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Oskar Schuster - A Journey To Strange And Beautiful Places In Your Mind

Get an exclusive view on "Sneeuwland" album covers and take a sneak listen to "Fjarlaegur". Published March 14 2014.

  by Mario

Exactly one week from today Oskar Schuster is going to release his crowdfunded new album "Sneeuwland". Almost 150 believers supported the album project on Sellaband. I talked to Oskar about his music and what it means to him to be a DIY musician ...

50K MUSIC: You're about to release your second album „Sneeuwland“ on March 21st. I would refer to this release as a milestone of a project which began in July 2012 with the start of your crowdfunding campaign on Sellaband. How do you look at it?
Oskar: Yes, it began with the start of my crowdfunding campaign. I released a demo recording of a new song called "Sneeuwland" as background music to my Crowdfunding Promo Video. Unexpectedly, that demo recording became quite successful in the following months. It was my first track that used the combination of multiple layered piano tracks and a beat consisting of noises from typewriters and old cameras I had randomly recorded. For the album, I tried to evolve that sound. I worked a lot on it during two years and now finally everything is finished and I'm happy I can thank all the people who supported my crowdfunding campaign by giving them my new album.

50K MUSIC: You've played most of the instruments on the album, you've produced the album yourself, you've created the artwork … Simply put, you've done most of the work for the album yourself. Would you call yourself a perfectionist?
Oskar: With the crowdfunding money I could afford to work with a great audio engineer, Thomas von Pescatore, who helped with the mixing and did the mastering. But it's true that I did nearly everything on my own otherwise. It's easier for me because I only have to rely on myself and not on other people.

50K MUSIC: How are you going to promote „Sneeuwland“? Will you get the support of Bad Panda Records again?
Oskar: I try to do the promotion myself and I recently got the great opportunity of selling my album in the Dussmann store in Berlin Friedrichstraße - one of the largest department stores for CDs, DVDs & books in Europe. They will do some promotion for me, too, which is really amazing.

50K MUSIC: Is there a mission with the album? Do you want your music to influence people in a special way?
Oskar: There is no message or mission in my music. I just try to create the music I would like to listen to myself. The only thing I intend is to take the listener onto a journey to strange and beautiful places in his mind.

50K MUSIC: Are you still in touch with your Sellaband believers? Have you got any feedback from them regarding the album yet?
Oskar: I only just sent out the albums and have no feedback yet. But I’m excited to see if they like it.

50K MUSIC: What comes next after the album release?
Oskar: The next project is an EP with my new track "Matilda" and some other piano tracks. Also, I want to create one or two music videos. And another collaboration with a singer might be on the way quite soon as well.

50K MUSIC: Is there a chance to see you live this summer?
Oskar: One of my worst nightmares is to be on a stage in front of a crowd, so probably not. Maybe I will try to find people to perform with in order to make some live videos. This is something I would really love to do as I enjoy watching live videos on YouTube very much. But performing live regularly in front of audiences seems like such a complicated thing, it would take away so much time and energy. I'd rather spend this time and energy creating new music, videos and artwork. I'm just not the regular "musician" who goes on tour and performs on stage.

50K MUSIC: After all you're rather a DIY artist, aren't you? Do you think musicians can survive without using the networks of old music industry?
Oskar: I think it's definitely possible to survive without the old music industry and maybe it is the way to go for many artists in future. But you have to work extremely hard and it may take a few years until you can make a living. Obviously there are thousands and thousands of musicians around, so you must offer something unique in order to stand out. I chose the DIY way because I wanted to control every little aspect of my music and my art and because I’m not good at connecting with people. Maybe for other artists the best way is to find a label though. It also really depends on the labels and if they are willing to change. I could imagine working together with a label if it only functions as service provider for artists without taking away music rights, most of the artist's money and his artistic freedom.

50K MUSIC: Are you going to crowdfund your next album again?
Oskar: Yes, I intend to do so!