It’s been nine months since Okay Kaya released any material, but having worked with Jamie xx, Travis Scott and Leon Bridges at the age of 24, she has set the standard for what to expect.
Grown up on an island right outside of Oslo, New Jersey-born Kaya Wilkins is now based in New York and on the rise. She is also a rare example of a Norwegian artist who has found success abroad singing in her own language.
In July, Okay Kaya premiered her music video for “Durer” via Nowness. The roughly three minutes long video shows Kaya standing in the middle of a support group while singing about feelings being held back.
“I see you so well, can you see me?” she sings while the group burst into a dance composed by moves from Serbian and Norwegian folk tradition. There is no need to understand Norwegian to understand the message.
“Durer” – which can be translated into something like “hums” – is simplistic and beautiful with an inventive, bold break of evocative string instruments. Kaya’s voice is soft but penetrating and leaves the listener touched by her ability to communicate through her music.