We had a chat with Istanbul-born producer Ozoyo about his latest video release “Daydream in Green” (we absolutely love the visuals for that!), about his love and hate for his hometown and making his friend change their view on jazz music.
Hey dear Ozoyo! Thanks for your time! So let´s start with the first question…
Hey, Thanks to you too.
What´s the meaning of your artist´s name Ozoyo?
It has no meaning. When I came up with the name, it sounded very galactic to me. And that’s why I chose the name.
You are based in Istanbul, right? Is that where you grew up as well? And what things do you love and what things don´t you like about the city?
I lived in Istanbul until I was 10 or 11, then moved to Stuttgart, Germany for a bit and I was back in Istanbul at age 18. I love Istanbul but at the same time I hate the city. I think most of the people that live here feel the same way. I love the parks and the green areas in Istanbul. But I hate the cars and the traffic jams.
Do you find more inspiration in silence or when it´s buzzing with life around you?
It’s a tough question but I think both. Both inspire me differently and that’s why I feel different everyday. But I prefer to make music in silence.
“Most of my friends used to think jazz music is boring, but after hearing how I sampled jazz, they now think jazz is actually a pretty cool genre. .”
You started with rap and hiphop and beats and later found your fascination for jazz and instrumental. I read that you found old jazz records in record stores and started sampling them with hip-hop beats and experimental sounds. What were those first jazz records that you discovered back then?
When you do music on your own, you actually study different music cultures without pressure at home and you travel back in history. And at the same time, I‘m trying to follow the current music trends. I grew up with Hip-Hop. Then, I started to discover various other genres and that’s when I discovered my fascination with jazz music. Most of my friends used to think jazz music is boring, but after hearing how I sampled jazz, they now think jazz is actually a pretty cool genre.
Back to your question. Chet Baker, John Coltrane, Weather Report, Miles Davis, Wes Montgomery, Charles Mingus, etc. Actually, all the stars of that era where modern jazz music emerged. I found all these artists online and always tried to find their vinyl records. At some point, I gave up searching for records because they are just too expensive in Turkey.
Who would you consider a role model for you music wise?
It’s hard to say just one person. But I think J Dilla.
“I love the parks and the green areas in Istanbul. But I hate the cars and the traffic jams.”
Your last two song titles are referring to your fascination with plants and passion for nature. So is there a message behind your songs to respect nature more?
The construction industry in İstanbul is expanding day by day. The investment in construction only benefits the build of shopping centers, housing estates etc. and thus the city suffers from lack of not just nature, but also plants, animals and people. There should be more investment in parks than in skyscrapers. This system has pushed me into the corner where I have my plants. So I give them water and let them grow.
I love the visuals for your latest release Daydream in Green! How did the collaboration with director Elif Küçük come about? And did you give her total creative freedom to realize the video or you pitched some ideas to her of what you had in mind?
I met Elif 2 years ago in Berlin. I found her to be very creative and talented. When I finished the demo for the song, I sent it to her and after one month, she had the video ready. The video came out really good. And of course, she had her artistic freedom.
The cover of ”Daydream in Green” was made by Hazal Hıdır and I work with her on all my artworks. She is very talented and she was given full artistic freedom as well. All of you please follow Elif Küçük and Hazal Hıdır.
What do you love daydreaming about?
About a loft where many creative people live to make art and I witness their art first-hand.
Do you live by a sort of life plan or you go with the flow?
I go with the flow, you never know what’s coming.
Your biggest fears?
Your biggest strength?
I don’t know. I think you have to ask my friends.
If you could take only one person on a remote island with you, who would that be?