Rex Orange County

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Rex Orange County
O'Connor in 2020
O'Connor in 2020
Background information
Birth nameAlexander James O’Connor[1]
Born (1998-05-04) 4 May 1998 (age 23)
OriginGrayshott, Hampshire, England
Genres
Instruments
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • piano
  • drums
  • bass guitar
  • saxophone
Years active2015–present
LabelsRCA[5]
Associated acts
Websiterexorangecounty.com

Alexander James O'Connor (born 4 May 1998), known professionally as Rex Orange County, is a British recording artist. He grew up in the village of Grayshott near Haslemere, Surrey.[6][7] O'Connor has released one mixtape: Bcos U Will Never B Free (2015), and two studio albums: Apricot Princess (2017) and Pony (2019), as well as a live album titled Live at Radio City Music Hall (2020).

Name[edit]

The name Rex Orange County is based on a teacher-given nickname, "The OC", after his surname O'Connor.[8]

Early life and work[edit]

O'Connor was involved with music from a young age. At age five, O'Connor was a part of the choir at the school where his mother worked.[9] He became a drummer and later taught himself piano. At age sixteen, he picked up the guitar and started to produce his own music on Logic software.[10] Growing up, he listened to Queen, ABBA, Stevie Wonder, and American alternative artists like Weezer and Green Day.[10]

He started his music journey at Frensham Heights School in Farnham, Surrey. Beginning at age 16, he attended the BRIT School where he studied drumming and was one of four percussionists in his year; the relative rareness of his primary instrument provided him with wide exposure to various projects of others in his school which he credits to exposing him to new and fresh music.[9] During this time, O'Connor also began producing his own projects.[8][7]

Career[edit]

On 4 September 2015, O’Connor self-released his debut album Bcos U Will Never B Free on SoundCloud and Bandcamp.[7] Upon listening to the album, fellow English musician and producer Two Inch Punch made contact with O’Connor, providing him with a management team. The two have continued to collaborate throughout O’Connor’s career in the form of the tracks "UNO", "Best Friend", and "Untitled". The album also caught the attention of American rapper Tyler, the Creator, who sent O’Connor an email describing his enjoyment of the project. This led to him flying O’Connor out the following year to L.A. to collaborate on his then-upcoming album Flower Boy,[10] with O’Connor co-writing and contributing vocals to the songs "Boredom" and "Foreword".[11] On 17 November 2016, O’Connor released the single “UNO”; a song Clash magazine described by writing, "The buoyant keyboard riff underpins a hypnotic half-spoken vocal, one that veers from topic to topic in a hazy burst of creative mania."[12] On 25 January 2017, O’Connor released the single “Best Friend” (premiering on Apple Music’s Beats 1 station), followed later in the year by the release of his second album Apricot Princess.[11] O’Connor’s work has been compared to "other artsy, post-genre teen artists".[13]

O’Connor’s first release following the success of Apricot Princess and Flower Boy was on 11 October 2017 with the single "Loving Is Easy", created in collaboration with the Dutch artist Benny Sings.[11] On 16 April 2018, O’Connor performed the song in his television debut on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.[14] On 31 May 2018, O’Connor released a cover of "You've Got a Friend in Me" in collaboration with Randy Newman, the creator of the song.[15] He was also featured in Spotify's Rise Program.[10] On 9 October 2018, O’Connor was scheduled to appear on the French television programme Quotidien, but refused to perform because it featured a sketch by comedian Alison Wheeler parodying the Ku Klux Klan, which he called "tasteless".[16] On 14 February 2019, O’Connor released the single "New House". Later that year, on 12 September, O’Connor released "10/10"; the lead single from his third album Pony.[17] Released on 25 October 2019, Pony was O’Connor’s first major-label album release through RCA Records.[18] NPR Music journalist Zoë Jones described O’Connor’s music as "a bright blend of hip-hop, jazz, and bedroom pop."[18]

Awards[edit]

In January 2018, O'Connor came in second in the BBC Sound of 2018 award after Norwegian singer Sigrid.[19]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions
UK
[20]
AUS
[21]
CAN
[22]
NZ
[23]
US
[24]
US
Heat.

