Unedited conversations between artist in a productive critique  discovering  thesis and processes behind the work.








Conversation between OLY and Olivia Ramos.



"You Are Heading In The Right Direction"

Album Cover by Christoph Morlinghaus, 2016


OLY:  ‪hey girl hay‬‬


RAMOS:  ‪Hi Oly, thank you for joining me‬‬


‪thanks for having me!‬‬


before we start... do you have any of the work/performance on YouTube?‬‬


hmm no i periscoped it live but i didn’t wasn’t able to download it‬‬


what is periscoped?‬‬


oh its awesome‬‬


its live feed of whatever you want on your phone


so you can watch what anyone is broadcasting anywhere in the world


its an app on your iphone


‪ohh kind of like snapchat?‬‬


‪i was bored the other night and made friends with people in Bahrain


or tried to




i haven’t used snapchat but i think so. its only available for 24 hours


right.. that's sort of weird cause you have to keep up with people you follow daily or you might miss something‬‬


very consuming


is there anything online that we can reference in regards to your work?


oh yeah that sounds like a lot of work‬‬


i have a sound cloud right now but the new stuff isn’t there yet


i need to finish the mixing portion of the EP


what's EP?‬‬


but there are some new collaborations on there‬‬


I’m releasing an EP


extended player


‪what's that?‬‬


i mean.. i can guess from the name but i want to make sure i know what it is


its shorter than an album‬‬


like a teaser


‪between a single and an album‬‬


‪i think an ep has to have 8 songs or less‬‬


anything more is an album


like a short film‬‬




its going to have 6 songs


it’s tentatively called “You Are Heading In The Right Direction”


but i’m kind of leaning towards changing it to just The Songbook i dunno..


‪i like the first title... what's the right direction and how does that relate to the six songs?‬‬


it’s actually a fortune cookie fortune that i have kept for 15 years or so‬‬


i’ve kept it sandwiched btwn a piece of plexi


on my windowsill


“you are heading in the right direction”


its just a little reminder to myself i have kept around


and i wanted to call this EP that bc i’m had a long hiatus of putting out music


these songs were also an exercise in pop structure‬‬




what do you mean by pop structure?‬‬


most pop songs on the radio don’t deviate from a basic formula of verse chorus verse chorus bridge chorus or something like that and i had never written songs with this idea in mind and i wanted to try this out myself‬‬


my previous release A Hot Hooray was more stream of conscious style of writing‬‬


yes I am listening to your earliest sound cloud Dissolve Disappear


which has a narrative structure - but it sort of carries a subtle chorus


although definitely not the conventional pop-structure you mentioned


‪yeah i tended not to repeat very much‬‬


‪and how does that work? is it mathematical as in every verse is a an equation or proof that becomes foundation for the chorus?‬‬


so that the chorus makes more and more sense as the song continues


yeah thats exactly how a pop song structure is supposed to work the chorus should repeat yet evolve with more meaning if it’s done well‬‬


yes that can be powerful.. i can also see the inverse which would be more like a book... there is a beginning an ending and somewhere in between a climax‬‬


its kinda funny.. because life can be like both


sometimes we need to make the same mistakes again and hear that chorus


oh man so true‬‬


‪and sometimes we break through the first time and reach a climax‬‬




‪i find myself retelling myself or learning the same lessons over an over‬‬


i think i've experienced both‬‬


and prefer not to hear the chorus.. it's like life saying "i told you so"


but in music it can be an interesting exploration


if you want to get the point across


sometime it's best to say things many times in different ways to really get through someone


yeah and to yourself‬‬




one song that comes to mind that has no chorus is Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen


i don't know why i just thought of it


yeah i’m thinking about that song now‬‬


i gotta hear it thats a wild one


‬it is.. i mean it's epic


so epic‬‬


‪and it was pop in it's time‬‬


do you think pop in time has become repetitive as a reflection of newer generations?


hmm some pop is always repetitive in its nature of wanting to be on the radio but music is always changing‬‬


its hard to make a blanket statement like that of all music because theres always some crazy out there stuff


for the most part i feel the pop music now is getting more and more interesting.


as far as there being something like bohemian rhapsody on the radio... oof


maybe far from that but theres some weird shit making waves for sure


give me an example‬‬


on the radio weird? i’d have to say a lot of the newer hip hop stuff sounds so avant guard to me let me think of something..‬‬


the bass and really spaced out production


‪is that a song?‬‬


i am very much out of the loop when it comes to pop


no no i’m just describing it hold on i’m looking it up‬‬


this is what i was thinking


but hearing it now it doesn’t sound as crazy as my memory




but i think its really interesting


there some other stuff too let me see if i can find it...


sorry i got a little distracted‬‬




no worries


yeah i'm looking at stuff too


one artist that sort of comes to mind when i hear your work is Bjork


yeah i grew up listening to her music‬‬


yeah the post era, so into it‬‬


probably so much so i can’t really listen to it anymore lol


yeah i haven't in a while either... and new things are refreshing‬‬


i am more interested in how these things reflect the social norm


feels like more and more the words are simpler, more straight forward, devoid of metaphors and not necessarily in a bad way


would you say that pop today is more transparent?


simplistic even? maybe that's harsh


hmm well Bjork’s new album is def a return to simplicity and straight forward‬‬




is that what we've become?


simple and straight forward


‬hm.. i doubt we all can be on the same page hahaha


well ... we have a common language which reflects the times‬‬


like we don't speak in thou and wilts


language too has become simple




oh totally especially with texting and twitter‬‬


get to the point real quick


can’t be wasting peoples time


the point is... as reflected in music... are we heading towards 10 second songs?‬‬


and in a way this repetition chorus structure is that


it is small fragments in repetition


i’m sure the 10 second song exist but its not quite satisfying unless you want a sort of instant gratification sort of like a Polaroid Picture.


it depends on your audience too.


pop punk songs were always notoriously short. i was writing songs that were under 2 minutes, but now i felt like let’s do a proper pop song with repetition and build up and gradual things, build, take apart. gets more interesting.‬‬


so in a way you are trying to upgrade pop


or give it justice


‪haha i love that, upgrade pop. yeah totally, i’m going to the school of pop basically. making notes and shit‬‬


‪what is the school of pop?‬‬


i also couldn’t do another stream of conscious type of recording. i felt like that was nice but i need to try out things too.‬‬


i don’t think there is such a thing of school of pop but there is the school of rock for kids lol‬‬


maybe its an after school program since they don’t really teach music in school anymore


ohh... well yes... in regards to the stream of thought... i think even Bohemian Rhapsody has structure... its just not repetitive‬‬


structure and repetition are very different things


although repetition can be structural


structural does not have to be repetitive