This time last year, the New Zealand-born beatsmith spoke candidly about burnout, and more specifically the stressors of touring and finding balance while on the road. In a heartfelt letter to fans, he emphasized the notion that “we are all human.”
Contrary to what many of us have been programmed to believe, it’s not selfish to take the time you need to feel good and fill up your cup, so to speak. In fact, it’s of the utmost importance you do so. After all, you can’t operate at your best when you’re running on empty.
Taking some time to reassess what’s important, Opiuo discovered a way to move forward.
“The journey of this creative process is so driven. As soon as you are somewhere, you feel the pressure to continue because it is so rewarding,” Opiuo said in an interview with EDM.com earlier this year. “That drive is never going to go away as a creative person because it’s such an amazing thing to do. But for me, I really need to involve my family because that’s such a grounding reality.”
In May, a few days prior to his sold-out Red Rocks Amphitheatre performance with The Opulent Orchestra, Opiuo’s family came to the U.S. for an extended three-month stay. And with the support of his family, he delivered his magnum opus.
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Having listened to orchestral music when he was young, the concept was something Opiuo had envisioned for years. In 2018, his vision came to life when he debuted the act with the Synergy Orchestra at Red Rocks, where he delivered an unparalleled auditory experience. Fast-forward five years, and he showcased his artistic evolution with The Opulent Orchestra.
“Quite possibly the most audacious project I have ever undertaken,” Opiuo said in a statement. “My Red Rocks show with The Opulent Orchestra has become a defining moment for myself. Conducting the 22 musicians in front of a sold out audience; developing, designing & operating the video & lasers; plus many months of work writing the music, then mixing the entire show; I honestly feel extremely proud of this album and can confidently say it’s some of my best work yet!”
Out now via Slurp Music, Opiuo & The Opulent Orchestra is a live album encapsulating that unforgettable evening. 16 of the 19 tracks in the extensive LP are orchestral renditions performed live at Colorado’s iconic outdoor venue. The collection features members of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra and Grammy-nominated instrumentalist Tom Hagerman.
The single “Conduct-A-Disco” was released at the beginning of the month, offering a captivating teaser for the upcoming album. In addition to its live orchestral version, that song—as well as two collaborations with Ashez, “Candy” and “Bash Plate“—are included as original bonus tracks.
In its entirety, Opiuo & The Opulent Orchestra offers a symphonic reinterpretation of Opiuo’s celebrated classics such as crowd-favorites “Jelly,” “Snorkle” and “On Your Side.” Let’s not forget about “Bam Bam,” the beloved CloZee collaboration that’s now been reborn in opulent fashion, as well as “Falling,” a cover of an original song by Deathpact, and Opiuo’s rework of “Higher,” originally by Big Gigantic, The Funk Hunters and Eric Benny Bloom.
Opiuo’s signature genre-bending, funkadelic basslines translate fluently with intricate use of orchestral elements. “Dusty Bugs,” originally co-produced with Vorso, is now driving by to hypnotic and cinematic rhythms, and the collaborative essence of Opiuo’s work shines even brighter in “Endless Dream,” a compelling collaboration with Z.I.V and MOONZz.
For those who missed out on this once-in-a-lifetime performance, or are longing for a visual component, you’re in luck. Following today’s release, fans can soon relive the entire live concert experience by virtue of a concert video premiere slated for Monday, November 20th. You can check out the teaser below.