Oscar Jerome The Spoon

Oscar Jerome Brings Originality to the Table with The Spoon

On September 23, 2022, Oscar Jerome released his sophomore album, The Spoon. The contemplative record covers topics from socio-political injustices in the UK and capitalism to depression and self-growth. Through 12 tracks, Jerome takes listeners through a musical adventure like no other.

Prior to the release date, Oscar shared this message with his followers: “A hell of a lot of blood, sweat, tears, love, and laughter went into this record […] I’m incredibly grateful to everyone that has put so much work into this project. I’m truly amazed at how talented the people around me are.” Indeed, The Spoon came to life thanks to an array of colleagues who joined the musician on his journey. Jerome co-produced the album with Beni Giles and collaborated with saxophonist Kaidi Akinnibi in “Sweet Isolation” and Léa Sen in “Hall of Mirrors.” Artists Ayo Salawu, Tom Driessler, and Crispin Robinson also joined Oscar on drums, bass, and percussion respectively.

Overall, The Spoon is a display of Oscar Jerome’s superb skills and original craft. In “Use It,” Oscar sings, “music never fails to lift that heavy brow with the sound / You know you’ve got to get lost before you’re found.” Those lyrics encapsulate the main motif of the album. We can use music as an escape from our daily struggles in order to feel better, but we also have to face negative situations so we can grow and become an improved version of ourselves.

Jerome’s childhood years were filled with heavy music, with Rage Against the Machine being ever-present in his household. Although Oscar’s style and genre are very different from RATM’s, the band’s influence is pervasive in Jerome’s lyrics. Throughout the record, we can listen to Oscar commenting on today’s political climate in his home country. Musically, The Spoon is like a mixture of Joni Mitchell’s jazz sounds and Jamiroquai’s funk, but with Jerome’s own approach.

With its interesting sounds and deep lyrics, The Spoon is a solid album that should be on everyone’s radar. On December 16, 2022, the musician released the record on both vinyl and CD. We had the chance to interview Oscar Jerome about the best way to listen to The Spoon and what his creative process is like. You can find the interview below, and don’t forget to stream and buy The Spoon. You can also follow Oscar on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Congrats on the physical release of The Spoon! The album is excellent, and it is also very relaxing. How would you describe the perfect atmosphere to listen to the vinyl or CD?

Thank you, glad you’re feeling the album. The album is supposed to be listened to as a whole piece, and it’s a journey through various different states of mind. I think it would be best to listen to it on some good headphones on a long train journey. If you’re listening to the vinyl, I’d say in your comfort zone at home in the evening with a tea, glass of wine, or smoke something, whatever you do to relax and zone in.

The title track is one of my favorite songs in The Spoon. How did the main theme of this track come to life?

As you can probably tell, it is a song about heartbreak, but it is also a metaphor for how people grow and change irreversibly and being able to surrender to life’s path. I’m staring into the spoon and seeing something warped and unrecognizable looking back at me. As humans, we are always arrogantly trying to control everything. We often try to hold on to an old idea of ourselves, someone else, or a relationship because that’s where we feel safe, but that can often be a very damaging approach to life. The most growth comes in grief, and sometimes you have to ride the wave. In a wider sense of the album, the spoon has also become a metaphor for the warped self-image we have all developed in recent years and how that has stopped us being comfortable in ourselves and able to think independently.

Do you ever experience writer’s block? If so, how do you overcome it?

Learning, learning, learning. As long as I am making an effort to practice guitar, learn to play new compositions, read books, have meaningful and difficult conversations, and live life in the real world, I will stay inspired. The times when I can’t write is when I’m spending too much time thinking about myself and other people’s perception of me. I often see this with artists who make a great album and then get a team around them trying force new music out in a hurry; it always loses a bit of the original soul. Great art takes time, consideration, and skill.

I love that The Spoon is full of long songs. This has become less and less common over the years, so what drew you to creating those long tracks?

I’ve always created long songs; I can’t say it’s a conscious decision. When I write music, it is because I’m driven by a feeling, not because I want it to get on radio or TikTok. I write a lot of this music to be played live, and I find it can be hard to really take someone on a journey in three minutes; some people are great at that, but, for me, I need some time to get into a meditative state with a groove.

The Spoon has a lot of interesting sounds. What creative lessons did you learn in the process of recording the album?

I definitely learnt the importance of really getting to know the music with the band before recording. I wrote this music when there were no shows because of COVID, so a lot of my favorite musicians were free to play regularly. We would meet up every Thursday at a rehearsal spot under a pub in South London and play these grooves for hours into the night. Before, I didn’t think so deeply about really honing the feeling of the music as a unit before going into the recording process.

What’s your opinion on today’s popular music? Do you think people need to change what they listen to?

I think mainstream music in general has become very mathematical. The amount of people involved in creating a track makes it very difficult to write something heartfelt or meaningful, and it always feels like some shallow impersonation of something that was made before. We also live in a time where it is very possible to be a more underground artist and still have a good amount of reach because the industry is less controlled by the gatekeepers in big record labels. It’s now more about getting heard above the non-stop noise.

What’s your favorite part of collaborating with other musicians?

When you form a connection with someone and create something beautiful, it feels amazing. I love my solitary creative time being super introspective, but there is something very freeing and vulnerable about sharing creativity with someone.

When you were growing up, did you always want to make music? Or did you have other career paths in mind?

Music has been the only logical path for as long as I can remember. When I was really young, I think I wanted to be a T-Rex, but, in the end, music seemed a slightly more attainable dream.

Featured Image: Alex Waespi

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