With a name that understates itself, Nashville-based indie outfit Okey Dokey is the promising product of frontman Aaron Martin and guitarist Johny Fisher. Overlapping psychedelic pop and old school Motown, Okey Dokey crafts music that sounds surprisingly refined for a band who was only conceived about a year and a half ago.
“We made a little record and released it on a whim,” said Fisher. “And for some reason, people liked it, so now we’re just touring and seeing how it goes.”
That little record, entitled ‘Love You, Mean It,’ is a compelling and remarkable debut brimming with oldies vibes and synth twists. Released in March, the album followed about a year after the band’s first single “Wavy Gravy”--a soulful, bass-bumping track just as delightful as its title. Having spent the month of August touring everywhere between Texas and Minnesota, the newly-formed band is already establishing itself as a standout act.
Martin and Fisher joined forces about a year after their former bands and projects fell through, armed with desires to branch out from styles they’d done in the past. The pair whipped up a song called “Boodydew,” which would blossom and become the tenth song on the album.
“Everything that we put on the record was sort of our first songs we’d ever written together,” Fisher said. “We just did a song that turned out good, and we kept doing more and more.”
Okey Dokey still remains a duo officially, but Fisher notes that the final recording of their debut was the conglomeration of efforts from about 16 additional musicians, many of whom were borrowed from other bands including Houndmouth and Desert Noises. They also add three more band members during live performances.
“The kind of music we’re doing is just a big collaboration among all of our friends, which is really how we like to do it,” Fisher added.
“I feel like in collaborating all the time, you’re guaranteeing to yourself and to other people that what they’re going to listen to next won’t be anything like what they heard last.”
It’s clear that the men of Okey Dokey have immense appreciation for the people in their lives. Despite snagging a record deal overseas and a spot on Austin City Limits Music Festival’s lineup this October, Fisher considers the completion their team behind the scenes as the band’s biggest accomplishment.
“I think our biggest success is, whether it’s the band members or the team, that we don’t ever settle and we make sure that we have the best people surrounding us,” Fisher said.
“I think that the company you keep is really important. The fact that we have the band that we have on the road with us, and we have the team behind us now, makes us feel a lot more comfortable.”
With multiple festival performances and more single releases on the calendar for the rest of the year, Okey Dokey’s biggest struggle is finding the time to take care of business while still penning the next album—thankfully, the quality company surrounding the two-man band seems to keep them afloat as they pursue their passion wholeheartedly.
“Always strive to impress yourself,” Fisher said. “Always be proud of what you’re doing.”
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