A beacon of diversity and unapologetic authenticity, South London-born artist Oléin is a rising figure in the music scene, artfully bridging the divide between her Turkish and Sierra Leonean roots and her Western upbringing. With her uniquely evolving sound, she deftly navigates multiple music genres and infuses them with her bold, playful femininity.
The singer-songwriter’s early life was marked by a profound love of music, earning her a music scholarship with her stunning performances on piano, violin, and vocals. This early recognition only fueled her passion for the arts, leading her to take full creative control over her sound, vision, and development. The result is a unique experience, marked by an audacious blend of genres and a deep sense of artistic authenticity.
Radiating confidence, Oléin’s music is an enchanting melange of lustful Afroswing, smokey pop, and glossy R&B, each track a reflection of her diverse heritage and artistic vision. This sound, coupled with her fiery and playful feminine touch, creates an experience that is truly unique to Oléin, highlighting her ability to break boundaries and redefine what it means to be a genre-defying artist.
In a world that often demands conformity, Oléin stands as a testament to the power of individuality. Her music offers a voice for those navigating their own multicultural identities, encouraging them to embrace their uniqueness and diversity.
First and foremost, walk me through your childhood—what was it like growing up for you and what led you to becoming a musician?
My mum would tell me stories of when I was little, she would often walk in to find me singing on the kitchen countertop with a cooking pot and spatula pretending to be a drummer, so it was no surprise music became a strong foundation within my personality! I then went on to get a music scholarship playing violin and piano but I believe my very iconic singing audition of a piece from ‘High School Musical’ is what got me in and started my journey in the world of music!
How would you describe your style? What are your closet essentials?
My hair actually plays a big part in my style as I feel it complements my early 2000s aesthetic! I’m all about timeless pieces and my closet is full of clothes my mum kept for me from when she was my age so for the majority of the time I’m wearing my mum’s clothes haha! I would say a biker jacket and flared jeans are my must-haves if I want to make a statement and I also can’t get enough of corset tops!
They make any outfit pop so if I had to choose one item it would be a corset top for sure as it can be styled to look classy with a pair of high-waist trousers or more casual with a light bomber jacket and boyfriend jeans!
Over the years, image has become increasingly popular for artists, especially when it comes to cultivating partnerships with various brands. Who are some of the go-to designers that you’d want to wear?
I’ve really been into shoes this year and earlier on I collaborated with Tower London for “Crocs” which have really taken space recently with their alternative designs and decorative jewelry, taking them from a comfort-only shoe to a fashion must-have!
We can sometimes dismiss the importance of footwear when finishing off an outfit and being comfortable whilst looking good plays hand in hand! In terms of high-end designer brands, MUGLER has been to die for recently with it being in the limelight as Beyoncé has been wearing custom fits on her Renaissance World Tour! Having the opportunity to wear one of their pieces would be an Instagram moment for sure!
How do you play jewelry into your overall sense of fashion on a day to day?
Big statement earrings! I never feel like an outfit is complete without them so you’ll always get a little tease of a pair gliding through my Afro! I have these gold cobra earrings that were gifted to me on my birthday and they are still my favorite! I have to take them off when I’m recording though as they get in the way of my headphones so my three-piece gold chains take over the show!
Whether it be in the studio or performing songs, how does style empower you as a musician?
I remember watching an interview of Bruno Mars where he talked about always showing up to the studio looking his best because when you look good you feel good, which means great music! This is why my style and appearance play such an important role when I’m in my creative headspace! It gives me massive confidence boosts and come on, we all know the feeling we get when we step out of the house in our best fit!
Earlier this year, you dropped off incredible singles like “Talking Stage” and “Ego”—how do they set the tone for the direction you want to go musically?
I feel my most recent releases have musically been the closest to my authentic self. As an artist, you go through stages of discovery and as I’m becoming more sure of myself outside of music it’s starting to reflect on my creative direction also! My music has always been melodically heavy so I just want people to catch a vibe and feel good!
What advice do you have to give to younger artists, particularly other women, who want to navigate the ever-so-changing industry?
It’s something that is said a lot but I honestly stand by it and it’s not caring what people think! With the presence of social media and so much content out there, we fall into comparing ourselves to other creatives. Comparison can be the biggest killer of joy and can also make you feel what you created is “not good enough.”
So many artists sit on music or content because they feel it may be “cringe,” who cares? Just put it out there! Make yourself be seen, show your presence, and improve your craft over time. When you look back at your life, you’re going to regret the things you didn’t do rather than what you did do so don’t hold back!
Music-wise, what are you looking forward to now? Any projects you want to share details on?
If I’m to be honest, I look forward to everything! I give so much importance to being in the present so I’m really enjoying my journey as an emerging artist. Anytime I write a new song it sparks another feeling of excitement so I’m really looking forward to sharing more material, collaborating with other amazing creatives, and finding more opportunities to be the best version of my artistic self!