A few weeks back, our flagship boutique manager Alex Kilgore had the opportunity to sit down and interview one of his favorite artist, oklio. For those of you who haven't heard that name just yet, make sure you keep an ear out in the months to come.
Oklio has been solidifying his craft as a producer since the age of 15. From teaching himself to play trumpet, to learning how to build all of his sounds from scratch, there is no doubt that this kid is putting in the work needed to pump out hits. Now at the age of 22, oklio has been experimenting with different programs and genres to make his tracks completely original and true to his identity. Be it using his own vocals on tracks or the introduction of his live drum pad, oklio is always keeping things creative and fresh.
When not going by oklio, he goes by Wayne. Wayne, a Vail, CO native, lives in Boulder where he focuses on his music and videography for various up and coming artists.
I had the pleasure of catching one of his Denver shows a few months back and was lucky enough to meet the man behind the music for the first time. Over the next few weeks we tossed around the ideas of sitting down at the boutique for an interview.
Both Wayne and Jiberish were very excited for this potentially door opening opportunity. If you look at past pictures Wayne has posted on his social media, you will see that he has been rocking with Jiberish for quite some time and that does not go unnoticed.
Here is a bit of a closer look at what we talked about during oklio’s visit to Jiberish.
A: “First off - oklio, feel like I’ve been saying that wrong so how is it pronounced // Where did it come from?”
W: “(pron. O-KLIO) Not exact on where and when the name hit me but I wanted it to be unique and match the vibe of the music I write.
A: “So oklio, when I first heard of you the name was DeluXe, why the name change?”
W: “Well the whole DeluXe thing had its time. I started making other music because I was kind of getting away from that specific genre which was more Pretty Lights-esk and became more interested in the future-bass Odesza/Flume style that was quickly gaining momentum. That style is literally always at the top of the charts now and honestly I felt like I was better at making that kind of stuff. With the new name, I wanted it to be original and unheard of.
A : “What are you doing for work these days besides music?”
W: “Right now a bunch of tour managing stuff. That and video production. At the moment, because of how busy my summer is with touring, the music has been a bit slower but it is picking back up.”
A: “Have you always been into video work?”
W: “No, honestly I’ve just gotten into it over the last two years. When I left CU I was pretty much doing video full time. I had some talented friends doing photo and video work that were willing to teach me the things that I was not already learning on my own.”
A: “When did the drum pad come into play?”
W: “So that was new for the Oklio project. During the DeluXe time, I taught myself to play the trumpet, so I began playing the trumpet live during my sets. With oklio, I also wanted to play something live and I knew a drum pad would fit great with my music. For my shows I take the drum parts out of my songs so I can play the drums live on the pad which leaves doors open for planned and improvisational opportunities.”
A: “Do you have any new music on the way? What have you been working on?!”
W: “Ya, so I have two tracks completely finished right now. Currently getting the artwork together for them, and I think they’ll be singles. I also have a track that I’m writing with Phiilo right now that’s almost done and will probably be a single as well. A remix here and there as well as working on an EP with about 6 tracks!
A: “ ‘Need YOU’ is your most recent single, who is the female vocalist? A friend of yours or someone you were put in contact with?”
W: “Her names Megana. One of my friends did a song with her and I heard the vocals on that while I was already making the tune at the time and immediately thought- this is it, I need her on this song. So my friend linked me up with her and we sat down and started writing lyrics. We both knew instantly that it was gonna be something amazing.”
A: How long would you say a process like that takes you? Writing music, lyrics if needed, working with other artists?
W: “I think getting a vocalist and recording and taking the time to write something you’re both in full support of can take months or even a year to get it right. Like for ‘ Need You ’, we recorded that in January 2017 but I had been writing the track for 6 months before that. Then we spent another 6 months tweaking the song and mixing/mastering.
A: “Do you sample or have anything with your own voice in any of your stuff?’
W: “I do actually sing on one of my tracks ‘ Stuck on my Mind ’. That’s the only track I’ve sang on and it turned out really well. I’m by no means a great singer, but I really enjoy it and plan on recording more vocals for my songs.
A: “Set-wise, what percentage would you say your live sets are original vs. other artists tracks? What makes the other tracks special?”
W: “I would say about 50% other artists music and 50% mine. However, most of the tracks I play from other artists I’ll make live flips of to change it up from the original song. I like to play songs that I vibe with a lot and fit well with my music.
A: “The first time I saw you play, you looked very comfortable up there. Have you always been somewhat of a performer or were you shy growing up?”
W: “I guess growing up I was on the shy side. I was never into the performing arts or anything. I played my first show at Cervantes in 2014 and it was cool but super nerve wracking because I had never really been in the spotlight before. It was a DJ battle thing and I had submitted my first EP to perform. I didn’t win but it was a fun experience.”
A: “Do you have something you always bring to perform besides the drum pad? Any certain set up or just go with it?”
W: “At the moment I perform with an apc40 and the SPDS-X drum pad. Nothing aesthetic yet but I have some cool lighting and visuals in the works!
A: “What’s the biggest crowd you’ve ever played?”
W: “The biggest show I’ve played was on my 21st birthday in March of 2017. I was direct support for Hippie Sabotage at the Ogden in Denver. It was sold out and was absolutely crazy.
A: “What would you say is the smallest crowd you’ve ever played?”
W: “Haha I don’t know maybe ten people. Never empty, there’s always at least some people there or some homies that roll up to support.
A: “How are you feeling about your upcoming show this weekend? Nervous at all or ready for it?”
W: “I am so ready for it! Very excited to perform all my new music and showcase the new visuals I have been making. I’ve put a lot of work into this show and cannot wait to share with everyone.
oklio is on his way to making a real name for himself this year in the Denver music scene and we are very excited to see what this kid comes up with next. We appreciate his years of support and he for sure has ours.
You can catch Oklio playing this weekend July 7th with Phiilo at the Larimer Lounge in Denver, CO. If you’re into his sound then I would not sudjust sleeping on this because it is going to be a hell of a show. If you do sleep on this, you can give him a listen and a follow on all social media platforms to keep up with releases and updates.