INTERVIEW: 2012 Olympic Performer, Midé Oguns
Previous to Beautiful Town Music’s 2nd night of showcasing rising local musicians at the Gulbenkian, we caught up with Dartford’s Mide who has featured on BBC’s Radio Kent and acted as the sponsored act for Greenwich in the 2012 Olympics.
Q: What are your influences?
Mide: At the moment a lot of guitar players, from Eric Clapton to Kings of Leon to Michael Kiwanuka. I find being able to express yourself like that makes me tick.
Q: Where did you record your EP The Only Way is Up?
MIde: We recorded in Essex. We found a theatre space and converted it and recorded everything live. It took around 7 or 8 hours on one day and we just cracked the whole thing out.
Q: Did you have a musical upbringing?
Mide: Not really. I didn’t play any instrument until I was 18, which was 7 years ago, but my father used to play records around the house. I was always around music but I just never picked anything up and played it.
Q: What do you think of the London music scene?
Mide: It’s built for live music. It has so many platforms and opportunities, every day there’s some live event to go to.
Q: Did you start off with open mic nights?
MIde: Yes; I could only play like three chords when I started, it was awful but I just pushed myself. I knew I wanted to be good so I just continued to play.
Q: Did you get a large variety of venues?
Mide: Yeah some of them. You’re playing to like 5 people where they’re all by the bar and you’re shouting to get their attention; whereas in some places you have the audience’s attention and you hope you don’t screw up.
Q: What’s the best gig you played?
Mide: Very early on I got put on a headline gig with a friend of mine which had a thousand seats. Perhaps I wasn’t ready for it but that was probably my biggest gig.
Q: Do you prefer smaller or larger venues?
MIde: They both have different qualities. With a large crowd, you feel like you’re connecting with a whole entity. With a smaller crowd, you have a more personal connection.
Q: You were sponsored by Greenwich for the 2012 Olympics. How was that?
Mide: It was really nice. I didn’t know if I would be able to do it, but I just went to them to ask and they said yes. They were keen in getting me to play different places and it was the first time I had ever done busking. I don’t know if I would do it again but it was an experience.
Q: Have you worked with Avi or Emily before?
MIde: I played at the songwriter’s circle last year, they’re nice people man.
Q: Have you got any plans for the future?
Mide: I’m playing my biggest solo show at a theatre in London near Kings Cross. I’m nervous and excited as it’s a lot of people but, either way, it’s going to be good. It’s on the 11th of April.
Q: What inspired you to start making music?
Mide: I was writing music and was part of a bigger band, however people in the band had other commitments so had to stop. I didn’t want to and I learned the guitar, as I didn’t want to have to rely on a big band, and have been playing solo ever since.
Q: Would you like to form a band?
Mide: I work with a band now and, in fact, it’s strange for me to be doing a completely solo gig. Being in a band and solo have different attributes, but having a band behinds me adds to the depth of the songs.
Interviewed by Matthew Byron