Valley Onda: Displacement and the relentless inner battle
Valley Onda are a three-piece Electronic Indie group from Sydney, NSW. The band members Jordan Wilson, Michiya Nagai and Galen Sultmann have individually been a part of acts Georgia Fair, Lamelo and Gaelen, releasing a multitude of albums, EPS and singles along the way. Now, with the release of Valley Onda's debut single 'Relentless', the three have combined to release something wholehearted, intriguing and fresh. So, what is the relentless battle that they channel through their single, and where does it come from? Valley Onda's Jordan Wilson chats to BEAT CONTEXT.
'...the fundamental drive was to break through in some sort of way...'
Music has always helped me with that awful feeling of displacement. I think there was a time in my early adolescence where I felt like I wasn't 'keeping up with the pack' or didn't know who to turn to to talk to about deep emotional stuff. Music served as sort of loyal friend during those times as well as introducing me to a whole new world and cultures that weren't accessible to me in my everyday life. For that reason music that channeled a certain sense of anger really appealed to me and I have to say a lot of it was coming out of America. I think it was important and there are still times in my life now when I need this music to comfort or protect me. Eventually this matured and nuanced but the fundamental drive was to break through in some sort of way. Music also introduced me to a whole new group of people that seemed to share some sort of sensitivity and interest in this strange and wonderful art form.
The relentless battle
'...people have been asking me what the biggest obstacle or what this battle is and it is no doubt the self...'
'Relentless' says in the bridge 'there's always sunshine in the day, even when the rain is relentless'. Clearly you can hear that there is some sort of break up in the song and there was, but it was also a beautiful time of finding myself again in the babiest (made that word up) of steps. The clip was a real treat because that's my brother acting in it and he really brought the intensity. We wanted to show the dualistic nature of a human's psyche fighting with itself in the pursuit of some artistic endeavour. The conservative turns into the chaos and it's quite confronting when you ask "who's running the show?" I realise that that may be a little vague but people have been asking me what the biggest obstacle or what this battle is and it is no doubt the self. There was a point where I was barely able to play the guitar, something I had done my whole life and (so this) was a great great catharsis for me. What I mean about 'the conservative versus the chaos' is not really a political thing (though I'm sure it can relate) but rather forces that seem beyond your control. Like my physical body for instance just wanting to sing but finding it hard.
'...I grew up in a beautiful but chaotic household and took to songwriting to escape but also to look within myself for answers and comfort...'
There was obviously some deep stuff I needed to uncover and I've been working through that. Without going too far into it there was co-dependent and abandonment issues, probably related to some childhood stuff. I grew up in a beautiful but chaotic household and took to songwriting to escape but also to look within myself for answers and comfort. The pitfall there is slipping into delusions and not confronting life, so a balance is necessary and I skate that line everyday. Songwriting is my way of showing up to ‘face the dragon’ so to speak. Valley Onda has been so helpful for me to let go of the OCD and just get some amazing musicians in a room and see what happens. I heard a nice quote the other day talking about therapy being the process of ‘revisiting not re-experiencing’ and that rang really true to the songwriting and performing process.
'...it only has power through my own fear...'
In saying all of that I don't really believe in this imaginary enemy. For want a of a better term, this ‘ego entity’ is often invisible (but not always) and completely self-sabotaging. It’s cunning and can come in through the back door where you think you are safe. When I say I don’t believe in it I mean it only has power through my own fear, so I keep doing what I’m doing and don’t listen to the ridiculous unless the intention is pure. I think we have a lot of shame to talk about the ego and these invisible forces and that is partly what keeps them perpetuating, but all of the strongest people I know call it out for what it is. I usually find myself surrendering and that's where the miracle starts to unfold. My brother is a real deep cat and one of the coolest dudes I know so it was beautiful to work it all out on screen. I find it incredibly interesting how we're fighting and I kind of disappear and he's left with himself and that's what is the most painful.
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