Deep Dive by Patrick Ufton

Absorbing Culture & Changing Perception with Oso Leone

@osoleone

Sat among the hills of Northern Spain, Bilbao BBK Live is an annual celebration of music from across the globe showcasing a truly diverse line up of artists & DJs. Over the course of three days, we saw how the festival's approach to programming created a perfect platform for local Spanish artists to perform to an international audience and the creativity it drove as a result. We caught up with Oso Leone backstage to talk about their creative process and how cultural exchange through travel has influenced it.

Oso Leone are clearly inspired by their experiences and surroundings. The band itself is a hybrid of Hispanic identity & culture, with each member originating from different locations across Spain, as well as Costa Rica. Originally forming in the heart of the Balearic, the band now call Barcelona home - although members of the band still travel from Madrid and Mallorca so they can record together. As a result, their outlook and approach to music is a fusion of each their individual influences and cultures.

The studio, where the band often rehearse, is a space that feels equally influential and important to the group. Situated just outside of Barcelona in the middle of an industrial estate, the seventh-floor studio overlooks the sea. Their idyllic view interrupted only by the juxtaposing silhouettes of three factory chimneys. The dramatic skyline, the surrounding communities of Chinese factory workers & local gypsies have already begun to impact the music they are creating. They described to us how ‘it puts you in a state of mind which is totally different’, from the music that they were making while based in Balearic islands.

Oso Leone’s music transcends into their work as visual artists, which is unsurprising given the spaces they choose to make their music. For them, the link between the two is inextricable. The band refer to the creative ‘language’ that they speak in, likening their relationship with music & art to synesthesia. They ‘play visually’ and tell us how they refuse to be limited by conventional structures such as tempo or key and instead seek inspiration from the colours or moods that surround them.

After hearing Oso Leone discuss their approach to creating music and art, as well as how influenced they are by their experiences and surroundings, we wanted to hear where in the city they spend most of their time. Hit the link below to see their top tips.

Oso Leone's Guide to Barcelona

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