If you are passionate about all things electronic dance music, OK is an artist name that you will surely recognize from the start. Since his early education in 2013, the California-born DJ/producer has made a name for himself with releases that never cease to impress dance music fans of all calibers. In a short time, he solidified his unique contribution to the industry with his extraordinary sound design abilities and extravagant performance flair, and he continues to evolve his already global sound over time.
Over the years, he’s delivered a wide array of captivating hits like his number one trending track “Thief”, “Chasing Colors” with Marshmello, “Lighthouse” with Fox Stevenson, and many more. But like any successful musician, the famed producer decided to take a little break to focus solely on his artistic vision and follow the proper path to achieve his long-term goals. A genuine and authentic artist at heart, Ookay completely wowed fans with his most recently unveiled project after being off the grid for a while.
To start his 2022 artistic journey on a high note, Ookay unveiled his latest body of work, Very specialso that everyone can indulge in ultra music festival only a few weeks ago. As his first album since Wow! Nice album! in 2018, her premiere at the internationally acclaimed festival after not being able to perform there for two years was a brilliant promotional tactic to say the least. The album features a completely transformed, state-of-the-art Ookay sound that left everyone speechless, and choosing to debut their new musical masterpiece on the festival’s custom-designed live stage. complex way, like a live instrumentation performance was quite the move.
It has been so rewarding to follow the remarkable musician over the years and watch him grow so deeply as an artist. He made a huge impact on the scene and brightened the lives of music lovers with his hypnotic and eccentric melodies. It was even more gratifying to experience his first live UMF performance at Bayfront and to have the opportunity to chat with him immediately after his phenomenal set. Read on to learn more about Ookay and his latest project. Very special and more in our exclusive interview with him below.
Night Times: Tell us about your first live performance at the Ultra Music Festival you just presented. How do you feel ?
OK : I honestly thought it was sick, I had a lot of fun! It was a very special day today, and I say that because one, I released my album Very special today is a very special day. Second, I’m happy to present a very special album performance here at Ultra. Yes, I will continue to say a lot of very special things haha! I was able to bring a brand new show and all the new music from the album to my fans earlier and I brought my dancers with me and we just showed up and had fun with everyone.
Night Times: How has it been to be back in Bayfront Park since your last performance at the Ultra Music Festival in Virginia Key in 2019?
OK : It’s so nice to be back in Miami for Ultra and especially to be back at Bayfront Park. Last time I played the other location it was a blast again, don’t get me wrong it just wasn’t the same, it’s usually with a different venue. I’ve played Ultra pretty much every year since 2015 and there’s nothing quite like being right in the heart of downtown Miami. There’s this incredible energy in the air this weekend and it feels like a giant party seeing everyone come together again. Ultra will always hold a special place in my heart and I was so ready to make it the best show I’ve ever played here.
Night Times: Did you originally intend to publish Very special the same day as your Ultra express performance or did it just happen?
OK : Lowkey yes haha! I actually had the album ready to go for a while now and was going to release it in February, but I had this amazing idea. I knew Ultra was coming, so I thought, what better time to stream the show live and perform all of my new tunes so attendees and anyone watching the livestream can actually hear it all in an instant? It was so amazing to introduce fans to the next chapter of Ookay by releasing the album this way.
Night Times: How would you say your sound has changed over time? Were you nervous to present this new sound on Very special with fans earlier today?
OK : My sound went through so many phases since I started. I did house music releases, trap releases, dubstep releases, pop releases, metal releases, etc. So to release something like this that has been quite a personal project for a while is so special. It encompasses a lot of who I am as a person in this body of work, so being able to introduce it to so many people here is such a rewarding feeling. I was ready to expose that side of me to everyone.
Night Times: How did you expect fans who attended your set earlier to react to your album? How would you describe the crowd’s reaction when you watched during your performance?
OK : I wanted to be very personal and be very upfront with what this project is about during my performance. I was hoping they were looking at Ookay live as a body of work and as a deep project because a lot of my fans are used to my DJ sets which are very different from what this whole creation is about. I wanted to give the best possible introduction to what this album is not just on stage but as an overall performance that anyone can take home and remember as a unique moment in time. The crowd reaction was everything I wanted and more. There were so many smiling faces everywhere I looked and it was a perfectly sunny day in Miami.
Night Times: You mentioned that the album is quite a personal project that has been in the works for some time. When did the creative process really begin and what inspired it?
OK : Right after the release of my last album in 2018, I started playing and experimenting with this sound which I realized did not match my DJ sets. I knew I had to make it something special because it was good music, but I knew I had to present it differently. So I would say that’s when the birth of Ookay live really started to blossom. Obviously, this show is like a testament to that whole creative process and choosing to step out of my comfort zone. It’s been such an exciting project and I hope a lot of people will recognize it as something that took me a long time to get out.
Night Times: Now that you’ve revealed this passion project to fans around the world during your UMF live set, are there any particular venues or festivals you’d like to perform the album at?
OK : I never did the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles and I always dreamed of playing there. I feel like this is the perfect venue for this live album show. I think Aragon Ballroom in Chicago and Webster Hall or Avant Gardner in New York would also be a vibe for this type of performance. I definitely want to take the album tour to places I’ve been before, but bring a whole new energy this time around.
Night Times: Do you see yourself evolving your sound even more each time you decide to release a new project in the near future?
OK : Not only am I doing this project which is more instrumental than my previous releases, but I also have another project I’m working on called coaster which does not concern me at all. It’s a house music aka project and I’ve already done a whole EP and some other special tracks that I’m ready to reveal to everyone. I plan to officially release the news soon and I’m so excited about it!
Night Times: Are there any other upcoming projects, collaborations or track releases that you would like to share with our readers before they are announced to the public?
OK : Coaster project aside, I’ve done a lot of cool collaborations with artists like ATLiens, K?d, reworked some house stuff with Showtek, which is exciting, and going back to my roots a bit more and having fun with her now that this very special project is complete and available for the world to enjoy. After that I want to get to that time where I can try new things again. I’m constantly experimenting and trying new things, and I keep doing it to move forward.