It's an interesting thing, meeting a musician for the first time. The aspect of contrast becomes omnipresent and practically tangible when such instances occur. For days I found myself pouring over the music of Oyinda. The music showcases lush landscapes, experiential viewpoints, and a sophisticated quality that has no rivals.

A few weeks back, I met up with Oyinda to discuss how her music came to be, and it was such a surprise to be faced with someone so light-hearted and so easy to get along with. The topics we discussed while conducting our photo shoot ranged from film scores, our old home city of London, and things most would find to be mundane. That said, the attitude of a creator did shine through, and one thing was clear from the start - Oyinda is an artist that is always concise and firm with both her words and ideas. Witnessing that was truly something else, and getting to talk with her to find out how this music came to be was even better.

When it came to creating the songs for Restless Minds, how do you feel your songwriting process evolved in contrast from Before The Fall?

I found my process from Before the Fall was mostly unraveled by how I approached Restless Minds. I still like to write from titles, but I found myself completing sections of each song rather than the song as a whole, or dismissing its initial form.

What I found intriguing with the tracks was how the electronics served your voice rather than over-powered them. The way you sing is at times in the tone of a conversationalist. 'Serpentine', for example, has that quality to it. Does it ever feel that you're singing to someone specific when it comes to some of your tracks?

To answer simply no, but that's because I've never written a full song about myself. Usually I write out fictional short films in my head; the lyrics are the dialog between the characters while the track is the score setting the mood. When it comes to 'Serpentine' specifically, I was more of a narrator depicting the story.

We share a similar background in being from London and now being in New York City. When I came here, I expected to be swept up in the art scenes/world of the city but found myself getting inspiration elsewhere. Did you find yourself dealing with a contrast between what you expected and what you've experienced living here?

I didn't have any expectations about moving here. In a lot of ways London and New York are similar, but I think because I moved around so much as a kid it was less of a romantic idea. The most unexpected is how much I've settled in here. Staying in the same place for this long is so new to me, and now I'm a cat lady.

Have any of the locales or people here in the city played a part within some of your songs? For example, is there a place you find yourself most at ease when it comes to writing?

No I haven't really been interested in working with new people yet... hopefully it will happen naturally after I finish my third EP. People are just getting to know me, so quite frankly, I don't want to risk diluting my own voice. We built a home studio in my flat so I get to be lazy and do a lot of writing in bed. All the inspiration I've collected over the years are here, and sometimes I like to write with the TV on mute.

I feel that performing here in New York differs than performing in other places. Would you say there's some truth in that, and how has it felt being on stage here in New York?

Here in New York crowds don't move. At first I found it really awkward, but there's nothing worse than people having full on conversations. I've only experienced that once while opening for my friend Parson James. I understood though; not my crowd not my show, but while I was watching James Blake at Webster Hall that was happening and I was so confused. He's giving you vibes and sonic illustrations, while some mood killers couldn't stop talking about what they had for bloody breakfast. Long story short, I appreciate the stoic crowd now because at least they're silent and engaged.

What's really struck me with your music is how peers of mine have echoed how your music is R&B, yet to me your music is so much more. The influence is there, but I think it's also a great example of how the further we go in the world, the more genreless music is becoming. When I think of a track such as 'What Still Remains' and 'Flatline', I find myself thinking 'wow, here's a person who doesn't give a fuck about being put into a box.' Does it feel as though most people who hear you tend to get it, to get that there's more layers going on?

Not really. People usually want to put music into a category that makes sense to them rather than looking past genre or considering its layers. I can understand my music being called R&B, but I think that has more to do with my vocal tone rather than the song as a whole. I wouldn't know where to begin if I tried to explain the layers anyway, because it depends on the track and the mood I was trying to portray within it.

Speaking of 'Flatline', what a great way to end the EP. Was this also the last track you recorded for the EP?

Thank you! It was the second song I started, but the third that I finished. The last song recorded was 'Days Fast Forward,' which ironically is the longest song on the EP, and took the longest to write.

I read the piece on you in Essence, and the way you spoke of your influences brought a smile to my face. The fact Aaliyah played a major part when you were young, and how you found Imogen Heap, Radiohead and Little Dragon. Can you remember what it was like when you first heard any of these acts and the thoughts you had? I remember the first time I heard 'Machine Dreams' by Little Dragon, I couldn't believe a group of people in a room created that.

Little Dragon are talented aliens. I think Daft Punk's 'Discovery' video was loosely based on their biography; if you haven't seen their cover of 'Millionaire' then add that to the evidence. I remember hearing 'Twice' first. As cheesy as it may sound I remember thinking they discovered the beauty behind simplicity. It just clicked. I felt like we were on the same wavelength sonically, and it was really cool to watch their career unfold. I was ready for 'Machine Dreams' and they just keep getting better. I didn't grow up in a musically enthusiastic household so I remember a lot of these moments.

How collaborative of a project was Restless Minds? Was there a voice of input that you bounced ideas with when it came to the production aspect of the songs?

Before answering this question I need to clarify that I sing, write, and produce my own music. There have been one too many comments such as 'the man behind Oyinda' or that I've had a hand in creating my own songs and it's sexist and belittling. That being said, I mostly talk things out with Rafferty (one of my bandmates) after I have the song sketched out. He helps me solidify the tones in the production. Once I feel the songs getting close to being done I'll play it for Samuel (my other bandmate); if I think there's something missing he knows what to do. I really wanted this EP to sound like our live set together, and to feel like it's constantly beating.

Going a bit back, 'The Devil's Gonna Keep Me' is a standout tune to me. The fearlessness within the vocal delivery is sublime, do you remember what it was like recording that tune?

Around that time I was rediscovering my obsession with Nina Simone; every night before I slept I had to listen to her live performance of 'I Loves You Porgy' from 1962. She's influenced me so much, and in a way 'The Devil's Gonna Keep Me' is in honour of her. I recorded it in my living room with Rafferty in the dark. I wanted it to sound completely bare and confessional.