Earlier this year Radar premiered the Colombian musician OKRAA’s dreamy single Healing, as a part from the forthcoming EP called Dreamachine. Today we’re happy to give you the full set of the EP.
See also our previous interview with OKRAA
You’ve previously told us that you find inspiration through your own dreams and that you came to be obsessed with it. How do you translate your visual dreams into music?
– I’ve found inspiration in my dreams mostly in a spiritual way. All of this happened between the end of 2013 and February of this year. I was going through a hard time personally and was blocked in many ways. Dreams sometimes tell you things you need to know, it’s just that you’re not always open to see it. When I decided to translate this experiences into music I thought about including mostly the message. I wrote down all the things I remembered when I woke up. Then I sat down on my studio to experiment with different sounds until it felt like the vibe I felt in the dream.
It was a very synesthetic experience. The process for me was always to first find the sound, the texture I wanted to deal with it. A lot of sampling was involved. As soon as I found a timbre or tone color that felt right, I then started to treat the sound musically and develop the main themes or motifs of the song.
Mutual was an exception. I woke up with that song in my head. I actually recorded it right away. Just the vocals, with no lyrics at all. I thought it was a really unique thing that happened. What I came up with in the end was really pretty and it really opened my mind. I was convinced then that dreams are definitely something to pay attention to and not just random things your brain comes up with.
OKRAA’s act has lots of experimentation, live looping, signal processing and euphoria.
Tell us more about the origin/dreams of Lucid, Mutual and Signal.
– Lucid dreaming is something unbelievable. This was a really happy dream I had where I was hanging with my family and some friends in a town here in Colombia called Guarinó. It’s a small, pretty town where I used to spend my vacations as a kid. My grandfather and all of us went fishing. I was around 5 or 6 years old.
Having a lucid dream is something special since all human limits are suddenly erased. But beyond being able to do whatever I could physically, what I remembered the most was being completely happy all the time, and not worrying about almost anything. Thats what I wanted to transmit through the song to people. A reminder of how we used to be when we were really young since I think it’s important to keep a little bit of that always, in order to have a happy and fulfilling life. The main sounds of the song came from sampling three things: electric guitar with a mic (not through the line output), a native instrument from Colombia called ‘Cuatro llanero’ and my voice.
Signal: This dream had a very nostalgic vibe for me. The signal seemed to be very wrong for me at the moment but I really had no choice. It involved letting go people and things I thought I shouldn’t. The dream was nostalgic but soothing in a way. That was the vibe I wanted to create with sounds as well. There’s various latin percussion sounds sampled and again a really short and pitched sound of my voice which is an element that is present in most of the EP’s songs. There’s also a sample of an argentine writer, Ernesto Sábato, which I feel very identified with.
Mutual: There was a lot of confusion in my mind when I woke up to this song. Through the dream I became aware I was used to things no one should be used to. It was very cathartic and liberating. I later on found out someone else had a very similar, recurrent dream. So that’s why I thought of it as a mutual dream.
You’ll be playing at sta clara bierhaus on November 6th in Stockholm, thrilling, what can we expect from your play?
– I’m very excited to play in Sweden for the first time. Right now I’m playing the whole EP plus a couple of B-sides. OKRAA’s act has lots of experimentation, live looping, signal processing and euphoria. All of these through organic soundscapes, beats and latin rhythms. Hope to see you all there.
Any other interesting plans for the future?
– I’m also playing my first shows in the UK and Spain near the date in Stockholm. I think I’ll play ‘Dreamachine’ shows for a while, in as many places in the world as I can. Also, a second EP for 2015 since I’ve been writing new interesting material. I’m also currently producing a re-work for Machines in Heaven (SCO) which should come out soon. Live shows, reworks and collaborations after this really happy end of the year.