19-year-old singer/songwriter Ny Oh tells Simon Robb how she has left the green pastures of New Zealand to try to make it big in the UK
It is not exactly running away with the circus, but Ny Oh’s dream to become a star meant something big had to change in her life.
“I grew up in New Zealand in the north island called Mount Maunganui.
“My mum was a flute teacher and she made me choose an instrument to learn, so I grew up playing the violin and developed my ear,” says Ny Oh as she chats to me from her London apartment.
The 19-year-old, born Naomi Ludlow, says since a young age a career in music has been beckoning her.
“Even when I started school - it was like, what do you want to be when you’re older? And I’d say, I’m going to be a singer.”
After a time performing with vocal groups, she headed out on her own as a solo artist and began to write original material.
But gigging the New Zealand circuit was not enough - in order to become noticed by an agent or producer, Ny Oh decided to take the plunge and come to England at just 18-years-old to try her luck with the Brits, but she found it hard to adapt.
“I absolutely hated it. I thought, you can’t go anywhere without there being people.
“But I went home to New Zealand for two months and when I came back I realised that I actually missed it.
“There’s something about London and now I really love it here.”
Adapting to the British way of life was the least of Ny Oh’s worries as she began to focus on her journey to success.
“I came here to step up the game, but I know like anything it’s a long process. You have to gig around everywhere. It’s a matter of working hard enough for a record label to notice you,” she says.
Ny Oh is represented by Horsham-based music promoter Ting Music, which refers to the young starlet as ‘a tropical bird caught in a power line’.
Turning in the violin for an acoustic guitar, Ny Oh has blossomed into an exceptionally talented singer/songwriter who invokes the vocal twang of The Cranberries, the gutsy lyrics of Ed Sheeran and a pure beauty to contend with the monochrome elegance of Adele.
Her single, entitled Ny Oh, is a biographical melody that sums up her story as an artist struggling to make her dreams come to fruition.
Using social media to promote herself everywhere possible, Ny Oh imparts that most record labels will not look at the person, but instead the number of followers they have on Facebook.
“They want to see how many ‘likes’ you have, which is ridiculous,” she adds.
Many other teenagers in Ny Oh’s position look to avenues like X Factor and The Voice to make their mark on the industry, but Ny Oh admits that such shows leave her feeling conflicted.
“I understand that the older people who go on it have tried so hard their whole lives. For young people, however, I think it’s a good platform, but at the same time cuts out the years of hard work that you need to go through to write music.”
A singer/songwriter since the age of 13, Ny Oh says it is hard work, but rewarding in the long run.
“It’s more enjoyable in the end because you’re singing something that you’re conscious about, rather than a song about an umbrella,” she says.
Ny Oh is about to venture on a UK tour with Ray Quinn of the West End and X Factor fame.
Her debut EP, Ny Oh, which was recorded in a country house just outside of Brighton, is available now on iTunes.
To keep up-to-date with her movements, visit www.facebook.com/lookitsnyoh and check out Ting Music at: www.tingmusic.co.uk