Rex Orange County

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Rex Orange County
Birth nameAlexander O'Connor
Born (1998-05-04) 4 May 1998 (age 21)
OriginGrayshott, Hampshire, England
Genres
Instruments
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • piano
  • drums
  • bass guitar
Years active2016–present
Associated actsTyler, the Creator, Benny Sings, Randy Newman, Cosmo Pyke
Websiterexorangecounty.com

Alexander O'Connor (born 4 May 1998), better known by his stage name Rex Orange County, is an English recording artist. He grew up in the village of Grayshott near Haslemere, Surrey.[1][2] O'Connor has released three albums, bcos u will never b free (2016), Apricot Princess (2017) and Pony (2019)

Name[edit]

The name Rex Orange County is based on a teacher-given nickname, "the OC", after his surname O'Connor.[3] "The OC" is a nickname for Orange County, California, popularised by the television show The O.C.

Childhood[edit]

At age five, O'Connor was a part of the choir at the school where his mother worked.[4] He grew up listening to Queen, ABBA, Green Day, and Weezer, along with more classical soulful artists, like Stevie Wonder who also inspired him.[5] He is a drummer, self-taught pianist, and he picked up the guitar when he was 16. At this age, he started to produce his own music on Logic software.[5]

At the age of 16, he went to the BRIT School, starting there as a drummer, one of four percussionists in his year. This exposed him to new and fresh music.[4] The relative rareness of his primary instrument provided him with wide exposure to various projects of others in his school. O'Connor also produces his own projects.[3][2]

Work[edit]

In 2016, Rex Orange County self-released bcos u will never b free on SoundCloud.[2] This put him on Two Inch Punch's radar, who provided him with a management team. They also collaborated on a few songs—"UNO", "Best Friend", and "Untitled". This also caught Tyler, the Creator's attention. He sent him an email, appreciating the album, and he also flew him out to L.A. to work on Flower Boy.[5]

Rex Orange County shared online the DIY "UNO" recording in 2016 when he was 18. Clash magazine wrote, "The buoyant keyboard riff underpins a hypnotic half-spoken vocal, one that veers from topic to topic in a hazy burst of creative mania."[6]

In 2017, he released his second album Apricot Princess.[7] The name comes from his pet name for his girlfriend, Thea. Three months after the release of his second album, Rex Orange County was featured on Tyler, the Creator's album Flower Boy; he co-wrote and contributed vocals to the songs "Boredom" and "Foreword".[7] His work has been compared to "other artsy, post-genre teen artists".[8]

As of 9 May 2018, the most popular track by Rex Orange County on Spotify is "Loving Is Easy" created in collaboration with the Dutch artist Benny Sings.[7] On 16 April 2018, Rex Orange County performed the song in his television debut on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.[9]

On 31 May 2018, Rex Orange County released a cover of "You've Got a Friend in Me", performing along with Randy Newman, the creator of the song.[10] He was also featured in Spotify's Rise Program.[5]

On 14 February 2019, he released a new single called "New House".

On 12 September 2019, he released "10/10", the lead single from his third album, Pony.[11] On 17 October 2019, he released the second single from Pony, "Pluto Projector", with the third single "Face to Face" following on 23 October 2019. Pony was released on 25 October 2019.

NPR Music journalist Zoë Jones described Rex Orange County's music as "a bright blend of hip-hop, jazz, and bedroom pop." [12]

Awards[edit]

In January 2018, O'Connor came in second in the BBC Sound of 2018 award after Norwegian singer Sigrid.[13]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions
UK
[14]
AUS
[15]
CAN
[16]
NZ
[17]
US
[18]
US
Heat.

[19]
US
Ind.

[20]
bcos u will never b free
Apricot Princess
  • Released: 26 April 2017
  • Label: Self-released
  • Format: Digital download, CD, vinyl
2 8
Pony
  • Released: 25 October 2019
  • Label: Sony Music (RCA)
  • Format: Digital download, CD, vinyl
5 4 3 6 3
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory

Singles[edit]

As lead artist[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Album
UK
[14]
UK
Indie

[21]
BEL
(WA)
Tip

[22]
NZ
Hot

[23]
US
Alt.

[24]
US
Rock

[25]
US
Rock
Airplay

[26]
US
AAA

[27]
"Japan" 2015 bcos u will never b free
"Uno"[28] 2016 Rainbow EP
"Best Friend"[29] 2017
"Sunflower"[30]
"Untitled"[31] Apricot Princess
"Never Enough"
"Edition"[32] Non-album singles
"Loving Is Easy"[33]
(featuring Benny Sings)
40 27 35 24
"You've Got a Friend in Me"[37]
(with Randy Newman)
2018
"New House"[38] 2019 47 19 40
"10/10"[39] 68 22 15 15 27 Pony
"Pluto Projector"[40] 17 10
"Face to Face"[41] 86 15
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

As featured artist[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions Albums
US
R&B/HH
Bub.

[42]
NZ
Heat.

