OKENYO: 5 Tracks Of Monumental Intimacy

SYDNEY-BASED artist and actor OKENYO is drawn to moments that capture a sense of personal intimacy, and her debut EP follows suit.

Produced by Lionel Towers (Gypsy & The Cat), The Wave sees OKENYO push herself into “places of vulnerability” over at times sparse beats and neo-soul textures.

Here she presents five songs of deep emotional authenticity – from FKA Twigs to James Blake.

‘Show Me Love’

Laura Mvula

Laura has an exceptional way of bringing the intimate to the foreground and honouring deep emotion. This song, like many on The Dreaming Room, encapsulates the intimacy of personal grief and through her exquisite orchestration expresses a deep reflection and a long exhale. Her vulnerability is so relatable. I’m so grateful for her expression.

‘Black Skinhead’

Kanye West

This song is what I love about rap. It’s politically radical and slaps you in the face, punches you awake. Instrumentally it is so bold it’s almost frightening. The brief snaps to complete silence are arresting. The dirty bass and guitar is distressing. Yet somehow the overall effect is enlivening and invigorating. Makes me wanna do bad bad things.

‘Lights On’

FKA Twigs

One of the sexiest tracks ever, this one is a monumental slow-burn. FKA is so skilled at creating immense musical landscapes that seem to stretch time. Mixing the sensual and the emotional, the result is deeply sexy. The epic nature of intimacy.

‘Pyramids’

Frank Ocean

This song gives life to a whole story, a passage in time, perhaps a lifetime. I love when a song starts somewhere and by the end I’m in an entirely different space. Electric synth-y start, thieves on a mission. Historical and biblical references for the mid section. Then as the sun rises we get to the heart of the tale, an intimate domestic moment in a motel. The last four minutes of the song I find sad, curious and insightful, wondering who the hell Frank Ocean really is. At the end we are given at least a minute of melancholic guitar riffs, time to reflect on the entire journey. Sigh.

‘Retrograde’

James Blake

Blake at his overwhelming best. Another song that smacks me around a bit and hits me right at the core. The tsunami of that relentless synth coinciding with the lyrics. “Suddenly I’m hit” is at the same time a guttural scream and a slow weep.

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