CJ and her band Oh He Dead are based in Washington DC. She grew up in the area surrounded by GoGo music, a brand of funk that is very characteristic of the DC area. CJ’s earliest memories in music were of sitting in the kitchen, eating oatmeal that her mom had just made her, and watching VH1 before she went to school. She knew every word by heart. CJ actually jumpstarted her singing career in her high school’s production of “Rent.” They had to leave a few scenes out of the rather ambitious play. Of course, she’s since expanded her repertoire beyond musical theater.
When CJ’s band teacher Claire Newbegin saw her performance in the play, she was ecstatic; she didn’t know she had such a talent for singing. Therefore, she was adamant that she do it for a living. Claire was always her biggest supporter and in college she introduced her to her future bandmate Andy who was playing guitar in another project at the time. Now, Claire has since become the band’s manager. Oh He Dead have been together for eight years. Claire has always been their biggest influence, supporter, and fan.
CJ “Two women who really really influenced me are Sharday and Stevie Nicks. They’re both strong women from two different backgrounds talking about love and their different experiences.” She also mentioned that her all-time favorite band is Kings of Leon.
CJ has a wonderful sense of humor that she incorporates into her lyrics. She writes about her life experiences, she writes about her dating life a lot. There are always weird things happening in life, and it’s fun to write about them. The writing process looks different from time to time with Oh He Dead. CJ writes some arrangements on guitar, she might bring lyrics to the band to work on, or Andy might come up with something to work on, and the five of them might write a song altogether. It just depends, it’s consistently a collaborative effort between the bandmates.
Their new album Pretty is out as of September 15th. The album got its title because they recorded it to be a more clean, more poppy sounding album. They recorded it in Murfreesboro, TN at Red Giraffe Studios. Medium Build’s album inspired them to record there. The next group of songs will be released in an album titled Ugly, which has no date set for yet. Because of the DIY aspects of the album, they created the title and vibe in contrast to the Pretty album. They recorded this group of songs themselves in a home studio, their guitarist has a barn that he’s converted into a studio/practice space.
The future of Oh He Dead is leaning into the GoGo style of music, it’s something that they’re interested in exploring more and working towards.
Explore the band more by following them on Instagram.