Osara is a modern rock band based in Columbia, SC. Vocalist Colton Beasley took some time to fill us in here at NRR.
After an illness setback the band, Osara has since taken the time to get things right and the biggest move was freeing up vocalist, Colton Beasley. After ridding himself of guitar duties, Colton found a new energy and the power to compel an audience. From there, who knows where the road leads for Osara. The band worked with producer Rick Beato to create their self-titled EP, which has been well received by fans and critics alike.
NRR: Osara has definite rock roots. I can hear lots of bands like say Tesla within the music, but I also hear modern bands like Alter Bridge in there. Describe your sound to a first time listener.
Colton Beasley: Iâ€™d say our sound walks a balance beam between hard rock and heavy metal, influenced by many Hard Rock and Metal groups both new and old. Our influences donâ€™t define our music as much as they shape our musical tastes, and having four musicians focused on making original music with such diverse individual influences helps us write material that is distinctly our own and true to ourselves.
NRR: Who does the songwriting? Is it a collective or more of an individual session?
Colton Beasley: Each member of the band contributes something to the writing of each song, and although we all write alone a good bit I like to take any prospective musical ideas that I or another member write and dissect them with the band. A song I write doesn’t become an Osara song until the other guys throw in their own flavors and spices, which sometimes ends in a tune that is completely different from its inception. In my mind, a band is only a trueÂ band if all members are involved equally. A Led Zeppelin album written completely by Jimmy Page would be a solo record, and although it may be great, without the other membersâ€™ ideas changing the course of each song it isnâ€™t Zeppelin. I love the fact that I am with 3 other very opinionated musicians, because the well of inspiration never runs dry.
NRR: Colton, recently you decided to shed the guitar and concentrate solely on vocals. I think that’s a wise decision on your part, what prompted the change?
Colton Beasley: I was first a drummer, then a guitarist, but when I began singing that took precedence and I knew that nothing could be more fun for me. I’ve always loved watching bands like Zeppelin, Dio, and Guns N Roses that had a vocalist not tied down by an instrument because when watching those guys it seemed like they were the embodiment of the song around them. Once I started singing without the guitar I felt I was able to tune into the music, lyrics, and emotions of the songs so much more, as well as have fun with the crowd. Thereâ€™s nothing comparable to the feeling of pouring out your heart in front of punishingly loud amps, pounding drums, the power they exude, and the sweat that ensues from chasing Ethan around the stage.
NRR: You had an illness that paralyzed you and put you in a coma for some time. Walk me through the onset and how you’ve overcome your issues.
Colton Beasley: In early February I started feeling sick, but didn’t think it was anything too unusual to have a sore throat and fever. Within a day or two, it was clear that what I had was serious when my girlfriend found me unconscious and unresponsive with a fever of 104.7. After many weeks in two different ICUs, I regained consciousness in early March and was told I had contracted a very rare autoimmune illness called Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM). It had damaged nerves in my spinal cord, brain stem and myelin sheath and left me paralyzed from the neck down, and then the waist down, as my nerves slowly repaired themselves over time. With faith, a lot of ass kicking hard work and daily physical therapy I relearned to walk, eat, breathe without a ventilator, and deal with other health issues keeping me from my music.
NRR: Was there ever a moment that you doubted your recovery?
Colton Beasley: Absolutely! When teams of highly respected doctors aren’t giving much hope, itâ€™s easy to feel hopeless. I was told not to expect much from myself, and not to push myself beyond my limits, all safe decisions that would end in a failed goal if I had listened. My view of myself and the world around me went through a bit of a revelation, in which I decided not to whine about all Iâ€™d lost and the possibility of it never returning. Instead I vowed to work myself to my limit every day until I overcame.
NRR: I hear you’re shooting a video soon. Can you divulge any details about that yet?
Colton Beasley: Only if you’ll promise to watch it Jonathan, haha! Yes, on May 17th we will be shooting a music video for the song The Devilâ€™s Daughter off our most recent EP. We’ll be working with Iron Alley Films in VA, and are uber excited for our first music video release. We are playing at Cardinal Bands and Billiards in Wilmington, NC on May 15th, and if anyone would like to be an extra in the music video come out to the show for details and a good time!
NRR: Give me a little insight into Devil’s Daughter. True story or a fictional account?
