Published on April 27th, 2020 | by MJ


Okabe on Blending Elements of Blues, Jazz, and Alternative Pop in “New World”

Okabe is the creation of Canadian multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter, Kevin Okabe. After a self-imposed exile around the world spent searching for answers in a post touring band life, a decision eventually came to dipping his toes into a solo project for the first time. Okabe moved across the Pacific and set up shop in Melbourne, Australia to begin again. Blending elements of blues, jazz, and alternative pop, he began to slowly find his own unique sound. Okabe reordered his headspace and his music began to fall in line. Through this time spent writing, busking, and performing as a solo act, new growth began to take root and with it – a new musical direction.

Okabe’s new single, “New World,” is a groovy indie-pop track conveying the feeling of alienation in a world full of constant innovation.

okabe · New World

What makes ‘New World’ different from your past work?

I think it’s the song that’s the most “me” that I’ve ever written, obviously styles change and evolve over time but New World is definitely a step into the musical direction that I’ve been moving into. It’s the first time I went into a studio and recorded all the parts myself, my producer Cody, and I also experimented with building beats using drum pads; something I’ve also never done before.

Can you describe the concept behind the single?

It’s really about just feeling withdrawn from the world and observing the disconnect between people in a technological age. Musically, I just pulled up a virtual piano in my recording program and started playing around with some chords using my computer’s keyboard, I’ve never written a song like that before.

How would you describe your artistic evolution throughout your career?

I started off very much as a classic rock guy, then I started getting into more modern indie rock along with some hip hop and jazz over the years and I think that’s been the biggest evolution in my musical style, I’ll always be a rock guy but I’m also heavily influenced by other styles which hopefully gives my music some semblance of originality.

What’s been the biggest change in your life over the past year?

Moving from BC to Toronto would have to be the biggest change this year.

What song or album by another artist do you wish you had written?

This Old Dog by Mac DeMarco. No filler in that record at all, just pure gold, song after song.

And finally, where can readers keep up with what you are doing?

My Instagram is probably where I’m the most active in my musical musings @okabemusic

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