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OUTER STELLA OVERDRIVE - LADBROKE GROVE - LONDON

I met Raff (vocals and guitar) and Kelvin (bass and vocals) in Margate on a short film I was shooting. I found out that they were also in a band together with 2 other lads; Amin (Keyboard) and Rudy (drums), so I had a little listen. Turns out they are bloody good. So I got in touch and asked if they were up for a feature and they told me to meet them in Ladbroke Grove.

We had a few beers and came up with a loose plan, to get the best falafel wrap in London (bold claim) and see what happens along the way.

This feature has been a long time coming - lockdown put many spanners in the works but we persevered and it was all worth it in the end. These boys are going places so watch out, couldn’t help but bounce about the studio when shooting this.

The falafel wrap was also top drawer.


Why Ladbroke Grove?

Kelvin: We’re in Grove because that’s where our studio is, this is where we make our magic this is where it all happens, it’s where we convene and do the alchemy.

How did you meet?

Raff: So, the band met about 2 and a half years ago. Me and Kelvin met first from being out and about in London and we just started talking cos we were into the same kind of music. I just finished writing with a band and kelvin had a few projects going on and we just started writing music together. This cut to Rudy getting in touch with me because he’d seen I put out a song and I had kinda been looking for a drummer, we’d also known each other for a long time. Amin was final piece of the puzzle; him and Rudy went to college together and after using a few different people we found the final piece of the jigsaw, since then we haven’t really looked back. We’ve been rehearsing in Camden for the last 2 years and we moved to Grove in the last 6 months and we’re just building, building, building.

Describe your sound

Amin: In terms of our sound, we’ve all got different backgrounds and what we bring to the table. It’s a mixture of everything – its London.

Raff: Everything we see and breath in London today we put into our music and we all have different influences. We take pieces from old school blues, funk, scar music, rock – I just call it fusion street punk.

Kelvin: Its dangerous and naughty and something that hasn’t been done before really so yeah, ‘Welcome...’ The project that’s coming out, ‘Clout and Self Doubt,’ you’re gonna get a taste of everything that we grew up around, everything that is us now and how we’ve all married it together.

Raff: People are angry and have a lot to say you know? There’s a lot going on in the world so that’s what we’ve put into this project, our views and how we feel in the current climate of the world.

So London influences your music?

All: Massively!

Raff: London influences us in everything we do, especially the music. All of our lyrics wouldn’t have been written if it wasn’t for the streets of London town.

Kelvin: The lingo’s crazy right, it’s a mixture of so many different cultures and we speak in codes and riddles (screech of mic interference) we speak in frequencies too (laughter). It’s what London’s given us init and we’re just voicing the feeling.

Amin: Course we’re gonna sound like London, this place is so rich in everything, different cultures, different backgrounds so we’re just gonna echo that.

Rudy: It’s in you, you can’t help but bring it out in every creative form, you experience it every day, so I feel like its gonna come out naturally you just gotta stay open to it and let it out.

What and who are your influences?

Raff: Keanu Reeves! We’re not sure if we love him or he’s trying to kill us (laughter)

Kelvin:Jorge Masvidal is one of our influences, Keanu Reeves, these people shaped who we are today really. Musically there’s no influence.

Raff: Nothing beats reality man!

Rudy: We influence each other as well through our music, when we’re just jamming and writing songs, whatever one of us might have been listening to we might have that subconsciously in our head and we bring that to the table and that brings out something in someone else. It all just happens collectively; I would say we influence each other to be honest.

Raff: I used to try and compare our music to other bands that I like but now I don’t think I wanna compare ourselves to anyone else. I feel like we’ve got to a point where our sound is our sound.

Kelvin: We’ve all come on our own mad, different musical journeys, you’ll see that in our music. Ultimately, we try and stay in our world.

Raff: What would Keanu do?

Kelvin: What would Keanu do? Ultimately that’s what it all boils down to, realistically. If he would do it, then we would do it. If he doesn’t then it’s not happening (laughter). Make whatever sense you want from that!

What are your best/ most random gig moments?

Amin: I think my funniest gig moment was when we were playing in Southampton and there was this really drunk guy that comes to the front and he’s like the only one running around shouting “AAAAAAAGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!” dashing around in his element. It gave me fire; it gave me energy.

Raff: For one of our first live shows, me and Rudy got in a fight literally as the gig was about to start. That happened for the first 5 shows, it doesn’t happen anymore (laughter)

Rudy: I think it was good though, we psyched each other up!

Raff: We’ve had all sorts of funny moments, but I think the best gig we played was Dingwall’s, legendary venue and we put on the night ourselves, we had Sam Akpro play and The Surgeons.

Kelvin: It was a good little consolidation of where we were at and it kinda like gave us a believe cause the night was just something else.

What is next for OSO?

Rudy: We released our first single off of the new project ‘Bad Times’ on the 19th June and the second one ‘Three Piece’ came out on 16th September. ‘Clout and Self-doubt’ will be out by the end of the year - you heard it here first so make sure you look out for it. We’ve just recorded a new project which we wrote in about 7 days during lockdown in July and that’s gonna be fucking amazing to be honest and another step up.

Raff: We’ll be playing shows as soon as we possibly can, we promise everyone, we’ll be doing shows every week in every city!

Kelvin: We’ll be in your houses; we’ll be sipping your beers! (laughter)

Where is OSO going?

Kelvin: We’re going to space; we’re going to the top!

Raff: We’re going to our version of the top, we’re gonna keep doing what we do and we’re not gonna take much notice of what people think about it. We have fun and we get the impression that people enjoy it so that’s all that matters really. We’re gonna keep playing music forever.

Kelvin: We love it and we just wanna carry on loving it and share the word to everyone that feels the same way.

Raff: Just like Keanu would do.

Kelvin: Exactly, we’re gonna break the matrix.