EXCLUSIVE: Interview With UK Based Country Duo O & O

O & O are an exciting UK based, American-Israeli country music duo who are gearing up for the release of their second single ‘Some Days’. The new track is the follow up to their debut single ‘Traveling’ which was one of the many highlights of the UK’s homegrown country/Americana scene last year.

The duo consisting of Orian Peled and Obadiah Jones who are not only singing partners but also boyfriend and girlfriend, will release their new single ‘Some Days’ on the 26th of January. Here we speak exclusively to O & O about their new music, dream collaborations, touring plans, the UK country scene and much, much more;

Growing up what/who inspired your love of music?

Obadiah: From a very young age, I had an unexplainable desire to play the guitar: there is home video footage of me as a three year old strumming a tennis racket and singing. Then a few years later my parents, who have always been lovers of music and very encouraging, helped me construct a guitar from cardboard and bits of string. The only problem was that I expected it to actually become a real guitar once finished…I was quite disappointed. Finally, I got my first real guitar for my fifth Christmas and I was away. 

Orian: My mother is a dancer and from a young age I was around music and performance – there is a photo of me crawling around on the floor during one of my mom’s dance rehearsals. I was the kind of kid who got up on the chair in the living room and forced my family to be my attentive audience. When I was seven, my family moved to the USA for two years, which introduced me to American music and that greatly influenced my taste. 

Who are your all time musical heroes?

We are hugely influenced by classic songwriters such as Paul Simon, Carole King, James Taylor and Stevie Nicks, to name a few of many. Apart from that, Obadiah is a die-hard Beatles fan…and that is an understatement.

If you could collaborate with anyone who would you choose?

There are some great musicians and producers we would be honored to work with: Matt Ingram for his work with Lewis & Leigh and The Staves, and Dave Cobb for his work with Chris Stapleton, Jason Isbell and Lake Street Dive. 

How did the band name O&O come about?

It’s actually quite simple. We thought about some of our favorite duos, such as Simon & Garfunkel and Hall & Oates, and because it is a cool coincidence that both our names start with the letter ‘O’, we became O&O.

How did you two meet?

Orian: We met while studying for a Music (BA) at The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts. We were in the same class and started sharing music with each other during the first few weeks of the course. Obadiah became the guitarist in my project and later I sang backing vocals for his project.

What made you want to form a duo?

We didn’t exactly set out to be a duo in the beginning. We each had our individual music projects, but we had already started songwriting together. We took a summer job performing as a duo on a cruise ship in the Caribbean before our last year of Uni. Initially we just thought of it as a job and that we would just be playing cover songs together, but the response from our audiences on the ship was so overwhelmingly positive that it made us reconsider. People would tell us how much they liked the two of us together and the blend of our voices, so we thought there might be something special there. 

Your new single ‘Some Days’ will be released on the 26th how excited are you for the fans to hear it? 

We are really excited about this song and can’t wait to share it with the lovely people who have been supporting our music from the beginning and hopefully we’ll reach some new ears too! It’s been a bit of a journey with this song because we wrote it in Nashville, then recorded it in Liverpool and recently we shot the music video in London. ‘Some Days’ is also a little bit different than our last single, ‘Traveling’, in terms of the subject matter. It is more personal and vulnerable.

Do you have any touring plans lined up this year?

We still don’t have confirmed dates for the summer, but we have some exciting gigs in March when we will be performing for Youth Music’s Give A Gig week at Omeara in London (date TBA) and also showcasing at The Acoustic Folk Highway on March 25th at The Harrison.

Can fans expect an album from you soon?

We definitely want to record an album at some point, but fans can expect an EP sooner.

Being based in Britain, how excited are you about the growth of UK country?

We love that Country and Americana music is growing in the UK! We didn’t even have an idea of how rich and diverse the scene is here before we moved to London. It may be a small scene compared with the US, but the people here are so passionate and welcoming to newcomers like us. 

What are your long term career goals?

We’re in it for the long haul! We want to continue to record new music and grow with our audience. We hope to eventually tour the world and spread our music as far and wide as possible!

Make sure you follow O & O on Twitter @oandoduo to keep up to date with all their latest music and tour news!

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Written by Laura Klonowski

Qualified music journalist! Writing single/album/live reviews, feature articles, interviews, and news pieces.
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