[43]
"Boredom"
(Tyler, the Creator featuring Rex Orange County and Anna of the North)
2017 9 10 Flower Boy
"Forever Always"[44]
(Peter Cottontail featuring Rex Orange County, Chance the Rapper, Daniel Caesar, Madison Ryann Ward & YEBBA)
2018 Non-album single
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Other charted songs[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions Album
NZ
Hot

[23]
"Always" 2019 18 Pony
"Never Had the Balls" 21

Music videos[edit]

  • "Sunflower" (2017) (produced by Illegal Civ Cinema)[45]
  • "Loving Is Easy" (2017) (directed by Chris Ullens)[46]
  • "10/10" (2019) (directed by Warren Fu)[47]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dunn, Frankie (May 11, 2017). "10 things you need to know about rex orange county". Vice.
  2. ^ a b c "Rex Orange County: The Emotionally Visual Mastermind of the Next Generation". noisey.vice.com. Ryan Bassil. 11 September 2017.
  3. ^ a b "One to watch: Rex Orange County". The Guardian. 18 Nov 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Rex Orange County's Road From School Choir to 'Flower Boy'". PigeonsandPlanes. Archived from the original on 2018-11-15. Retrieved 2018-11-14.
  5. ^ a b c d "Rex Orange County is An Old Soul Moving at Lightspeed | Pitchfork". pitchfork.com. Retrieved 2018-11-14.
  6. ^ "Rex Orange County Shares 'UNO'". Clash. 17 Dec 2016.
  7. ^ a b c "COLUMN: Rex Orange County is an artist that cannot be labeled". Indiana Daily Student. 23 Mar 2018.
  8. ^ http://www.thefader.com/2017/05/25/rex-orange-county-apricot-princess-interview-gen-f
  9. ^ "Rex Orange County performs "Loving Is Easy" on 'The Tonight Show'". Substream Magazine. 17 April 2018.
  10. ^ "Rex Orange County and Randy Newman – "You've Got a Friend in Me"". Spin. 31 May 2018.
  11. ^ "Rex Orange County's new album, Pony, to arrive next month via Sony Music". Music Business Worldwide. 2019-09-19. Retrieved 2019-10-01.
  12. ^ https://www.npr.org/2019/11/06/776470091/rex-orange-county-doesnt-care-what-you-call-him-anymore
  13. ^ "The Longlist, Meet the 16 longlisted acts for BBC Music Sound of 2018". BBC.
  14. ^ a b "Rex Orange County | full Official Chart history". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 21 September 2019.
  15. ^ "ARIA Australian Top 50 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. 4 November 2019. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  16. ^ "Jesus Is King On This Week's Albums Chart". FYIMusicNews. 3 November 2019. Retrieved 5 November 2019.
  17. ^ "NZ Top 40 Albums Chart". Recorded Music NZ. 4 November 2019. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  18. ^ Caulfield, Keith (3 November 2019). "Kanye West's 'Jesus Is King' Arrives as His Record-Tying Ninth Consecutive No. 1 Debut on Billboard 200 Chart". Billboard. Retrieved 4 November 2019.
  19. ^ "Rex Orange County – Chart history (Heatseekers Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  20. ^ "Rex Orange County – Chart history (Independent Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  21. ^ Peak positions for UK Independent Singles Chart:
  22. ^ "Discografie Rex Orange County". Ultratop (in France). Retrieved 22 February 2019.CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)
  23. ^ a b "NZ Hot 40 Singles". Recorded Music NZ. February 25, 2019. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
    • "10/10": "NZ Hot Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. 23 September 2019. Retrieved 21 September 2019.
    • "Pluto Projector": "NZ Hot Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. 28 October 2019. Retrieved 26 October 2019.
    • "Face to Face", "Always" and "Never Had the Balls": "NZ Hot Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. 4 November 2019. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  24. ^ "Rex Orange County – Chart history (Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  25. ^ "Rex Orange County – Chart history (Hot Rock Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 5 April 2019.
  26. ^ "Rex Orange County – Chart history (Rock Airplay)". Billboard. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  27. ^ "Rex Orange County – Chart history (Adult Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  28. ^ "Uno - Single by Rex Orange County on Apple Music". iTunes. 17 November 2016. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  29. ^ "Best Friend - Single by Rex Orange County on Apple Music". iTunes. 25 January 2017. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  30. ^ "Sunflower - Single by Rex Orange County on Apple Music". iTunes. 22 March 2017. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  31. ^ "Untitled - Single by Rex Orange County on Apple Music". iTunes. 19 April 2017. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  32. ^ "Edition - Single by Rex Orange County on Apple Music". iTunes. 19 September 2017. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  33. ^ "Loving Is Easy (feat. Benny Sings) - Single by Rex Orange County on Apple Music". iTunes. 11 October 2017. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  34. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2019 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  35. ^ "BRIT Certified - bpi" (To access, enter the search parameter "Rex Orange County"). British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 14 November 2019.
  36. ^ "Gold & Platinum – Rex Orange County". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
  37. ^ "You've Got a Friend in Me by Rex Orange County and Randy Newman". Spotify. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  38. ^ "New House - Single by Rex Orange County on Apple Music". iTunes. 14 February 2019. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  39. ^ Reilly, Neil (13 September 2019). "Listen to '10/10′, the new single from Rex Orange County". NME. Retrieved 14 November 2019.
  40. ^ Clarke, Patrick (17 October 2019). "Take a listen to Rex Orange County's glistening new single 'Pluto Projector'". NME. Retrieved 14 November 2019.
  41. ^ Rudas, Matthew (23 October 2019). "Rex Orange County's "Face To Face" May Be His Most Exciting and Personal Single Yet". onestowatch.com. Retrieved 14 November 2019.
  42. ^ "Rex Orange County – Chart history (Bubbling Under R&B/Hip-Hop Singles)". Billboard. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  43. ^ "NZ Heatseeker Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. 24 July 2017. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  44. ^ "Forever Always (feat. Rex Orange County, Chance the Rapper, Daniel Caesar, Madison Ryann Ward & YEBBA) - Single by Peter Cottontail on Apple Music". iTunes. 22 June 2018. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  45. ^ Sunflower music video, Shot by Illegal Civ Cinema
  46. ^ It's Nice That | Chris Ullens directs charming stop-motion music video for Rex Orange County
  47. ^ "Rex Orange County returns with new single "10/10"". The FADER. Retrieved 2019-10-27.

External links[edit]