Tay Oskee is a rising talent in the indie-folk world, whose debut album, Keepers of the Morning, brings an easygoing warmth to the music scene.

With acoustic guitar and soulful vocals, Oskee’s sound has taken him from his Bingil Bay home, a sleepy tropical village in Far North Queensland, to sharing global stages with successful local exports.

After wrapping up a performance at Bluesfest 2024, he’s been hitting the road with The Dreggs for their European tour before launching into his own summer solo shows. You’ll currently find him travelling through Italy before heading to Germany and elsewhere through June and July (tour information here).

With touring keeping him busy, Tay recently dropped a new single, “Ozone”, with Pat Burgener and Oddbox – a mellow guitar track crafted by the trio on a well-deserved day off.

Tone Deaf caught up with Tay Oskee as part of our Get to Know series to find out more about his music, his life, and his beautiful hometown.

Tay Oskee’s Keepers of the Morning is out now. 

How did your artist name come about?

The name Tay Oskee came about when I was an organic farm manager.  Many of our workers were Japanese and when I told them my name was Tayo they nicknamed me Tayoski! Originally when I started the project, I wanted it to be Tayo and uploaded my first song to YouTube under that name. Unfortunately, there is a Korean show called Tayo the Little Bus and it took about 30 pages before I saw my video, so we went with Tay Oskee based on that nickname from the farm.

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How would you describe your music to your grandma?

You’d like it, it’s not too loud. Kinda like Neil Young or Cat Stevens.

Tell us about a few of your tracks; their titles and what they’re about?

“Keepers of the Morning” is one of my favourites. It is the title track but not really a single, but I love the lyrics in this song. It’s about reclaiming your mind; the world is a crazy place, and we are bombarded with a lot of negative energy and destruction. As a human this can all become too much, and we can feel helpless as the scales are so large. This song is about bringing it back and making sure we can take control of our own lives and our minds; live the life you feel is right and makes you happy.

“Oxytocin” is another track I really love. It’s got this huge horn section, kinda like a folk drop. Lyrically it’s about young love and finding the guts to do something about those over whelming emotions. Ya gotta tell that person ya like otherwise you’ll never know, you got nothing to lose.

“Lead Weighted Slumber” is probably the deepest on the record, I’m very proud of the melodies and chord structures in this song. The age-old pattern of powerful people putting regular folk against each other and making them fight their battles (literally and figuratively) continues to this day, and this is about us waking up to that and understanding that we have the power if we are together.

YouTube VideoPlay

What do you love about your hometown?

Bingil Bay is a sleepy tropical village in FNQ [Far North Queensland]. It’s a tropical paradise with such incredible natural beauty, I grew up with unlocked houses and such a close knitted community. For such a small town it was still so full of art, progressive views, and music. It feels quite rare because of that. I guess that’s why so many backpackers stay for so long.

Career highlight so far?

I have to say that building a recording studio, then producing and mixing a record in that studio is a proud achievement for me. And the record that came out of it I think is the highlight of my career so far, I think it’s my best work and I’m so stoked!

Fave non-music hobby?

Surfing. Without a doubt.

What’s on your dream rider?

Vietnamese pho for dinner, platter with hummus and all the goodies, GF [Gluten free] beers, whisky, herbal teas, and a massage wouldn’t be too bad either!

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

On a small acreage growing my own food, recording albums, and touring the world.

What’s your go-to karaoke song?

I’m not a massive karaoke person but let’s be honest, it has to be “Bohemian Rhapsody”!

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

I’ve had this advice from a few very successful artists/friends. Be true to yourself, be authentic, and write the music that you want to write.

What’s one obsession you have that no one would guess after listening to your music?

I love Aussie Rules, The Bombers in particular. It’s been a rough 20 years, but I have hope we’ll be back on top before I’m gone haha.

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