Okay Kaya Releases Long Anticipated Album, “SAP”
Indie musician Okay Kaya released her long-awaited album, SAP, via Jagjaguwar on Nov.4. SAP is a minimalistic experimental project that sees Okay Kaya wrestle with questions surrounding consciousness and how it is affected by events in our life as well as our daily habitats. From examining the ego to discussing ketamine therapy, the content on this album is vast, abstract and mysterious. SAP has been described by Fader magazine as an album that “bridges the gap between imagination and technology”.
Okay Kaya, whose real name is Kaya Wilkins, is a Norwegian-American musician and actress from New Jersey. Wilkins’ first release under the Okay Kaya moniker was the 2015 release, “Damn Gravity”, a vulnerable sparse song about heartbreak. As her career has progressed, Wilkins has released several songs of a similar vein, which can be seen on her latest album as well. Okay Kaya’s music is intimate and sees her invite listeners into some of her most vulnerable moments. Following “Damn Gravity”, Wilkins has gone on to release two mixtapes and three studio albums, with SAP being the latest of them.
SAP’s opening song, “Mood into Object Personified” is tranquil and floating. Wilkins’ lyrics make interesting juxtaposition between various living and non-living elements. Some examples from the song include newborns and buildings, and then later on metal arms, which seem to occupy an intersection of both. The second song, “Jolene from Her Own Perspective” sees Okaya Kaya give her track on Dolly Parton’s famous hit “Jolene”. In Dolly Parton’s version, the singer begs the titular Jolene to not take away her man. Wilkins’ version sees her tackle what Jolene might have thought of the situation. In her song, Jolene is full of praise for Dolly Parton, and says fighting over a man seems far too trivial of a thing for them to do. Instead, she wants the focus to be about them, believing both of them to be God sent. Jolene wants to talk to Dolly, wants the conversation to be all about the two of them.
“Jazzercise” sees Wilkins examining and probing her own habits. The song features elements of spoken word. The song comes across sounding almost like a fitness or yoga instruction manual as Wilkins asks her listeners- “Have you tried jazzercising your nerves away?” Towards the end of the song, her echoing background vocals merge together with the main vocal, producing a hypnotic chant-like effect. The lyrics “I think I’m gonna jazzercise my life away” are repeated over and over again, and the catchy mantra is bound to get stuck in your head.
On “Pathologically Bruised”, Wilkins talks about the effects of a lover leaving have had on her. Continuing with her analysis of elements of the consciousness on this album, here Wilkins’ ego seems to be the focus, with it appearing to be bruised by the aforementioned interaction. The vocals on here are serene like always, with a choir- like harmony being present at the end of the song.
“Inside of a Plum” was one of the songs put out before the album release, getting its own music video as well. The song talks about the experience of undergoing ketamine therapy. The song is warm and cozy, similar to being under a blanket on a cold winter day while watching the snow fall outside your window. It sounds like an escape from the world.
Put on some headphones and cover my eyes
Teeth are loosey-goosey feeling
And so is my mind
Inside of a Plum
The music video was composed using DALL-E technology. DALL E is an A.I generator that composes images based on given input. The resulting music video was a result of dreamlike and abstract stills played on top of another.
On “Pearl” Wilkins talks about meeting a mysterious girl of the same name and recounts how that made her feel. The lyrics seem as mysterious as this girl seems to be, as Wilkins lays out her feeling. She sings “If love is not the answer/ It’s one hell of a question”.
Okay Kaya’s SAP is a probing look into our consciousness and all that defines it. It is intricately presented to us in swooning minimalistic textures and heartfelt, intimate vocals. For more of Okaya Kaya, you can follow her on her website, where you can find tickets for her upcoming tour. You can also follow her on Instagram and Facebook. You can listen to her music on Spotify and YouTube.