Ookay has been a common name in the scene for years. After releasing his hit track “Thief” back in 2016, it’s now become one of those songs almost everyone knows at a show. With a new album on the horizon, we had to sit down and see what he’s been up to this year! For those unfamiliar with his sound, Ookay described himself as “brutally happy trap pop (lol)”.
Ashley Eggert, Electric Hawk: Let’s start with the obvious- shows and festivals are officially making a comeback! What are you most excited about?
Ookay: FEELS GOOD, MAN! I miss my friends honestly. I feel like festival routes and running into artists and their crew is the best. There’s an energy on stage you can’t replicate elsewhere and I can’t wait to feel that again.
AE: What started your career in music?
O: I’ve been around music my whole life thanks to my parents. I learned to love it out of the womb but didn’t take music seriously until I was out of high school and my first impression of modern electronic music. After going to my first dance music festival in 2010, I said to myself “hey, I can do that.” I did some local gigs in San Diego while learning music production then made my way to LA for more gigs and opportunities as well as connecting with other artists online.
AE: It’s been roughly 5 years since “Thief” was released, how do you feel you’ve grown since then?
O: That song will always have a special place in my heart and I’m glad It still touches the lives of so many people. I get videos from weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, and so many more places that blow my mind even now. I’m more thankful for the fact that it let me be my true self as an artist. Ookay started as just a trap DJ so to see how far it has come is really something.
AE: You have your sophomore album coming out later this year and now you’ve released the first 2 tracks from it- can you give us the inside scoop?
O: Yeah! Well, if you’ve been paying attention to the live streams I’ve done this past year, I’ve teased a good amount! It’s a collection of music I’ve fallen in love with and feels true to my spirit as an artist. I’m pushing myself a lot, really excited about this.
AE: The second track from the album, “Weekends,” just came out and we can’t get enough of it! What was your biggest inspiration behind it? It’s totally a relatable track.
O: Well, there definitely was a “she” involved within the writing process. Haha! It’s an honest song with real feelings. I know 1,000% I’m not the only one to experience what the song speaks of.
AE: With notable collabs under your belt including Marshmello and Noah Cyrus, are there any exciting collabs for us to look forward to? What artists are you itching to get in the studio with?
O: Absolutely look forward to some new collaborations! There are a few names on this upcoming album that I’m sure some will be familiar with. I also have a gang load of collabs with newer producers in the dance space that I’m very excited to release. Hard to name a single person I’d jump in the studio with, but I love everything coming out in the hip-hop scene. Would love to work with creatives like Playboi Carti or Lil Durk.
AE: Biggest challenges while writing this past year? Was it hard making upbeat/positive tracks?
O: Absolutely believe last year played a huge part in my writing process. It also kept me learning so much about producing and music that I never knew before. I feel much more confident as a writer, singer, and producer than I ever have before.
Touring can be a huge, unseen mental strain on artists. Some were given a much-needed break during 2020. It’s healing to hear artists are on better mental health tracks and ready to hit the road again.
I was in a pretty tough spot before the pandemic mentally. I was just burnt out after bus tours, international shows every month, and trying to have a normal social life at the same time. Seemed like life was moving so fast I didn’t know when it was going to end. It’s definitely been a blessing in disguise but I’m glad things are moving again. My approach to life has changed for the better and I’m happy about that.Ookay
AE: We would love to hear something positive that happened within the last year!
O: I made a KAJILLION DOLLARS FROM DOGECOIN! Just kidding. (Maybe.) I’ve actually made some great life changes. I moved to Las Vegas back in August 2020 and created some very genuine and beautiful relationships with friends that I never really had prior to COVID. I’m very grateful for the people in my life now.
AE: In past interviews you’ve said you’re a fan of Jazz, is this still one of your favorites? What artists do you listen to on your own time?
O: Oh hell yeah I love Jazz! Always check out Ahmad Jamal Trio as well as The Bad Plus. Also big love to Chick Corea (Rest In Peace), Herbie Hancock, Weather Report, and Robert Glasper. Such great artists and huge inspirations!
AE: Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me and catch us up on everything! Anything else you’d like to add?
O: Love ya! Stay tuned for more new music!
Looking for new music? Keep up with our weekly Spotify Playlist, Fresh Hunts. Updated every Friday with all the latest releases. Whether it’s the newest drops from Ookay, all your favorite artists, some old-school, or underground – we just want you to hear it.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and we at Electric Hawk understand just how hard life can hit. Part of the beauty in this magical journey we call life is the bliss we feel from music. If you’re in the dark, When The Music Stops is a non-profit organization with a mission to support and uplift others through the power of community, music, and love. Believe in yourself, Electric Hawk loves you, and you are never alone.