, “I love me”, that the London-based artist eliminates any sense of been-here-before. An eclectic mix of influences has inspired the record, which delivers pop hooks underpinned with genuine musical ideology. Think Marina and the Diamonds, Madonna and a hint of Gaga, and you begin to get the idea. But Ozonna’s sound is still wholly individual.
On “I love me”, his unique vocal range is laid bare. It is fragile yet captivating. Combined with the Ukulele and boppy synth the track epitomises what the young musician is all about. It strikes at the core of the vanity of society, why people should ignore the critics and love themselves. It is refreshing to hear a passionate edge to an essentially pop-infused track. This theme is continued in “Perfect day to die”, another creation that reveals a strong sense of musicality in Ozonna’s work, with muted strings and a clean cut piano riff providing a perfect foundation for the heartfelt lyrics. “Stupid self” and “I don’t give a damn” are further rebellious outlets. The latter tinged with the sound of an early Annie Lennox track. ”
(Info obtained from Ozonna’s facebook page here)
Monarchy Of Roses:
“Monarchy Of Roses are a new group who were formed in North London with a range of influences including Soul, 60s beat, Blues. Under guidance of singer/songwriter Craig Ingham and now joined by Bassist Alex Montague. Looking for world domination and exposure! Welcome to The Kingdom Of North London Soul!”
(Info obtained from the band’s facebook page here)