Earlier this summer, a dapper singer songwriter by the name of Othello Woolf released an EP of love-struck, slow R&B entitled Cold In Flesh. His forthcoming self-titled debut album documents the pain of a breakup with suitably dark soul – it’s pop at its most bittersweet. But that’s not all. Woolf’s seductive croon has earned him comparisons to Bryan Ferry, while his impeccable dress sense is fast making him a darling of the British fashion pack, not that he’s dedicated follower, he tells us. 

Was there a specific moment when you realised you wanted to devote yourself to being a musician?

I joined a band on keys when I was sixteen and wrote my first song around that time too. It was called ‘Callous Girl’ and it sucked big time! But once I had that thirst for music, there was no stopping.

Your first album is largely about a relationship and its breakdown. Is it based on personal experience, and if so how did it feel to write about it?

It’s solely based on personal experience but it felt ok to write about it, in fact it felt very good, like closure.

How much control did you have when putting the record together?

The control-freak side of me was out in full force on this record. But it was mixed and mastered by other people, which is always important as a final stage – these guys can see the wood from the trees and I wouldn’t have been able to.

If you had to choose the perfect time and place to play the album, when and where would it be?

I would say late at night with some good headphones as you drift off to sleep. But don’t fall asleep until the whole album’s finished y’all.

Have any specific musicians influenced your music?

Many have, yes. The biggest musical influences on this particular album are probably The Smiths, Talking Heads and Prince. Hopefully it manages to transcend its influences although it’s only my first album and I’m not sure I’ve managed to achieve this. It’s something that should come with later albums as I further develop my own sound.

There is a quote on your Facebook page where you say the kind of music you make is not desirable to the majority of people or part of any distinct scene. How do you feel about being described as ‘neo-soul’?

Apparently the term ‘neo-soul’ was made-up in the late ’90s by a guy at Motown to market upcoming artists such as Erykah Badu and D’Angelo. Now I think the term has evolved to include anything that has a soulful element but that isn’t overtly retro. To answer your question, I don’t like it. If I wasn’t called ‘neo-soul’ I’d probably be labelled something else equally as irrelevant.

Armani requested you play at one of their parties, and designers are eager to dress you. What does fashion mean to you?

I’m not an avid follower of fashion by any means. But I do appreciate the great materials and classic designs that elevate something like an Armani suit to the next level. In relation to music, fashion and what you wear has always been important and I like that. It’s all part of the fun.

What are you up to next?

The debut album is out on the 5th of September and you’ll be able to get it free from  www.othellowoolf.com for a short while. Other than that, there’ll be some live dates soon so look out for those too.

Othello Woolf is out on September 5th

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