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Ny Oh’s world is peaceful, sweet and soft. The New Zealand raised songwriter and producer’s EP Garden of Eden has been on repeat, with her soaring vocals, thoughtful lyrics and natural production. The body of work helpeed the artist to process “…love, loneliness, racism, ancestors, autonomy, mysticism, humanity and earth”. The project sounds and feels so special, so we spoke to Ny Oh (who also features in Harry Styles’ touring band), about the music and the importance of working with women:

Your EP is otherworldly. What was your intention with Ny Oh’s Garden of Eden?

"Well, thank you!  In the great worlds of Solange ‘ do nothing without intention’ right?! I had a lot to prove to myself with this EP, and am proud to say I feel good about the whole process of it all. The greater intention was to share this vibe with whoever it wants to resonate with. They are songs that open up a sensitive space in people and I understand that not everyone's cup of tea. These songs are the fruits of my labour, the ‘treats’ for all the digging around in my heart and mind and what better way to celebrate that than giving them away."

You’ve said you only wanted to work with women in the studio. What did you learn from that experience?

"For this project, yes. I needed to make a space, from the ground up, in a studio, where I felt good about creating. When I was brainstorming what that space would look like, I wrote down, ‘lots of women’. I then realised I'd always been the only woman in on sessions, that i’d never been in a studio with an all women crew.. So the idea sparked from there and very quickly became a solid plan. Every woman friend I asked to join was super pumped about seeing what kind of atmosphere that creates in a usually male dominated space. I can confirm it was amazing. The conversation is different with a group of women, the way music was discussed was really refreshing for everyone there. I won’t only exclusively work with women in the studio in the future, but I know what a safe and supportive studio environment looks like now and I'm thankful for that."

What were you feeling inspired by when you created these songs? Tell us about the writing process behind the EP.

"I was feeling inspired to use my voice to make people feel. Yes, we connect easily with songs about love and loss, they trigger such personal feelings within us; could we connect on the same level with songs about activism? Could we feel the world on the same level? We are, of course, capable of this as humans. To get through each day, there's a certain distance we put between our empathy and the world in order not to be heartbroken by all that's going on (the internet makes it increasingly harder not to feel helpless to it all). But what if the music I create can bridge the separation we create in a kind way? In a way that we are emphatic and empowered to make changes to our own lives. Everything we do in this life has a ripple effect." 

Tell us about Ny Oh’s Garden of Eden… what is it like there? It feels like a very real place!

"It’s this world. It’s everything, it’s nothing, it’s ever evolving. Initially, the Garden of Eden was the actual name of the hostel i was living at here i started writing the track. It then became Aotearoa and my dream of home. Over the years I've learned we need all of it, all the good, bad, negative and positive to live this life. The bible's Garden of Eden was this fluffy place of innocence and really tasty fruit. One snake changed that all. But was it really the snake? He was always there? Perspective shifted. This world can be the Garden of Eden we all imagine, perspective just needs to shift. No one can give you that except you."

Did growing up in New Zealand shape your sound? Who were some of your first musical influences?

"Oh for sure, and it still does. I’m fascinated with the kiwi sound.. Most of my favourite artists are from Aotearoa. This incredibly beautiful place, one could almost call it, the Garden of Eden. It is so inspiring, so pristine… how can that not influence who you are. I love to see the way this land speaks through artists, and on top of that, How the Maori and Polynesian cultures influence the ‘NZ sound’. I grew up listening to OMC, Crowded House, Bic Runga, Split Enz, DD Smash, The Mutton Birds, The Black Seeds, Kora, Katchafire."

You’ve been touring with Harry. What have you loved about this experience? 

"I love the ever changing environments. I love having a job where two days are never the same. I love his fan base, they are such amazing audiences to play for."

What has he and the whole band taught you?

"How to be a more versatile musician. There's nothing that wasn’t already within me before this job, but having people see it and encourage me to be confident with my gifts has been so wonderful. The environments that we’re playing in are always changing, it’s fun to figure out yourself as a musician in these spaces." 

What has been the best moment on your journey so far?

"It’s hard to pinpoint that to one moment. The moment I chose this life is one that was so defining, it will always be a special moment to me. It was 2014,  I’d just broken up with someone and I'd been kicked out of my flat. I was sat on Camden High Street with my bags, nowhere to go, no plans, no job. I had this feeling of peace and space come over me. I realised that I had the opportunity to live any life that I wanted, to build anything I dreamt of. For the first time in my life, I realised my own power. We really have nothing but love at the end of the day, it’s a choice that only we can make to give it to ourselves. " 

The world is obviously in a lot of turmoil right now - what are you hopeful for?

"I’m hopeful for the individual power we all have. I’m hopeful for the necessity of connection, as we’re driven further away from it by all the external sources, we’re pushed closer to seeking it for ourselves. Everything feels so cyclical, let’s be kind, let’s enjoy the ride, let’s bring meaning to all that we do. Love is infectious, Love inspires action. Action inspires change." 

What’s next?

"I’m writing an album. I'm riding the waves. I’m staying open to everything."

Listen to Garden of Eden here.