Ophelia on collaboration and finding your calling

Written by Mattlj92
South-East-London based Ophelia has already had a good year having performed several times at the Camden Roundhouse. Her new single ‘Don’t Start (This is What I think of You),’ a collaboration with music producer Brijs, looks set to take her year to another level.
‘Don’t Start’ has already been making moves on the airwaves and has so far been played on BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 6 Music, as well as featuring on BBC Radio Kent’s Record Of The Week.
A Musical Contrast
‘Don’t Start’ has a stark contrast between its two authors. Ophelia’s lyrics combined with Brijs’ electronic beat almost clashes, but the minor-toned song sounds reminiscent of Synthpop duo Hurts.
Speaking to Kettle, Ophelia said: “It’s so hard to describe your own music but for me I would call it crancing music, because it makes you want to cry and dance at the exact same time.”
It makes a refreshing change for a song to have such an obvious personal tone for the artist and lyrically ‘Don’t Start’ really comes into its own, you can feel Ophelia pouring her heart and soul out into what she writes.
She added: “It’s a funny one and I have no written such a personal song before and it was tricky talking about what I want to say about it. I would rather people take what they think about it that what I say. People suffer and if more people talked about it, it would not happen. It’s the shame about it.
“There’s something quite uplifting and empowering about it and we can feel quite empowered by a quite difficult situation.”
Ophelia hopes that sharing her own experiences in the song will help other people recognise their own situation in the song and find solace. 
Earlier this year Ophelia also released the solo song, ‘Hit the Brakes’ with an official music video. 
A Musical Collaboration
‘Don’t Start’ is a musical collaboration, the music and beat of the song was produced by singer-producer Brijs, who decided that he wanted Ophelia to provide the lyrics and vocals after hearing her previous work on the radio.
It’s this process that actually provides the unique contrast between music and lyrics as Brijs himself is more commonly associated with the house and electronic music scene.
Brijs himself has been around the musical scene and has been played on 6 Music as well as featuring on BBC Introducing.
Living the Dream
It’s always a positive when a musician likes what they’re doing, and Ophelia says that despite finding her true purpose in life rather late, her musical career is the thing that dreams are made of, and speaking to the musician it really does come across that she enjoys what she is doing.
“In February I released a mix-tape and my first song received Radio One airplay as well and this is pretty much what I dreamed of when I was 16 and to have people interested in me and my music is really, really special,” she said.
“It does feel weird but I have surprised myself. At school I was embarrassed out of the choir and I thought I was just no good. It took a while to notice that music was my true calling.
“When the song had its debut play on Radio 1 I was actually on holiday with my friend and her family. They stopped during dinner and after the song was played they clapped, it was really, really magical.”
Named after a hip-hop song, Ophelia said she also liked that the name was shared by a Shakespeare character and that this was the inspiration behind the music video for ‘Don’t Start.’
Ophelia and the team tried to recreate the scene in which Hamlet’s lover drowns herself in the nearby river.
“I had to swim in a freezing cold river,” Ophelia explained. “I hope that the freezing and suffering will be worthwhile.”
For more information about Ophelia click here. ‘Don’t Start (This is What I think of You)’ is released next month.
What do you think of Ophelia? Have your heard her mix-tape? Let us know in the comments below.