OKAPI is a musical duo utilizing upright bass, cello, and voice to create uniquely raw and cathartic orchestrations that are both intimate and aggressive. They carry honest and satirical messages driven by existential philosophies, forming a mosaic that aims to stimulate a universal confrontation with reality, with the hope of inspiring consciousness, healthy growth, and individual empowerment.
Okapi was serendipitously born in Chicago in March of 2012 when Woodstock, IL native Scott Gorski met Columbia, MO native Lindsey Miller through a strange entanglement of Craigslist inquires. Lindsey, a classically trained cellist, had departed from the stifling conservatory direction while Scott, a self-taught upright bassist and singer, was seeking new and inventive avenues outside of traditional music. They crossed paths somewhere in the middle and worked together to form their own unique voice, which over many embodiments, eventually became a cohesive compilation of all the things they appreciated about various styles of music and sound. In short, they created the art that they wanted to experience first hand. The development of their music rode in tandem with Scott’s lyrical content to drive their foundational messages, influenced by existential philosophies, the growth of the individual, and environmental consciousness. Their musical style and subject matter continue to evolve as they whittle away at the absurdity of reality, inviting others to analyze and appreciate the power of their own individual uniqueness.
Our art hails from a realm which advocates the conscious confrontation with reality, rather than the subconscious avoidance or distraction from it. We work to present our pieces in ways which are honest, organic, and raw, in hopes of emboldening others' thoughts and passions, and to prompt an understanding of our own capabilities and significance as beautifully unique individuals. We carry messages to encourage individual awareness, freedom, and healthy growth for all who are willing to listen, with a goal of inspiring people to question and combat their oppressors, their dependencies, and their inner selves.
Only you can give value and meaning to your life, and only your most pure and honest conclusions can form when you have allowed your mind to embrace a blank slate renewal. Revitalize the self by filtering out any preconceived morals, opinions, biases, judgments, beliefs, and behaviors that may have been influenced by the external: society, tradition, media, family, and peers. Help this veil of fog dissipate before you in order to view the world with clarity. From here, your individual quest toward righteousness can develop with authenticity.
Life is full of hardship and struggle, but our passions and ambitions would be bleak without them. If we had all the answers and no need to adjust ourselves regularly, life would be uninteresting, like a tale without conflict. This mystery of the unknown is what drives us to embrace our freedom and remain in control of our powerful, individual selves. Nothing is certain or set in stone, so our minds must therefore remain malleable as well. As we develop, we change, and it is up to us to make sure the external transformations around us do not shape us, but rather help us evolve to draw our own pure and justified conclusions.
Together, in our most true and conscious forms, we can inspire movement toward peace, love, justice, and compassion. As strong, cohesive individuals, we can band together through honesty without the need to hide our weaknesses and inadequacies from ourselves or the rest of the world. When we embrace this honesty and express it through thoughts, feelings, emotions, and art, we open the door to freedom and purity for others as well. If we can form a unity based on truth, we can then work through our mutual struggle and aim toward building a better humanity.
*** OKAPI is an endangered mammal native to the Democratic Republic of Congo. Its physical features are similar to that of a giraffe and zebra. The animal itself has no affiliation to the group, but the "fusion of two different animals" concept prompted the duo to use the term as a metaphor for the formation of their project. Both members come from different musical backgrounds, and offer a significant contribution to what makes OKAPI such a special group.