Summer Candy is a personal favorite from The Dot this month of May. Talk about a song for the summer...I mean it's only within the name. But yeah, the guys got it right. And not only with this one song but pretty much everything else they've created and we LOVE it.
From West Virginia, Ona gets its name from a small town right outside of Huntington. Go mountaineers. No but really, the band decided on the name when one member wore an Ona Little League ball cap to rehearsal one day. All the members of Ona have been raised together, lifelong friends with strong musical backgrounds. Having been friends for so long, Ona formed naturally, from grade school to tapping into social circles of their close friends.
When it comes to actually producing their music, forming melodies, songwriting lyrics, etc., the band comes together and respects all opinions and ideas. Each song intertwines ideas from each band member.
Pulling a quote from their website, Lead singer Bradley Jenkins stated,
In the production, I wanted people to recognize emotion. There's a lot of ear candy that we snuck in there, but it might be an album that you need to sit with. We want our audience to experience and feel the music. There are ups and downs, and sometimes people might ignore those feelings, but we want people to recognize every emotion."
And that's what we love about Ona. They're honest, self conscious of who they are, while still being self confident. The music world sometimes strays away from emotion, or only plays a part in one specific feeling - Ona has taken it upon themselves to change that stigma.
Coming from such a small town in a rural part of the country like West Virginia, what really makes Ona stand out amongst the rest is the fact that they're not making bluegrass, country, or folk that is usually being produced out of areas like that.
Drummer Max Nolte weighs in on the matter saying, "I grew up in the woods, but my dad only listened to Glam Rock," which could be what turned into shoegaze and dream pop nowadays.
“So sometimes it's hard for me to identify with the quintessential West Virginia image. I spent a lot of time, as a youth, kayaking and exploring West Virginia's rivers, so I agree with everyone that it's a beautiful state. But we don't really exemplify it as a band, as far as what we 'should' sound like to outsiders, which I think confuses some people. We're not stereotypical West Virginians and I think it's important to shine a light on another aspect of the state as well."
As you can see, Ona is built on friendship and the small town just outside of Huntington, West Virginia. Sure, it will always be home to them, But they do not let stereotypes change who they are deep down. The band truly is a brotherhood, whether they were all in a fraternity together or not.
Author: Kyle Sobieski
Kyle Sobieski is a digital content producer and founder of First State Studios. With a background in music and songwriting under the pseudonym Pierce Frolic, Kyle personally knows the amount of work and determination that goes into becoming an artist of any medium. Towards the end of high school, Kyle realized the lack of support in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware for the arts and underground talents. So he began digging deeper into the lives of local artists, and thus, First State Studios was born. Sobieski has a diverse musical palette and loves nothing more in life than seeing people who are passionate and courageous with what they do. "It's these people who make the world a more colorful, intimate place for everybody."