Cal Poly alumni Kalie Oku, also known as Oku, released her first single “Disco Anamnesis” on March 12, 2021. Oku graduated from Cal Poly last March with a degree in Child Development and a minor in Psychology.
Growing up, Oku was a classically trained flute player throughout elementary school, which is what introduced her to music.
“I was really passionate about it [the flute], but eventually it became really technical and not as fun, so I stopped classical training,” Oku said. “But I was still so in love with music.”
So, Oku explored others musical endeavors. Oku learned to sing, play the ukulele and write songs, and she performed at local coffee shops and fundraisers. Eventually, Oku made the dive into electronic music by purchasing Ableton, which allowed her to make music from her computer.
Oku produced her latest single using the digital audio workstation Ableton Live, a software used by the musicians Flume, Diplo and Daft Punk. The song itself was inspired by fond memories Oku yearned for.
“I made this song in late summer, right in the thick of COVID, missing all of my friends,” Oku said.
“Disco Anamnesis” is an expressive and emotional piece about dancing with friends in the thick of a crowd, which is what she based the lyrics off of.
“I hadn’t been to any shows and I was just remembering the way it feels, just that beautiful free feeling that you get when you’re at a show and you feel really confident,” said Oku.
Making music such as this helps Oku achieve what she calls a “flow state.” Oku’s “flow state” is what inspires her to keep pursuing music.
“Flow state is good for you and music is your flow state,” Oku said to herself. “When I felt entirely unconfident and unmotivated, my attachment to the flow state carried me through. Music is my flow state.”
Over the summer, Oku released an original song called “Soleil” on Soundcloud. According to Oku, she received positive feedback from total strangers who just happened to stumble upon her song.
Oku hopes to release an unnamed EP later this year. “Soleil” will not be included on this piece, but “Disco Anamnesis” will. She plans to continue pursuing music despite currently working as a Pre-K and Kindergarten teacher for four children in San Luis Obispo.
“It’s a serious hobby,” Oku said. “It’s compassion. I pour my heart into it and it brings me so much joy.”
Click HERE to listen to Oku’s work.