12th Annual R&B/Soul Album Nominee
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Record Label: Self-Released
Home Base: New York, NY
Categories Entered: R&B/Soul Album
Work Submitted: Distraction
Artists Featured: ORLY (vocals + additional keys & percussion) – Ben Altman (Guitar) – Mark Palmer (Keyboards + Background vocals on “Temporary” & “This Time”) – Kevin Farrell (Bass) – Adam Jackson (Drums + Percussion) – Dani Elliott (Background vocals on “Beautiful Disguise”) – Aaron Nevezie (additional guitar + percussion)
Who are your influences?: I feel like there are too many to list! I have a huge range of influences from Jazz artists such as Ella Fitzgerald and Dianne Reeves to Old-School Soul singers like, Stevie Wonder and Donny Hathaway. More recently I’ve drawn inspiration from the most amazing singers around, like Erykah Badu and Nikka Costa.
I also draw a lot of inspiration from my peers and co-writers. I’m constantly surrounded by talented people, and learn a lot from all of them.
Describe your nominated work: The alluring and ardent sounds of soul are on display and evident throughout Distraction, the debut full-length album from Australian singer-songwriter, “ORLY.” This powerful and soulful record is a showcase of an up-and-coming star with the determination and hunger necessary to propel this singer into the leagues of Adele and Amy Winehouse. Each track, different to the previous, highlights the versatility and eclectic ability of this talented artist and showcases her many musical influences. From old school soul, to beautiful ballads, to pop, this record is uplifting, sexy and exquisite.
Did you use any unusual effects or instruments in this recording?: Well, my keyboard player thought it would be funny to play a toy piano during one of the sessions, but we kind of loved it and kept it in.
Were there any happy accidents while in the studio, or did everything go as planned?: There are always happy accidents in the studio. As much as we went in with a plan, there are always things that come to you in the moment, or wrong notes played, that will make it into the final mix.
How did you raise the funds for this project? How long do you expect it will take to recoup your out-of-pocket recording expenses?: I am so grateful to have managed to make the record through a Pledge Music campaign. My family, friends and fans were an incredible support throughout the whole process.
I go into these projects knowing I might not ever recoup my out-of-pocket expenses. It would be nice if I could, but that’s not why I make these records.
Why did you choose to submit this work to The 12th IMAs?: I think it’s amazing that there are awards that recognize the efforts of independent artists. We work so hard, just as hard as signed artists do, but very rarely get recognized for our efforts as much. I appreciate the IMAs for being there to draw attention to so many talented people in so many different genres.
What’s your definition of success and how will you know when you’ve achieved it?: I think once we follow our passions, and let go of needing the approval of others, we have achieved success. I feel that as long as I am able to express myself creatively, as long as I get to sing, I am successful.
Are there any songs you wish you wrote and why?: There are 3 full albums I wish that I had written. Who is Jill Scott? by Jill Scott, Grace by Jeff Buckley and Pebble to a Pearl by Nikka Costa. All 3 records are simply fantastic! Each of those records changed me as a musician when I heard them.
How do you discover new music? Do you buy music or are you content with streaming?: I usually ask others who they are listening to. I am not against streaming. I think it’s a good way to discover new music. And I appreciate that my music has been discovered by others through Pandora and Spotify. But once I have discovered a musician and like their music, I prefer to purchase it. I love owning music I love.
Finish this sentence: The music industry is…constantly changing.
What do you have in the works for the upcoming year?: My first ever music video will be released on May 15! I’ve also started a YouTube series called, “ORLY SINGS with…” where every Thursday I get to sing with some of my favourite musicians! http://www.youtube.com/ORLYSINGS (or check them out on the facebook page!)