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Okenyo's top lessons she's learned in isolation

1 June 2020 | 3:59 pm | Emma Jones

OKENYO takes us through some of the main lessons she's learned while in isolation as we get to know her and her new EP, 'SOLO' a bit better.

Last week, OKENYO gifted us her latest EP, SOLO. Having been sitting on these songs for some time in preparation for a larger body of work, it was life in self-isolation that inspired her to share the latest release as a way to find solace and reflection, and also explore the juxtaposition between being hopeful, and not having any hope at all.

Exploring life in all its messy glory, OKENYO's music has always taken a reflective, introspective and ultimately hopeful lens, and her brilliance as a songwriter, storyteller and artist shines through when she makes music that is close to her heart. It makes sense then that she'd have such a beautiful record now out in the world, and despite the songs having been created much earlier than the period of life we now all find ourselves in, its eerily comforting that these songs exist at all and can take on a new meaning as she explores all corners of life. Channeling a softer side, OKENYO's SOLO EP really serves as a reminder that everything is going to be okay.

To get to know her a little better, we asked OKENYO to take us through some of the key takeaways from the last few weeks that she's learned in this time. From realising that connection really is key to her special bond with her cat, these are the top five lessons OKENYO has learned while in isolation.

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People Need People

It doesn't matter how much of an independent person I want to be or how much I love spending time alone, it became blatantly obvious that we all need each other. Connection is key and making sure I am asking for help and helping others during this time has been the true saving grace.

Art Saves

Although the government continually fails to respect and protect the arts industry, art and entertainment has helped all of us remain buoyant and hopeful. It doesn't matter if it's a crappy show on Netflix or a recording from the Met Opera - stories, laughing, thinking, listening, reading, relaxing - it all comes from the arts sector and is vital to culture and society whether we're inside our houses or not.

We Are Resilient

Isn't is amazing how we have the capacity to adapt in a crisis? It may be clumsy and far from perfect but people everywhere are moving and changing whilst navigating many core shaking challenges. There's so much hope in hearing stories of how people and businesses have morphed themselves into something new in order to survive the strangeness of right now.

I Love My Cat More Than Ever

I wonder how my cat is dealing with never having time off from me. She used to have her days completely free to sit on all the spots she's not allowed to and now all I do is stare at her darling face so thankful I have a beautiful all time friend to cuddle. It must be overwhelming for her but you know - unprecedented times/all in the together/new normal etcetera.

This is Now, Later is Then

Who knows what happens next? Nobody. That's been a hard thing for most people, not knowing how to go forward and dealing with a lot of change. There are things I don't miss from when life was 'normal' like being stressed and tired all the time. I've been connecting more with friends and family and seen how wonderfully people can come through for each other. I hope the world moves forward day to day understanding that we can actually do something about how we treat each other and our surroundings - that is one of the things we can control.

Introduction by Emma Jones

Image by Kate Williams