Olicía is the band of two prominent vocalists and multi-instrumentalists Fama M'Boup and Anna-Lucia Rupp from Berlin, Germany, and Copenhagen, Denmark: two voices, two loop stations and a variety of acoustic and electronic instruments that combine traces of Soul, Jazz, folk, electronic and global pop in something that is completely yours.
Their debut album “Liquid Lines” will arrive on October 1 after two Eps in 2018 and 2019 and countless concerts in recent years. It was recorded with Miles Deiaco at Monoton Studio, Berlin, and will be released in late summer 2021. Guests on "Liquid Lines" include experimental French harpist Laura Perrudin, drummer Demian Kappenstein (ÄTNA) and Wencke Wollny (Karl die Große).
"Liquid Lines" will take two different forms. There will be a regular 10-track digital album on streaming services, while the physical album will be a 20-track / two-disc affair - each Lp or Cd will function as a completely different version of the album with regards to lyrics, instrumentation, grooves, collaboration partners, or even language. It's quite a unique listening experience - immersing yourself in the dreamlike variations of these songs as the two women emphasize, obscure, or replace certain elements, and many times drift into something entirely new and unexpected. This is how Fama and Anna-Lucia would like this album to be understood, as a meditation on the liquid lines of demarcation of what constitutes a song. And, in a larger scheme, the infinite possibilities that constitute art and life itself. The "liquid lines" of retouching and amending, bending and adjusting, of thinking, not thinking, and rethinking the same thing.
We have had the pleasure of speaking with them, and this has been the result.
Can you tell us a little about your experience? Where are you from / how did you get into music? Fama
We are both from Germany, Anna from a small south German village and Fama from Berlin. We got to know each other in Dresden, where we both studied and made a lot of music in Annas rehearsal space. But we both got into music way earlier, both having some experiences with piano, singing and playing saxophone and clarinet, but that is another story…
The basis on which we create music together is our Jazzbackground. We both love to improvise and be creative in the moment and what we do now is mostly based on that approach. We learned to listen to one another, feel the room around us and just be spontaneous, playful and brave. I guess this is still the biggest drive in our music – back then and now.
How is your sound evolving? What artists and genres do you enjoy mixing right now? Fama
We recorded our first EP in Anna’s little band room pretty much by ourselves. Our sound evolved in quality but also in the things we imagine when writing a song. We understand the potential of the idea way better and are able to follow what the song needs.
For me personally it feels like our sound grew deeper and got richer in color and expression. The stories we tell are more personal, more tragic, more enlightening and more wholehearted than they have been before. I guess our sound evolved in that sense, too. At the moment it feels like throwing artists like Little Dragon, Björk, Thom Yorke, Jordan Rakei, Cecile McLaurenSalvant and Laura Mvula into one pot, mixing it all up thoroughly and then drawing inspiration from that. It’s pretty wild!
How do you feel that your music influences or impacts your listeners?
It is an amazing feeling when our music touches people. But that is never the main focus or goal when we write. The first premise is for the two of us to like it. We are very different in our tastes and approaches to music and that gives us the chance to take different perspectives on the work.
There is one central impact that we’d like to have on our listener though: We want people to actively listen to music again. In times of ephemeral consumption of music through streaming platforms and playlists we want to make people listen to our music actively and discover differences, nuances and details in color and expression.
What projects are you working on right now? What can you tell us about your last job?
We are about to release our debut album “Liquid Lines” on Ocotber 1st. It’s going to be a double two version album – so 10 original songs in two different versions, two different energies and moods. We were thinking about how music is received these days and thought: we have to make people buy records again. So you will get 10 songs online but the 20 only on vinyl and CD.
This means that it is needed to sit down, take some time, put the record on and consciously experience the beauty of it. You can listen, compare and enjoy a bigger arch of music. It will almost feel like a live experience where you can discover so much!
Where are you and what have you been doing now?
I am on the German countryside with some friends for the weekend. From time to time I need to take a break from the traffic, hastiness, and noise in Berlin, which I love and enjoy most of the time. Anna
I am in Copenhagen where I create some new music and draw from a much wider range of inspiration. I’ve met crazy people, lovely musicians and beautiful human beings that opened up so many doors that I haven’t known existed. I enjoy that while trying to stay calm and settled.
Has that sound changed a lot in recent years? What is your musical criteria?
We are constantly checking in, showing each other new music we discovered, artists that we like and new approaches to music, we find interesting. Our sound has become more professional, also due to changes in our set up, that we are still improving. The musical criteria is not very defined I’d say. We try to give the music the space to flow.
The main thing is for us to be honest and open through our music. The things we experience, the people we cherish, the encounters that shape us – it’s all in our music and the only criteria is to let that out. I think our sound has grown deeper in expression, it has become more brave and more colorful and extreme, in every way possible.
This opening up through music also includes, that we are really close as friends, not only as a band. We can first open up towards each other and then find a form to be honest towards an audience.
Do you feel safe now to play a more experimental sound? Fama
We were always on the more experimental side. Once there was a lady coming to us after a concert and said: “I think you should just sing more” and we had to force ourselves not to laugh, ‘cause we sang for 75 minutes straight. For some people that is super interesting and they ask a lot of questions and wonder how we do it and some people don’t get that everything they hear is happening live on stage. No backing tracks, no pre-recorded passages!
What the women probably tried to say is: Just use your voice in a regular, not too experimental way! And our answer to that would be: Well, that is a possibility and we actually do sing a lot without any effects or crazy additions. But we just like to play around with the voice and use it as an instrument rather than “just” as a lead vocal role. We sing bass lines, we do mouth percussion, we let our voices ring, buzz and boom. And we love it!
We all know that the digital revolution has affected sales, but has it affected creativity?
We are able to live in different cities and still work together. Alsoduring lockdown, we were able so send ideas, recordings, lyrics and so on back and forth, we recorded demos at home and that helps a lot. However, with the release of our album, we also want to bring the attention back to the physical product. To the act of listening to a vinyl. With all that takes: looking for it on the shelf, changing sides and hearing the soft crackling of the needle on the LP. Anna
We decided to record a two-version-double-album which pretty much derived from knowing that people only listen to music online nowadays. We want them to buy our vinyls or CDs in order to get to hear all the version of all our songs. It is super important for us to shift the focus towards physical records again because it has so much to do with really being able to appreciate little details, discover nuances and compare different sounds in our music. That whole concept and the fact that people will be able to hear an orange and a violet version of each song basically made our creativity burst!
Can you tell us what your present and future projects are? Fama
First, we release the album, we will work on some film music, are still on tour with Sophie Hunger and are looking forward to a collaboration work with dancers later this year. And we will make space for the next dream coming our way. Anna
We will definitely keep on looking for crazy sounds, beautiful melodies and new possibilities in our music and that won’t stop any time soon…