Oceana connects! Just as the ocean connects continents, this young singer joins soul music of the ’60s with modern beats and contemporary texts. Oceana connects black to white, funk to soul, modern soul to jazz and pop. She manages to transport traditional styles of music to the present day through her unusual voice, charisma and stage presence. Her music is international, authentic and bubbles with energy. It has depth and is fun, even when she sometimes lets the more sombre side of her personality emerge. Oceana (in her mid-twenties), uses her personal experiences in her lyrics to sing about desire, love and life.
It is said of many Artists that they are born with a gift for music. While this can be an overused and sometimes incorrect expression , it really does apply to Oceana. The release of her debut album at the start of 2009 surprised us all. Knowing the story of her background, one wonders how much a person can subconsciously be influenced by the lifestyles of their parents. Is there really a musical or creative gene? Why, otherwise, does Oceana speak more of having the need to travel than of being homesick and feels the desire to keep discovering new things and expand her horizons?
OCEANA’s mother, a German Haute Couture fashion designer, moved to Paris because of job and was immediately fascinated by its varied music scene. She was especially taken with the African rhythms and in the evenings she could be found in the city’s hippest reggae clubs. There she met and fell in love with an attractive musician from the French Caribbean colony Martinique. The fruit of their love, OCEANA, followed shortly. After spending her early childhood in the “City of Love”, OCEANA moved with her mother to live near Hamburg, where they lived with her grandparents for the next few years. Mother and daughter often lived out of a suitcase, travelling between Germany and France, where OCEANA’s father was working as a musician and DJ when not travelling around the world on tour. “I always received a lot of postcards from around the world from my father. He sent me photos and videos of gigs and I thought it was great to have a father who was a musician, even if he never picked me up from school and was not there for ballet performances. I never had the “normal” family life, which most people know”. As her grandparents were sought-after Artists, it was normal for OCEANA, from an early age, to be surrounded by singers, artists, musicians and people from the film industry. One afternoon she met the legendary musician Maceo Parker, a family friend, jamming with her grandfather in the garden. Maceo Parker often asked OCEANA up on stage at his concerts and last year he even gave her a solo during one. Parker plays an important role in her life.
From an early age it was clear which direction she would take. OCEANA’s whirlwind path could not be stopped. Her mother started taking her to concerts as a young child. She saw big name Artists including Ziggy Marley, Burning Spear, James Brown and she felt drawn to the stage, where she wanted to sing and dance. She took ballet lessons, danced through studios and at the age of five she was given a part in a film directed by Hamburg’s Lars Becker. As a teenager she won a music scholarship and had her first singing lesson with the Italian vocalist Etta Scollo. Her natural strength and disciplined nature have helped OCEANA to establish herself and make her way in the business.
Today OCEANA is a modern, confident young woman, who knows what she wants. She actually knew what she wanted from an early age. She moved away from home when she was 16 years old, travelling constantly for the next few years. “I always had an extraordinary lifestyle, was always independent and boxed my own way through life. I didn’t need pocket money – I learned from early on, how to manage on my own.” OCEANA never felt homesick, but always felt the need to travel and sees herself as a “citizen of the world”. A real cosmopolitan, she has lived in Paris, Hamburg, London, New York, Los Angeles and a fair amount of time in Martinique, in order to discover her Caribbean roots. She earned her living through gigs and was constantly improving her knowledge of song and dance. Aside from music, she is particularly interested in fashion and photography. She is also very loyal to her family and friends.
When she moved back to Germany she worked as choreographer on videos for Seeed and Fettes Brot. She has also worked as a backing singer for Seeed’s lead vocalist Demba Nabé and has gained live stage experience on tour with Seeed and Boundzound. Just lately she was support act for Germany’s Peter Fox.
It was Maceo Parker, who last year made her finally start thinking about working on her own career as a vocalist. “He gave me the deciding PUSH! Over the years I had kept writing my own material, but after a concert Maceo said to me “You’re ready now; do your own thing!””. Luckily this sentence took seed and she did not forget it. She started working in London on several songs and travelled to New York to record her debut album “LOVE SUPPLY”. Suddenly things started to move quickly, the team worked well and they produced a fantastic album in a short period of time, which mixes the finest soul-pop, funk, R’n’B and reggae to make the rounded, international-sounding, top-quality album.