Colton Beasley: Haha, well like they say, thereâ€™s a bit of truth in every piece of fiction. The song is centered on a woman who is beautiful, seductive, and sweet, but has a manipulative dark side. Although some might argue I’ve never actually met The Devilâ€™s Daughter, others might swear they’ve met her or her sister too. I’m not going to point fingers, but there are some women out there who fit the description pretty well.
NRR: For me, Parasite is the sound that defines this band and I’d personally like to see you go in that direction. As a musician, would you say your heavier songs are your bread and butter or do you have a tendency to lean towards stuff that’s a little less raw and a bit more polished?
Colton Beasley: Itâ€™s really on a song by song basis for us. I try not to think too much about what type of song weâ€™re writing, whether its balls out heavy or a more laid back groove. What matters most to us is whether the song can easily relate an emotion or a feeling to the audience, and if so, the song has been successful in my mind. I will say that I enjoy performing the balls to the wall heavy tunes live, because no matter how Iâ€™m feeling, when the music kicks in itâ€™s a rush of energy.
NRR: You worked with Rick Beato on your EP. What was that experience like for you?
Colton Beasley: Working with Rick was really eye opening, a huge learning experience for me. It was my second time in a legitimate studio, and my first time being produced by anyone, especially of Rickâ€™s caliber. Heâ€™s an incredible ear and musician himself, so when he spoke everybody listened. He liked to bust balls, which I understood, because sometimes getting the job done right requires a little bit of pressure, but in the end he pulled the best out of us and Iâ€™m very thankful he did because we now have a great product to show for it.
NRR: What drew you to work with him?
Colton Beasley: His body of work is very impressive, and we had spoken to other local musicians who worked with Rick and had many good things to say. His work speaks for itself, and when we contacted him to inquire about the possibility he was very courteous, professional, and seemed excited to work with us as well.
NRR: For me, I hear a lot of Myles Kennedy in your voice. Maybe a little more reckless in delivery at times, but a higher range and vibrato than most. Is control a difficult thing for you in a live setting?
Colton Beasley: Well thank you! Myles is a huge vocal influence and an incredible talent. Vocal control lies in the breath support, which is a fundamental basic in singing any style. For our style, I think control isnâ€™t so difficult as remembering to remain free, easy, and unrestrained while singing, yet sounding as if youâ€™re ripping paint off the walls LOL. I also have to remind myself to use MY voice, instead of a tone or voice like my favorite singers, because itâ€™s easy to get wrapped up in sounding like someone else, but in the end the fans want to hear who you are.
NRR: Do you feel that you’ve reached the point that you know who you are artistically or do you see room for growth?
Colton Beasley: I think I know what I enjoy artistically, but as far as finding out who I am as an artist I think Iâ€™ll just keep writing and leave that for the fans to do. But I do believe that if a musician canâ€™t always assess their talent and see an area they can grow in, they aren’t a true musician. The true musicianâ€™s path is forever progressing, toward the ultimate goal of unlimited expression, which is perfection. If unlimited vocal expression and perfection comes to me before the grave does, Iâ€™ll stop criticizing my talent.
NRR: You’re in South Carolina, would you say the local scene there is fruitful or pretty stale?
Colton Beasley: The scene here is definitely very stale compared to other southern states capitals, such as Raleigh or Atlanta. Itâ€™s upsetting because there is serious talent all over Columbia, and SC as a whole, but itâ€™s hard to get that talent to the public when music has taken the backseat. We want to do anything we can to help our scene here, and that starts with being a fan. We go out to local shows all the time and try to support our friendsâ€™ endeavors, but that needs to happen on a much larger scale to get Columbia out of this rut.
NRR: Any tours in the works?
Colton Beasley: Indeed, we’re currently locking in dates July 16th-25th for a ten day tour with our friends in POYNTE, an Atlanta, GA. band and a few other groups. We have never done something of this magnitude before, so weâ€™re excited to hit the road and make music every day with badass musical friends!
NRR: I like to end on a random question. You can assume the identity of one person, for one day. Who do you choose and why?
Colton Beasley: I would say Iâ€™d assume Robert Plantâ€™s identity on the day in 1973 when Led Zeppelin broke the world attendance record for a solo concert at Tampa Stadium (set by the Beatles previously). That must have been such a celebratory show, and for them to have beaten the biggest English band to come to America was definitely a high point in their career. Iâ€™d just love to look out over that many faces while singing Zeppelin tunes, in one of the most creative time periods and of the most creative and unique bands ever.
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