Producer and multi-instrumentalist comes up in one of music's most notorious boys' clubs
by June Moon
I woke up at sunrise and entered Maze. I love waking up with the Sun because I’m reminded that I have permission to start over. Taking into account nature’s cycle, Ouri was instrumental in setting the tone for my day. Her music is power of breath, a booming of energy that dawns in the atmosphere. Possibility, peace, and ingenuity form out of formlessness.
We had heard about each other through friends, but I couldn’t imagine what she’d be like until I heard her music. Her EP Maze was released last year, and it resides alongside a few other precious stones on her SoundCloud. Her domain is refined, glassy – she soothes my garden fresh. The last track of the EP leaves a vapour trail and I catch myself following the lines in my palms, thinking how everything exists in a fluid state.
Ouri is a Goddess of knowledge and art, beholding significance and urgency because she has always been fighting. Do you know why? Are you familiar with Her politics? Can you recognize if you are part of Her resistance? Do you want to help make the world a better place? Listen to Her.
When the people of India fought for independence, they needed to believe that they could navigate their own future without interference from the British. The British were asked to realize they were masters in someone else’s home. As a woman, as a feminist, and as an artist, I utilize the same non-violent, non-cooperative approach that led India to freedom. I want men to surrender their power. When Ouri arrives to soundcheck, treat Her with respect – She knows what She is doing. Do not assume that because you are a man She needs your help – despite your best intentions, She finds this disrespectful. Why don’t you step aside, sit back and let Her do Her thing? Watch Her. Celebrate Her.
After many mornings with my dawn-Goddess, whose harmonies relieve the turmoil and confusion of my anxieties, whose melodies envelop beyond the pleasures of my senses, I rejoice in the spirit of Her offerings. I finally! get the pleasure of meeting and interviewing Ouri for my radio show, and Her presence is dripping with artistry. Her politics rest on the tip of her tongue, on fire when she lights a cigarette. She can see the fight that remains, and every day she makes Her music: discovery in the chaos. And lucky are we to witness Her at work. Ask anyone who has seen Her perform – Ouri is unforgettable.
As we hang, she answers my questions and tells me Her stories with determination, humour, and vivid candor. I learn that she was a lost, young girl in Paris dreaming of being a DJ, a producer, a composer. After Her parents divorced, she would fight with Her Mom who “invited” Her to leave the house and go study somewhere else. Friends told Her Montreal was a great place to make art and be a musician. It doesn’t take long for our conversation to lean into our mutual frustrations about being a woman in the industry. We talk about our oppression and how it influences our interactions, our expectations, our everything. Here’s one of my favourite things she had to say:
“It’s such an individual game. You’re trying to be the best, but when you’re in a group you’re so much stronger. I feel like boys support each other so easily and I’ve learned to not trust women and to be in competition – I hate this. I want to have girls around me, supporting each other, all the time.”
This is an important point of reference, the learned notion of girl hate that keeps us isolated and submissive as women. Luckily, Ouri and I feel the change, in our minds and in our practices. “It’s love and freedom, and letting go. It’s the beginning of the Age of Aquarius.”
Ouri is an electronic producer, DJ, composer, multi-instrumentalist, and Goddess. She plans to release as much music as possible before fall.
Listen to Her music and follow her on Facebook.
June Moon is a poet, performer, and provocateur. She hopes to make music with Ouri this summer.
Listen to Her music and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.