10 May

Warhola Talks Long-Anticipated Debut Album ‘Young Loving’ and Sexuality

Making a debut album is a long and difficult process, especially when you’re extremely busy. Warhola aka Oliver Symons knows everything about that, because it took him three years to finish his debut album Young Loving, which is finally out today.

The Belgian pop singer is one of the most creative artists of the country and definitely knows which way he wants to go. Moments before his only Belgian club show this spring, we talked to the singer about his album, his other project Bazart and the visual aspect of the album.

Hi Oliver, your debut album is finally coming out. Why did it take so long?

The album was more or less done last year, and we released some singles, but due to circumstances it fell silent for a moment because I wrote the second album for my other project Bazart. We’ve reconsidered the album and I made some small changes; we’ve mixed it all over again and then the album was really done in January. And now, it’s finally out.

Is the main theme of Young Loving everything that goes with love?

While writing the album, I’ve never had it in mind to write an album around ‘love’ or really focus on that. I wrote the album in three years’ time and I always write about the things that happen in my life at that time. Young Loving is to me a summary of all the things that happened in those three years of my life.

You released the album title pretty early. Why did you do that?

I gave the album the title from the moment I knew which songs would be on it. All the songs were there and from the moment I had the title, the album really became a whole.

A special aspect of the album is that you want to give every song a context by giving it a music video. How important is telling these stories for you?

It is indeed possible that every song will get a music video, because I really love thinking about visuals for a song. It’s very important because it can reinforce the story of the song and that’s why I put a lot of time and effort in it. By giving the people a visual context, you can influence the way they see your music and feel it which is very important if you want to tell a story.

Your most recent music the video was for “Glow” and is also putting sexuality in the spotlight. How essential is sexuality to you?

Sexuality is very essential to me, but the “Glow” video was shot in Colombia with a whole team from Colombia. From moment we came there, we immediately felt the warm and loving mentality of the Colombians. The whole team wasn’t prudish, and they weren’t afraid to get intimate at all, which was something I really wanted to put in the video.

You released the album title pretty early. Why did you do that?

I gave the album the title from the moment I knew which songs would be on it. All the songs were there and from the moment I had the title, the album really became a whole.

How did you come up with the idea of shooting the music video in Colombia?

We had to shoot a music video and I had a bit of time, so I decided to go to Colombia. Before we left, we made contact ‘via via via’ with some people and met two different teams when we arrived. After we’d chosen a team, we put on the whole production and shot the video in that beautiful country.

Your most recent hit “Look At Me” wasn’t released that long ago and features Tessa Dixson and Glints. How did the collaboration come about?

I was writing and trying some things for Warhola, which I would eventually put on the album and I suddenly had the song. I reached out to Jan (aka Glints) as I felt he would be a good fit for the song and he visited me in the studio. He had the idea of adding a female voice and since I’ve performed a lot with Tessa, there wasn’t any doubt she wouldn’t be on the song.

Before releasing the album, you’d already accomplished a lot. From performing on giant festivals to showcasing your talent in sold-out clubs, you’ve done it all. What do you want to achieve with the album?

We’ve indeed had the privilege to perform in so many beautiful spaces, but the whole Warhola-adventure is just kicking off for me now that the album is out. I hope that a bigger audience gets in touch with my music, because the album is really showing who I am as an artist and I really hope that I get to perform a lot more at some magical spaces.

'Young Loving' artwork

You’re also part of the group Bazart, which takes up a lot of time as well. Do you feel freer in an artistic way as Warhola?

Not specifically, because I feel that I can do a lot as Bazart as well. The only difference is that I take all the decisions for Warhola 100 percent myself, but I don’t have any problem taking them with three.

With Bazart, you’re selling out arena’s, but with Warhola you’re doing clubs. Does it feel weird to start all over in some type of way?

Absolutely not. I see both projects apart from each other. Warhola did exist before Bazart became so big and it was always very important to me. Bazart is in another phase than Warhola, but that doesn’t bother me. I have other goals and different courses with Warhola.

You’ve been working around music for a long time now. Is the puzzle now coming together in Young Loving?

It does feel very good and fun to finally release the first big project as Warhola. I’ve released an EP before, but making an entire album is absolutely different. I’ve made three in total now in a short period of time, and it’s a lot of work. Young Loving is very close to my heart and I’m happy to finally share it with the world.

Thank you so much and good luck with the album!

Photography by Robin Joris Dullers

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