A Quick Chat with Ookay
The first night of TomorrowWorld was a tiring but memorable feat. Most traveling to the festival had come from far and wide to arrive exhausted but ready to party. Through the hustle, Sensible Reason caught up with producer Ookay from Dim Mak to chat about himself, the music industry, and his views on the enormous festival.
So how did you come up with the name Ookay?
Ookay was a spontaneous move. It was not planned out or thought of in any way, or any smart way at all. One day I was like “I’m going to write the Okay on SoundCloud and take that name,” and then it was taken so I went “f**k,” and I did 2 Y’s and that was also taken, “oh shit, alright 2 O’s,” Your name was successful. Alright looks like I’m Ookay now. Yeah, it was not planned out whatsoever it just happened. There’s no amazing story. Everyone gets bummed out that they think its some crazy awesome story I’m like “No, I was just sitting down one day and was like Ookay.” It worked, I’m not mad about it.
[Laughs] Alright. What do you think of TomorrowWorld so far?
Unreal. I’ve only seen not even a quarter of it. I’ve only seen backstage so far and played my stage and I came straight back here [“artist mansion”]
How’s the Mansion?
It’s pretty cool. It looks like some horse stables [which it was]. It’s like Disneyland with the big arch and everything. I feel like Tinkerbell is going to come by and go *ding* to the top. It’s cool, I want to go check [the festival] out for sure. I’ve been lagging on it. I definitely want to go see Laidback Luke ’cause he’s one of my favorites.
The Artist Mansion was a converted million-dollar stable on the back end of the festival on the top of a large hill overlooking the entire festival. Anybody who was anybody congregated there for free drinks, food, and a quieter setting outside of the festival grounds. Those with the right credentials could rub shoulders with their favorite artists and have a little bit of time to wind down and network.
So are you here all weekend?
Yeah, I’m here till Monday so I’ll be able to see some things. Who else is playing? I don’t even know who else is playing. I know Yellow Claw is playing soon I want to go see them too. They’re killing it.
What is your favorite part of being in the music industry?
Meeting a bunch of genuine DJs. I mean everyone I’ve met so far in the industry, being a part of this, has been so nice and so helpful. There’s always a great energy and everyone’s super excited to see each other when we get to festivals like this, because we’re all travelling and never in the same place.
Yeah, I feel like everyone knows each other.
Yeah, this is like a family reunion that happens once a year or twice a year. Everyone’s like “OH I haven’t seen you in like 6 months!” So it’s always fun to see that, plus there’s always free alcohol, which is great you can never go wrong with that.
So what would be the worst part about being in the music industry?
No sleep! Absolutely, and being dehydrated all the time. Because you’re traveling to different climates and your body has trouble adjusting, it has to work harder, you’re out of water at the end of the day and you’re like dying. But yeah definitely no sleep is the worst part, and having to sleep on airplanes. Because that’s the best thing to a bed I’m ever gonna get. They need to make Tempur-pedic seats on planes, that’d be amazing, I’m gonna make that happen.
Do you consider yourself more of a DJ or producer?
Producer, definitely. I mean, I think I’m pretty good at DJing, I’ve gotten the grasp of it pretty fast. I’m learning to do little tricks here and there. So, I like DJing and everyone tells me that I do a good job so that makes me feel better about myself. But I’m more of a producer, I love making music that’s like my first thing more than anything. Making music, all kinds of music. I try not to do one kind of genre. I want to do Pop and other stuff. I even want to do live music, so we’ll see.
It seems like a trend lately, everyone’s got their live shows.
I wouldn’t do live shows, I want to record myself playing live drums, piano and guitar. The thing is there are so many DJs now, so it’s like you already know what you’re going to get. So now I think in the next few years, dance music is going to be performances. Not that people are getting bored of it, but I think DJs are getting bored of it. It’s pretty much the same thing every time.
So what makes you stand out from the rest of them?
I guess my humor in my sets. I do a lot of crowd interaction. There’s always a part in my set where I tell everyone to go hi-five 5 strangers, and I’ll drop some jokes in between tracks. I try to have fun, there will be a break in the song and I’ll just blast dolphin noises [he then did an impression of what that would sound like]. So people are like “WTF is going on here?” So I like to have fun, I like to make it more of a show and play some dorky stuff in between.
Yeah entertaining. And I like to dance, I try to get away from behind the DJ equipment as much as possible. I love dancing, I’m a terrible dancer, but I try really hard. I’m taking courses, it’s only ballet right now. You’ll see me pirohouette mid set and it’s really awkward ’cause everyone’s like “this guy is weird.” I’m gonna have a ribbon, so I can do this sometimes [Ookay proceeded to spin like a ballet dancer at this point]. I’m killin’ it.
Makes sense, do you want to try my hula hoop?
At this point, he proceeded to attempt to hula hoop with the one I had brought to the festival. In my recordings I made a point to mention this “on record.”
After a first day that left everyone exhausted, Ookay managed to keep spirits up with his antics, jokes, and overall aura of good fortune. His optimism was refreshing, and while his hula hoop skills need some work, his music skills are already at an awesome level. We hope to hear some recordings of him playing live instruments soon, and see where his career takes him overall.