[25]
US
Ind.

[26]
Bcos U Will Never B Free [A] 28
[28]
Apricot Princess
  • Released: 26 April 2017
  • Label: Self-released
  • Format: Digital download, CD, vinyl, streaming
2 8
Pony
  • Released: 25 October 2019
  • Label: RCA
  • Format: Digital download, CD, vinyl, streaming
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]

List of singles, with year released, selected chart positions and certifications, and album name shown
Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Album
UK
[20]
UK
Indie

[29]
BEL
(WA)
Tip

[30]
NZ
Hot

[31]
US
Alt.

[32]
US
Rock

[33]
US
Rock
Airplay

[34]
US
AAA

[35]
"Japan" 2015 Bcos U Will Never B Free
"Corduroy Dreams"[36]
"Uno"[37] 2016 Non-album singles
"Best Friend"[38] 2017
"Sunflower"[41]
"Untitled"[42] Apricot Princess
"Never Enough"
"Edition"[43] Non-album singles
"Loving Is Easy"[44]
(featuring Benny Sings)
40 27 35 24
"You've Got a Friend in Me"[46]
(with Randy Newman)
2018
"New House"[47] 2019 47 19 40
"10/10"[48] 68 22 9 6 27 25 Pony
"Pluto Projector"[49] 17 7
"Face to Face"[50] 86 15 8
"—" 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.

[51]
NZ
Heat.

[52]
"Boredom"
(Tyler, the Creator featuring Rex Orange County and Anna of the North)
2017 9 10 Flower Boy
"Forever Always"[53]
(Peter CottonTale 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

[31]
"Always" 2019 18 Pony
"Never Had the Balls" 21

Music videos[edit]

