Poetic lyricist and – for some as yet unfathomed reason – fiercely popular in Turkey, Dublin-based Wexford lass Claire Odlum has been performing as ODi for seven years, producing a string of memorable folk-pop hits centered around here powerful voice. The last couple of years have really seen the singer come into her own, producing stunning album in the company of musical legends like The Frames star Colm Mac Con Iomaire. Here’s her take on life so far, and her up and coming appearance at YouBloom:
The music industry’s a brutal place, and selling yourself is never easy. If you had thirty seconds to sell ODi to music fans, what would you want them to know?
An Irish female singer/guitar player, joined by Dave Redfearn on guitar and harmonica. Her voice covers a large range and has a powerful but haunting quality, a wonderful mix of gentle Irish tinged vocals with energetic choruses that get inside of you and draw you in.
What’s the story behind your choice of name?
ODi is the combination of my nickname in college and a typo from the first poster we were billed on.
YouBloom is taking a very international approach to promoting up and coming artists. Is there anything in particular you’re looking forward to?
Im looking forward to attending some of the discussion panels and meeting the other bands.
Not so long ago a fan of yours was Retweeting a lot of links to your track ‘Something Beautiful’ fairly regularly on Twitter. I interpreted ODi – Something Beautiful as a shortened One Direction track. What’s the more conventional route to a first encounter with your music?
I heard about the One Direction link which made me laugh, it makes a change from the cricket! [ODI stands for One Day International in cricket] I guess people usually find us through the gigs (we gig a lot) or from one of the YouTube videos.
I hear you’ve had some international success in terms of YouTube views, especially in Turkey. How did this come about?
I have no idea how or why the video has taken off in Turkey, it just suddenly started going viral about a year ago and it hasn’t really slowed down since. I’m just grateful people are enjoying it!
What’s the most flattering, and – dare we ask – the least flattering thing anyone’s said about your music so far?
Most flattering: A few people have said they’ve played our music walking down the aisle.
Least flattering: Nobody’s said anything to my actual face but we did get bumped down at a festival once for Joe McElderry which was a little bit annoying, but heh, that’s show business!
You’re just back from a tour of Germany, Belgium and Holland. How did things go?
We played mainly in Germany, which was brilliant, cant wait to get back there, lovely people and amazing audiences, so enthusiastic and eager to join in with the singing. Great cake too!
Is travel also part of what pushes you forward as a musician?
The opportunity to travel is definitely part of the driving force to being a musician, its a brilliant way to see the world and visit places that may be a little more off the beaten track.
Maslow’s Songbook, your debut album, has some high profile guests and a major Irish producer. What inspired it, and what are your personal highs on the album?
Maslow’s songbook is the first album so the inspiration came from lots of different sources, including films, bands, family, friends and the need to sell something professional at our gigs!
We were lucky enough to have Ronan O’Snodaigh and Colm Mac Con Iomaire for an afternoon and we were in awe watching them work, they made it look so easy, it was a great experience.
You won an EMA Award as the best female at back in 2011. Did it make much difference to your career?
I don’t know if the EMA award has made a difference really but it does help when booking gigs!
Your Facebook page suggests you like to play a lot of smaller events – living rooms, other intimate settings – do you consciously search out the less obvious venues?
I don’t consciously search out for the less obvious venues but they are usually the ones that are the most memorable and fun to do, so maybe subconsciously I do actually seek them out!
ODi play The Stag’s Head, Temple Bar, Dublin at 11.10 on Saturday June the 29th 2013, as part of YouBloom@Dublin.