With a love for electronic music since the age of 13, Akaysha has been performing as Ok Sure since 2009, but that is just one side of her. Locally she has performed at festivals and venues including Strawberry Fields, Kiss My Grass, Revolver and Family, while internationally she has performed at the legendary Thailand Full Moon parties. More impressive, at the age of 20 won the Pioneer Pro DJ search. It was definitely time to have a chat.
Hello Akaysha, and thanks for taking the time to have a chat with Forte Magazine – it is long overdue. Can you please briefly introduce yourself and what it is you do?
You have gone under the name Ok Sure since 2009. Can you tell us a bit about your history? Did taking on the name also lead to a transformation in your music?
Yeah, before Ok Sure I was releasing and deejaying under Kaysh and it was more dance focused, house/tech etc. I guess I got a bit bored of that and started making stuff that was more experimental and adding vocals and decided to try playing my own stuff live.
I still make tech/house under Kaysh, but I have been focusing a lot more on the down-tempo sound the last few years. Usually, but not always, the stuff 115bpm and below is Ok Sure; anything above that I generally release under Kaysh. I often remix myself making more upbeat versions of the Ok Sure tracks too.
You are essentially a producer/ DJ. I know you spend a lot of time in the home studio making beats. Tell us about the balance. Are you perhaps more into the production side of things?
Yeah I think so. I feel more comfortable behind the desk instead of the decks. I don’t DJ that much anymore; I’m trying to focus on playing my own stuff live.
Brace yourself – here comes the genre description question that all artists absolutely love. How would you describe the style of your music?
I dunno … industrial synth trip hop down-tempo melodic cosmic witch electro? – Or whatever…
In terms of production, what programs and equipment are you working with ATM? Is there anything you are using that you are truly in love with?
Ableton is my drug of choice.
Can you tell us what releases you have out and where people can check them out?
I haven’t released much (officially) under Ok Sure. I did one EP a few years ago and maybe a dozen remixes (just finished one that should be out soon), but I’ve been a lot more selective of what I release because I released a lot under Kaysh that I don’t really like anymore.
I am thinking about releasing an album, maybe independently if I don’t find a suitable local label. In the meantime I upload everything to soundcloud.com/kaysh. I’ve also just done vocals for a Brisbane producer called Flex Cop, and that track should be coming out this month.
You have been playing around Geelong and all over really for a long while. Forte is led to understand that the closure of The Nash was something that you took particularly hard. On reflection, what role did that iconic venue play in your music/social life?
Yeah, I did my first live show there and played on a regular basis either deejaying or supporting bands. It was a lot of fun. Very sad to see that place go as Geelong’s live music scene has very little going for it now … much like my social life. RIP Nash :’(
You now play a fair bit at the Basement, which appears to be filling a great space for artists like yourself. How have your gigs there been going?
Yeah good. We tried to make Fridays there more of a party vibe, playing pretty much anything and everything. I’ve done a few lives shows down there too and they have gone pretty well. On Saturdays they have Fake Chow which is more underground house focused, which I’ve also played at a few times and hopefully will a bit more down the track. Deejaying tech house is what got me into all this, and I still enjoy getting the chance to play those sets.
How do you find being an artist in regional Victoria? Does Geelong still provide a worthwhile scene for artists in your position?
Well, the lack of venues to play makes it pretty hard; it’s good for producing because there isn’t a lot to do so I work on that a lot. But for gigs I really need to focus more on major cities.
You have a gig coming up in Melbourne in the next week. Tell us about it.
Yeah, got a few shows this month. Feb 9th at the Evelyn there will be five acts including myself, Mandek Penha, Kansas City Fagots, Dr Jaffle and The Vainglories. They are all really different sounds so it’s going to be a pretty eclectic evening. I’m also deejaying Feb 8th for a festival in The Fitzroy Beer Garden and doing an Ok Sure show Feb 28th for Limited Press at Killing Time.
What does Ok Sure have planned for the next 12 months and beyond?
When&Where: The Bitzroy Beer Garden – Feb 8, The Evelyn Hotel – Feb 9 and Killing Time Bar – Feb 28