Words: Cris O. Ramos Jr.

The London-based duo of Josephine Vander Gucht and Anthony West, popularly known
as Oh Wonder recently held their successful first solo concert held at Samsung Hall,
SM Aura last July 21, 2017. MCA Music organized a roundtable press conference hours
before the concert in promotion of the duo’s second album Ultralife.

The group considers this their first proper release, as their self-titled debut was a compilation of tracks released online before they unexpectedly became successful. Their return to Manila was warranted after a successful turn at last year’s Good Vybes
Festival.

“It was great and amazing to focus on loads of different songs and kind of come up
with 30 songs and come up and choose which ones would make an album as opposed
to what you referred to as a compilation, hands down,” said Anthony.

“It was great to be able to pick a blend of upbeat pop songs and ballads and songs
that grow and songs about different things. It’s a lot more varied and turned them into
one body of work which was really perfect,” Josephine added. “To me it’s about, I
guess, the context about finding someone or something that makes you feel ‘ultra’.
Lyrically to us its about the highs and lows of touring and musically it’s a lot more
varied and diverse than our previous album. It’s upbeat and full of energy.”

Josephine found the album to be a very personal. “To me it’s about, I guess,
the context about finding someone or something that makes you feel ‘ultra’, she
elaborated. “Lyrically to us it’s about the highs and lows of touring. Musically it’s a lot
more varied and diverse than our previous album. It’s upbeat and full of energy.”

While the band has found a great deal of success, they maintain a DIY-approach,
doing virtually anything they can do on their own, from booking their own flights
up to the packaging of their album and merchandise art, and down to the lighting set-up of
their live shows. “In terms of dealing with, as you said it, ‘the gritty stuff,’ there are
some days where you’re doing something and you think ‘I’m just a songwriter, why do I
feel like I’m managing a business and dealing with social media and having to come up
with different ideas?’ Josephine explained. “It’s overwhelming sometimes but it’s
incredible because we’re control freaks, we love learning and we’ve learned so much. I
love travelling and meeting new people and at the same time find a new appreciation
for the people who mean so much to you and kind of learn to appreciate the good stuff
that comes with the gritty stuff…”

“We’ve always felt that there shouldn’t be a middleman between you and your
fans,” Anthony quipped.

 

FEATURED IMAGE: via Oh Wonder on Facebook

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