Artist Spotlight: 1-O.A.K.

For reasons only my therapist can tell me, I tend to take a severely long time to vocally respond to things. It took me one year to fully articulate how I felt about Michael Jackson’s death. In the meantime, I lazily responded, saying “this is so sad” so many times until I eventually became more impressed with the idea of becoming mute.  I still have yet to understand how I feel about his passing, other than “sad”. Fortunately, there are artists such as 1-O.A.K. who do a better job than I do of transmitting feeling into sound.

Though I am not quite sure how he feels about Jackson’s passing, I can safely assume that with his spring début “Special Request”, 1-O.A.K. is doing his best to keep Jackson’s legacy of good music alive.

“Special Request” feels good. Something like a loofah and Avon bath oil.

Why? Because loofahs never fail to surprise me with their uncanny tendency to sneak up in a crevice I didn’t even know about. I’ve seen 1-O.A.K. casually strolling around the town buying pastries and orange juice, working with the young folk and often on stage sporting a very fashionable cardigan. I always knew I liked his sound. However, songs like “Stay With Me” and his closer “ Homerun” exfoliated my critique, forcing me to be present and enjoy his artisan shower. No R. Kelly.

Aside from kissing mirrors, I had a childhood interest in perusing catalogues; imagining the feeling of wealth and all the things it could afford me. Granny would never buy me what I wanted from these catalogues. Instead of flavored chap stick, she’d consistently gift me with a 16 oz bottle of Skin So Soft bath oil straight out of the back of the Avon catalogue. Granny knew what I needed better than I understood what I wanted.

Songs like “Me & You”, “Sweet Memories”, “Yaya”, “So Sincere” and  “Long Time” (practically the entire EP) make 1-O.A.K. a damned good bathtub. I am looking forward to hearing at least one of these songs next time I choose to go out to a club in Oakland/San Francisco and listen to really loud music in uncomfortable, but cute looking shoes.

Apologies Bay Area for taking too long to listen to 1-O.A.K.’s “Special Request”. Though I have not had my favorite songs on repeat for as long as I think I should before soliciting my opinion, one thing is for sure: 1-O.A.K.’s freshman project is deserving of five loofahs from the Source (should they supplement mics for unique body scrubbing mechanisms). If you go here, you can download his entire EP, which includes an electronic copy of his lyrics for convenient shower singing. Here’s to body wash, legacy and good music. Thank you McFarland.

Find him on twitter: #1oakALLDAY


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