  • "Sunflower" (2017) (produced by Illegal Civ Cinema)[54]
  • "Loving Is Easy" (2017) (directed by Chris Ullens)[55]
  • "10/10" (2019) (directed by Warren Fu)[56]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Bcos U Will Never B Free did not enter the UK Albums Chart, but peaked at 26 on the UK Albums Sales Chart.[27]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "BMI | Songview Search". repertoire.bmi.com.
  2. ^ "Rex Orange County - Things to do in New York". Time Out New York. Retrieved February 18, 2021.
  3. ^ "Pony - Rex Orange County AllMusic". Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  4. ^ "This Valentine's Day, Rex Orange County Wants To Move Into A 'New House' Together". NPR.org. Retrieved 2021-03-25.
  5. ^ "Rex Orange County Doesn't Care What You Call Him (Anymore)". NPR.org.
  6. ^ Dunn, Frankie (May 11, 2017). "10 things you need to know about rex orange county". Vice.
  7. ^ a b c "Rex Orange County: The Emotionally Visual Mastermind of the Next Generation". noisey.vice.com. Ryan Bassil. 11 September 2017.
  8. ^ a b "One to watch: Rex Orange County". The Guardian. 18 Nov 2017.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ a b c d "Rex Orange County is An Old Soul Moving at Lightspeed | Pitchfork". pitchfork.com. Retrieved 2018-11-14.
  11. ^ a b c "COLUMN: Rex Orange County is an artist that cannot be labeled". Indiana Daily Student. 23 Mar 2018.
  12. ^ "Rex Orange County Shares 'UNO'". Clash. 17 Dec 2016.
  13. ^ "Rex Orange County Is Teenage Joy Personified". Thefader.com. Retrieved 2020-05-20.
  14. ^ "Rex Orange County performs "Loving Is Easy" on 'The Tonight Show'". Substream Magazine. 17 April 2018.
  15. ^ "Rex Orange County and Randy Newman – "You've Got a Friend in Me"". Spin. 31 May 2018.
  16. ^ Geffray, Emilie (11 October 2018). "Quotidien s'explique après l'annulation du groupe de Rex Orange County". Le Figaro (in French). Retrieved 18 September 2020.
  17. ^ "Rex Orange County's new album, Pony, to arrive next month via Sony Music". Music Business Worldwide. 2019-09-19. Retrieved 2019-10-01.
  18. ^ a b "Rex Orange County On What 'Pony' Means And How Fame Really Feels". Npr.org. 2019-11-06. Retrieved 2020-05-20.
  19. ^ "The Longlist, Meet the 16 longlisted acts for BBC Music Sound of 2018". BBC.
  20. ^ a b "Rex Orange County | full Official Chart history". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 21 September 2019.
  21. ^ "ARIA Australian Top 50 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. 4 November 2019. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  22. ^ "Jesus Is King On This Week's Albums Chart". FYIMusicNews. 3 November 2019. Retrieved 5 November 2019.
  23. ^ "NZ Top 40 Albums Chart". Recorded Music NZ. 4 November 2019. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  24. ^ 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.
  25. ^ "Rex Orange County – Chart history (Heatseekers Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  26. ^ "Rex Orange County – Chart history (Independent Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  27. ^ "Official Albums Sales Chart". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 16 September 2020.
  28. ^ "ARIA Australian Top 50 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. 14 September 2020. Retrieved 12 September 2020.
  29. ^ Peak positions for UK Independent Singles Chart:
  30. ^ "Discografie Rex Orange County". Ultratop (in French). Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  31. ^ 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.
  32. ^ "Rex Orange County – Chart history (Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  33. ^ "Rex Orange County – Chart history (Hot Rock Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 5 April 2019.
  34. ^ "Rex Orange County – Chart history (Rock Airplay)". Billboard. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  35. ^ "Rex Orange County – Chart history (Adult Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  36. ^ Leung, Gabrielle (4 September 2020). "Rex Orange County honors debut album's 5th anniversary with live performance video". Hypebeast. Retrieved 25 January 2021.
  37. ^ "Uno - Single by Rex Orange County on Apple Music". iTunes. 17 November 2016. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  38. ^ "Best Friend - Single by Rex Orange County on Apple Music". iTunes. 25 January 2017. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  39. ^ a b c "BRIT Certified - bpi" (To access, enter the search parameter "Rex Orange County"). British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 3 April 2020.
  40. ^ a b c "Gold & Platinum – Rex Orange County". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 5 August 2020.
  41. ^ "Sunflower - Single by Rex Orange County on Apple Music". iTunes. 22 March 2017. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  42. ^ "Untitled - Single by Rex Orange County on Apple Music". iTunes. 19 April 2017. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  43. ^ "Edition - Single by Rex Orange County on Apple Music". iTunes. 19 September 2017. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  44. ^ "Loving Is Easy (feat. Benny Sings) - Single by Rex Orange County on Apple Music". iTunes. 11 October 2017. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  45. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2019 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  46. ^ "You've Got a Friend in Me by Rex Orange County and Randy Newman". Spotify. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  47. ^ "New House - Single by Rex Orange County on Apple Music". iTunes. 14 February 2019. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  48. ^ Reilly, Neil (13 September 2019). "Listen to '10/10′, the new single from Rex Orange County". NME. Retrieved 14 November 2019.
  49. ^ Clarke, Patrick (17 October 2019). "Take a listen to Rex Orange County's glistening new single 'Pluto Projector'". NME. Retrieved 14 November 2019.
  50. ^ Rudas, Matthew (23 October 2019). "Rex Orange County's "Face To Face" May Be His Most Exciting and Personal Single Yet". Ones to Watch. Retrieved 14 November 2019.
  51. ^ "Rex Orange County – Chart history (Bubbling Under R&B/Hip-Hop Singles)". Billboard. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  52. ^ "NZ Heatseeker Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. 24 July 2017. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  53. ^ "Forever Always (feat. Rex Orange County, Chance the Rapper, Daniel Caesar, Madison Ryann Ward & YEBBA) - Single by Peter CottonTale on Apple Music". iTunes. 22 June 2018. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  54. ^ Sunflower music video, Shot by Illegal Civ Cinema, YouTube
  55. ^ It's Nice That | Chris Ullens directs charming stop-motion music video for Rex Orange County, Itsnicethat.com
  56. ^ "Rex Orange County returns with new single "10/10"". Thefader.com. Retrieved 2019-10-27.

External links[edit]