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Australian-Kenyan Pop Songstress Okenyo's 'Just A Story'

Listen to Australian-Kenyan songstress Okenyo's "Just A Story," the lead single off her forthcoming 'Mirage' EP.


Australian-based, Kenyan-rooted singer/songwriter Okenyo delivers sharp soul-pop with "Just A Story," the lead single off her forthcoming Mirage EP. Starting with thick guitar curls, the sparkling track sees the musician reaching for air from the depths of a cloistered relationship over drum clasps and airy electronics. Okenyo penned the song with an almost stream-of-consciousness flow after a weird encounter with a friend one day. "I wrote [the single] on a hot afternoon in my apartment in Sydney after having a strange altercation with a friend and I can remember the verses just spat out without stopping," the singer mentions in a press statement. "Just A Story" consequently carries that great urgency. The artist, who takes inspiration from both classical literature and Erykah Badu, seems keen though on simply telling a relatable, musically exciting tale on the track. Listen to "Just A Story" by Okenyo, and read a short Q&A about her African heritage below.

Okayafrica: Can you expand on your Kenyan background?

Okenyo: Jambo! My mother is from Australia and my father from Kenya, I was born and raised in Australia and have not yet been to visit my hometown, but as soon as I get a spare minute!

OKA: What's the Kenyan or African influence in your music?

Okenyo: The older I get the more I realise my African heritage is such a part of who I am as an artist. There are many differing qualities between African and Australian so I think there's a mix of Aussie relaxed approach but also strength and pride coming from my Kenyan side.

OKA: How does that come out in "Just A Story"?

Okenyo: When it comes to music, for me a big part of the heart and emotion is in the percussion, I can always feel the rhythm and that has been in my body since I was young. Throughout my adulthood I've become more in tune with how my ethnicity plays a role in my art.

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Photo by Rachel Seidu.

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