Chicago-based singer Uma Bloo had started a multi-faceted project in 2016. Focusing on emotive music and character performance, Molly Madden invented an otherworldly, immersive artistic experience.
At each event, an interactive set is built so as to bring the audience into Uma’s world for a night. Uma’s lyrics have been described as “mediations on vulnerability.” While often compared to Nico, Angel Olsen, and Florence and the Machine, Uma Bloo’s music defies traditional genre while enticing crowds into reckoning with their past.
See our exclusive interview with her below:
What are some of your earliest memories of music?
Dinah Washington’s ‘Blue Gardenia’ was on a soundtrack my parents used to play around the house. That’s the first song I remember singing along with, I wanted to be able to sing just like her. I still think her voice is one of the most singular I’ve ever heard. In the latter half of the song she sings “memories” like it’s two different worlds, or like the second half of the word sent her different from where she started. It was just such a surprise in the melody… the entire song is so special. I still listen to it whenever I need to be shaken up a bit.
Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when putting music together?
I don’t know if there are any specific steps I take when I’m writing. When I sit down with an instrument most of the time I just start exploring different shapes and chords to see what I can find. From there I try to find some semblance of a structure and sing over it until whatever I needed to express has been expressed. There’s no real trick to it.
Studio work and music creation or performing and interacting with a live audience, which do you prefer?
It’s not necessarily a preference but I think I enjoy the performance the most. At that point, the tediousness of the work leading up to a show can be let go and whatever happens, happens. It’s the exhale of it all.
What is the most memorable response you have had to your music?
I think once someone described my music as an exorcism which I guess sounds intense but I like that sentiment, haha.
If you could put together a radio show, what kind of music would you play?
I’d like to have the kind of freedom to play whatever was calling to me at that moment.
Name five artists and their albums who would appear on your radio show
Patsy Cline’s Greatest Hits, Megan the Stallion’s Tina Snow, Pixel Grip’s Heavy Handed, Yeah Yeah Yeah’s Show Your Bones, Lana Del Rey’s NFR!
What would you like to achieve with your music? What does success look like to you?
Ideally, I’d make something I could live off of, but that seems more a dream than reality these days for most artists. Really the most that I hope for is to consistently put out music I feel passionately about for as long as I can sustain it.
One last thought to leave your fans with?
We just released a single called ‘Marguerite’s Novels’ and will be releasing another one in April called ‘Coming Home’. Keep a lookout!
Follow Uma Bloo online