Rising: ((( O ))) is nourishing her soul
((( O ))) has chosen a name that’s unpronounceable on purpose. “I don’t resonate with my [given] name,” the emerging experimental R&B auteur explains, speaking over a crackly line from the Philippine jungle. “I’m super energy-based, so the best representation of who I am is without words.”
She’s not even worried about being impossible to search on the internet. “It’s really good that I’ve ‘self-sabotaged’ by not having a name,” she reflects. “It keeps me grounded, and constantly reminds me of why I’m doing this project at all. This is not just about music or getting famous.”
This sustainable, big-picture approach is unsurprising. After leaving “everything” behind in America, ((( O ))) works alone from a solar-powered treehouse studio in the jungle. She’s at the beginning of a 12-year-long project during which she will release yearly musical ‘sundrops’, and shorter monthly ‘moondrops’. Her latest moondrop, a track named One, Two, is typical of her work so far: blissed-out R&B rhythms interacting with her elastic vocals, alongside lyrical references to following the stars.
"I’m powered by the sun and don’t depend on anyone. Creating art without needing anyone's approval is the most pure form of discovering yourself."
Figuring out how ((( O ))) links her ecologically-minded life in the jungle – where she has opened a community store, searches for ancient medicinal plants and works under a spiritual mentor – to the Western world can be difficult for her. “Sharing this with people is a whole other challenge,” she muses. “How can I bridge [my work] with modernity without compromising? How far can I push it without losing the things I believe in?”
((( O ))) is certain that the will of nature is best left untampered with, both within the natural world and within herself. Her approach is a breath of fresh air in a music industry that has been increasingly scrutinised for being eco-ignorant. “Using solar panels, I’m powered by the sun and don’t depend on anyone. Creating art without needing anyone’s approval is the most pure form of discovering yourself. I need to go back into society to spread these messages the best way I know how, which is through music.”
Later in the year, ((( O ))) will release her first annual sundrop at a launch that will promote biodiversity, gardening and a sustainable approach to living. The record features gorgeous nature recordings, thoughtful spoken word and ruminations on the universe through ((( O )))’s eyes. Although she concedes that the world is “pretty much fucked,” she wants to share as much of her knowledge from the jungle as she can with others. “You have to go back and try to help,” she says determinedly. “I can serve the world with my message, and bring the things we may have forgotten back here as well. I can do both worlds.”
Sounds like: Low-slung, soul-nourishing R&B
Soundtrack for: Reflective morning walks in the sunshine
File next to: Raveena, Jhene Aiko
Our favourite song: One, Two
Where to find her: thesundropgarden.bandcamp.com
((( O )))’s debut album is set for release this summer.