New York City’s Onism E are a band trying to find their place in a crowded music scene. Amidst the backdrop of a worldwide pandemic, where bands have had to get creative with livestreams in place of live music, the band recently released a new EP, aptly titled Survivors. An EP that’s meant to get its listeners through the dark times we’re living in as much as it is for the musicians themselves, the band is led by frontwoman Eline Chavez. The EP’s final track, “My America”, will certainly resonate with those who have experienced any of the social and political discord that’s gone on the last few years.
We sat down with the band to discuss the new EP (which you can stream below), how they stay inspired despite political and social unrest, and most importantly – the connections musicians can make in the process of moving up.
What inspired you to keep pushing forward despite the tough times we’re living in right now?
Toni Morrison. Her powerful words. “There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal.” That sums up how important, necessary, and meaningful art is to the world. Musicians, songwriters, poets…We document history in a way only we can.
How long did the new record take to write and record?
It took almost a year. We started in March once it was clear that the world was heading towards this crazy stop, and we finished it in early December.
What music have you been diving into lately?
The women’s scene mostly: Phoebe Bridgers, Jade Bird, Beabadoobee, Billie Holiday, Amy Winehouse, Sia, Imogen Heap, Sharon Van Etten, Patti Smith, and Chrissie Hynde. But the new Foo Fighters and Bruce Springsteen have been spinning quite a bit as well. I’m all over the place musically and gravitate to music that speaks to me and cliche as that may sound.
What’s some career advice you’d give to musicians trying to work their way up?
There is room in the music industry for every style of music and everyone. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. If you have something honest and genuine to say, then say it. Make sincere connections that allow you to grow not just as a musician but as a human being. Finally, don’t be a jerk.
What’s been your biggest success as a band to date?
In a crazy year, 2020 was kind to us. Radio Wigwam named us the Best Indie Rock Act of 2020 and, we won the Power to the People contest sponsored by the John Lennon Song Writing Contest. Considering what the world has been through, we count ourselves very lucky.