British pop duo Oh Wonder share tips for aspiring musicians ahead of their first gig in Hong Kong

Oh Wonder are coming to the 852, and are promising to bring the “full experience” to their HK performance

Chris Gillett |

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Anthony West and Josephine Vander Gucht are really excited to come to HK.

British electro-pop duo Oh Wonder dropped their second album Ultralife last week, following the huge success of their self-titled debut in 2015, which sold more than 500,000 copies worldwide and has been streamed more than 500 million times. The band will hit the 852 to perform at Kitec, in Kowloon Bay, in two weeks, so Young Post caught up with Josephine Vander Gucht and Anthony West to find out what they have planned.

How did you meet?

Anthony: We met in a studio in London several years ago, and we realised that we had very similar music tastes growing up. We hit it off, and song writing felt pretty easy. With others, we’d found it difficult, and this was a strong relationship right from the start.

How would you describe your new album, Ultralife?

Josephine: There are 12 songs, and we’ve written about the highs and lows of touring. The first album was a lot more experimental, with different sounds and textures, but on Ultralife, people can expect the same sort of energy that we bring to our live shows, as we had the full band with us.

Did you feel any pressure writing this album after the huge success of the first?

A: I guess there was pressure, but we started while we were on the road, so we didn’t finish the last album cycle and have nothing – that would have been quite scary. We spent a month in New York, where we wrote about half of the new record. It felt quite casual – we didn’t really think about it, which is the best way to tackle these things.

What can we expect from your Hong Kong show?

A: It’ll be our first time in Hong Kong, so we’re really excited. We always love going to a new place for the first time, because everything feels new and fresh.

J: We’re bringing all our crew with us, our own lights, so it’ll be the full experience. And you can expect a nice balance of material from both albums.

Will you get any time to explore the city before or after the show?

J: Yeah we’ll have a day off after the show. One of my close friends lived there for a while, so they will give us some recommendations, although I don’t think we’ll be able to explore everything in just one day!

How do you normally spend your days off?

J: We like going to local restaurants, and we love running, so we try and fit that in when we can and, if we have enough time, we try and do an activity of some sort.

What advice would you give to aspiring musicians?

A: I would say never be scared to release your art. Because chances are, someone is going to really like it. That’s kind of how we started. We’d write simple songs, put them up online, and we gradually built it from there.

J: My advice would be – practise, practise, practise. Whatever your craft is, whether it’s songwriting or singing, just practise. You could write 200 songs before you get a good one, so just keep practising.

Catch Oh Wonder at Kitec on Friday 4 August. See Ticketflap for tickets.

Edited by Ginny Wong