Byron Bay multi-instrumentalist Tay Oskee emerged from his cocoon last year as winner of the Byron Bay Bluesfest Busking Competition and continues to spread his talented wings.
Playing guitar, banjo, harmonica and percussion as well as singing, Tay brings a broad palette to his roots-based music, owing to the time he spent with the Yolngu people in north-east Arnhem Land when he was younger.
“I was out there for about seven years in two parts, and one when I was quite young,” Tay says.
“I've got really amazing memories of it and I think, without me realising too much, in my music it's had an impact on how I see the world and especially nature, and that comes out in the music. Also the things I like to sing about has connections to my time up there.
"We should be working together to look after this planet and live in peace together."
“It's an amazing place and the connection to the land is really beautiful, I think we could learn a lot. It's about love, it's about land, it's about us putting a positive impact on the world, so uplifting lyrics I like to use rather than quite depressing ones.”
Tay has released his latest single 'We Were Young', the follow-up to his 2017 single 'Like Waves'.
For 'We Were Young', Tay expands his skills as a songwriter and producer with a message of tolerance and positivity. “I wanted to try something in the production side, going for that warm, polished sound and a lot of airy guitars in the background,” he explains.
“We were going for nice melody and more of this growing melody from the start, rather than leaving it until the very end, which I seem to do in a lot of my songs. I wanted to come out with a nice melody straight from the start that people could get hooked on.
“There's no specifics in the lyrics... it's written in the hope that people will stop all the bullsh*t and all the trivial things that are holding us back.
“We're stuck on all these little, trivial issues like the sexism and the racism, and it's holding us back from doing what we should be doing and that's working together to look after this planet and live in peace together. It's simple, it's clichéd, but it's true,” he laughs.
Tay sets out on a single tour for 'We Were Young' that has him playing in both regional and metro areas throughout the country until August.
For Tay, it's another small achievement that contributes to his growing success. “It's another stepping stone,” he says. “With each tour we're hoping to keep moving forward and have the numbers grow a little bit each time.”
As for the rest of the year, Tay says he's got plans for releasing more new material, playing more shows and having more fun. “I'm looking at releasing an album this year and then hopefully doing more heavy touring in support of that,” he says.
“Honestly I just want to keep creating music, keep playing to people and if that means I end up playing in front of a thousand people that'd be great. As long as I can feed my family and live a nice life then I think I'm going to be happy.”
Tay Oskee Tour DatesFri 18 May - Baha Tacos (Rye)
Sat 19 May - Wesley Anne (Melbourne)
Fri 25 May - Solbar (Sunshine Coast)
Sat 26 May - Secret Garden Show (Sydney)
Fri 1 Jun - Brisbane show (venue tbc)
Sat 11 Aug - Coalescence Festival (Carmoo)