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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW & REVIEW: Oriel Poole’s Debut Album Sunday

Imagine having an incredible career where you are successful, making a good living, and then setting it aside to pursue a career in the ever tumultuous music industry! That is exactly what Oriel Poole did. We got the opportunity to listen through the new album and talk with Oriel about the new music. Check out both the interview and review below.


Interview by: Kristin Downer

KRISTIN: How did music become your career? Have you always known what you wanted to do?

ORIEL: I always knew I wanted to include three areas of interest into my career, those being music, design, and enterprise. However, I took a very different course in college before realizing that being a professional musician was my ultimate passion.

I attended Drexel University where I graduated with an interior design degree, specializing in hospitality design for hotels, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, etc. My initial thought was to open my own nightclub, design it, book the talent for it, and also perform at it.

However, after University at the height of the economic collapse, that dream took on a new form. Following 2008, the crash of the real estate market particularly impacted new hospitality design endeavors. In 2009, I found myself living in NYC as a highly trained designer, ready to take on the world but left with very little work. Forced to adapt, I invested the next several years taking on various freelance jobs in the areas of event production, hospitality management, and design. During that same time I started making songs with friends for fun and encountered people suggesting that I pursue music professionally. At first I was resistant to taking such a risk, moving away from design and toward music, but later realized I had nothing to lose. At that point both careers held equally weighted challenges and it simply came down to a matter of choice. It was in that moment that I realized my desire to make music held a very deep place in my heart and my life’s trajectory changed forever.

KRISTIN: Let’s talk about your music. First, how would you describe your music to those who have not heard it?

ORIEL: This answer depends on whom I’m speaking to and how nerdy people want to get.

In simplest form my music is soul and R&B vocals over electronic music. Based on feedback from others, my voice is most commonly compared to Erykah Badu, Lana Del Rey, Sia, and Sade.

The making of Sunday was really an exploration for me, scratching the service of my sound. To get more specific, the result of this EP straddled over several genres, including – downtempo, trip-hop, funk, disco, synth-pop, even a touch of neo-folk and psych-rock.

KRISTIN: You have a new debut EP out called Sunday. How long did it take you to put this EP together and pick the name?

ORIEL: The name was easy. Sunday is the day that I was born, literally. So the release of this debut EP is a declaration to my birth on this planet as an artist.

The timeline took much longer than the name. This project began in 2013 after taking my first Ableton course and running a campaign to come up with the seed money I needed to finish the rest of the EP after the completion of my first song, “Brighter.” The songwriting and majority of the production, minus the mixing and mastering, was completed in 2015. The timing of the release now was really based on my ability to come up with the finances needed to finish the production and release the EP.

A lot happens behind the scenes as an independent artist, like taking other jobs in order to finance the dream and to move all aspects of your music career forward. All of 2015 to now was that transformation for me, nailing that time and money balance, becoming effective at self managing and delegating help when needed, all while honoring ways within myself to stay creative and true to my essence as an artist. The groundwork is always the longest haul. Now that I have hit this milestone, you can rest assured that all future releases will move at a much more accelerated rate.

KRISTIN: Do you have a favorite song on this EP or one you would tell people to listen to first?

ORIEL: Listen to “Brighter” first. It’s the first song I made, and what I would call my most instinctual habitat. The order of the EP follows the order of when the songs were created.

KRISTIN: How did you decide which songs made the cut?

ORIEL: Eight songs were written, five were chosen. The choice was easy, if I felt moved in some way then the song made the cut.

KRISTIN: Do you have any upcoming live shows to promote the new EP?

ORIEL: Not confirmed as of yet, but working on it. I plan to announce some shows in the fall.

KRISTIN: With the new EP out, what are you planning on next? Already working on more music?

ORIEL: Yes, writing new music, taking another course at The Songwriting School of Los Angeles, getting a new music video made, working hard to save more money, and hopefully going on tour!

KRISTIN: Where can fans keep up with you online?

ORIEL: I am active most on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Soundcloud. All social media links, my blog, and a spot to sign up for my mailing list can be found on my website at www.orielpoole.com


By Lydia Rilea

Somewhere in the wider world of music, there is a song lyric which says, “slow like honey, heavy with mood” (Slow Like Honey, by Fiona Apple if you want to know). This line came to mind the first time I heard “Brighter” by Oriel Poole, this is the first song on her new album, “Sunday” which was released August 11th, and it is heavy with mood while still managing to be a light and refreshing tune. There isn’t anything about this song, or this album which I’m not in love with. “Brighter” has one of the smoothest, evocative, and entrancing tunes I’ve heard in some time, with its calm layers of synth and – despite a slower tempo – a catchy little beat. Oriel Poole’s voice makes me feel the same way eating salted caramel’s does, completely content. Slipping between understated brass, and a gentle breathiness, her voice captivates.

“Foothills”, the second tune on Sunday should be included in everyone’s love making playlist, it has a transportive quality that is perfect for lower light, and quiet, intimate moments.

Both “High Fidelity” and “Homegirl” belong on the dance floor, but are very different styles of upbeat tunes, and I personally believe a Guetta, or a few Lions could have a great time with either (or one may hope both) songs. “High Fidelity” feels infectious the way 80’s pop did, while “Homegirl” definitely embodies a more contemporary sound.

“Dragon” has an invigorating beat which keeps you focused, I look forward to having it queue up while I’m on the road to anywhere.

I occasionally get hooked on a whole album, it happens rarely, and I’m thrilled when it does. Oriel Poole’s Sunday has just taken this spot in my listening pleasure.

Make sure to follow Oriel Poole on her above listed social media accounts and check out her website at the link above! Make sure to download her new debut EP Sunday from iTunes!

About L. Rilea

Lydia: Writer, film addict, music lover and pygmy philosopher. Raised in the less seedy edges of the city of angels, she loves the ambient glow under the frenzied lights of the Los Angeles music and film scenes. She is a former associate of Kristin from her online radio music, chat show, and blog days. In between working on her own novels, you can find her expressing her thoughts and opinions here at #nerdproblems.

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