“Making a playlist for someone is a big deal to me,” Norwegian singer/songwriter Okay Kaya (aka Kaya Wilkins) says, when discussing the Valentine’s Day playlist she crafted for us. “I wanna tickle that little part of the back of people’s brains.” But ultimately, she says the question “Will it get me laid?” motivated each song choice.
Of course, playlists are acutely personal and Wilkins’ reflects her taste—at least, right now. “Love is vague,” she says. “Today it’s something that feels nostalgic. Chemical/spiritual/physical/material love as Stevie Wonder sings, it’s all about what we’re craving at a certain time.”
Ahead of her tour—which will take her from Brooklyn to Berlin, Oslo to Austin—she tells us, “About to bullet around the world and cry-wank somewhere near you, I feel satisfied and tired. Pacified? Lethargic?” These seemingly opposing feelings make perfect sense when considering her self-reflective, sad, sarcastic, strange and sultry music—which bounces between topics including IUDs, stints in psych hospitals, and romantic escapades. Of her performances, she tells us, “I hope I bring out the brain-tickle and make you see colors not just blue, but all kinds of hues. ROYGBIV.”
Okay Kaya’s second full-length album, Watch This Liquid Pour Itself, is out now, and she is currently on tour. Tonight she will perform at Brooklyn’s National Sawdust, before heading to Europe. She’s also playing San Diego’s CRSSD Festival on Sunday, 8 March.
Image by Coco Capitán