I was familiar with Kaya Wilkins’ Instagram before I was even aware of her musical career under the moniker Okay Kaya. The Norwegian model/musician/actress captivated me with her online persona, a collage of moments she turns into engaging imagery. The world she shares through her social media was similar to anyone’s, but her honest depiction of life somehow made the mundane comical in its realness.
Her songwriting stands on a very similar sentiment. Kaya sings real, yet comedically told stories about life – or some alternate, imagined version of it – from a feminine perspective. Within her lyrical musings she discusses personal anecdotes about faking orgasms, failed attempts at relationships, and getting an IUD.
Recently featured on King Krule’s acclaimed 2017 LP THE OOZ and Porches’ The House, Okay Kaya is also in the midst of prepping the release of her own debut. The video for her latest single “Dance Like U” continues a storyline which began with her first single, “IUD.” She teamed up with NYC-based filmmaker Adinah Dancyger to create the strangely surreal video series, a dreamlike portrayal of a concept Wilkins had been playing around with in her mind for some time before setting the idea to film. The scenes create a persona haunted by a twin born out of past trauma.
There is something akin to a thriller that coats the experience of these videos. While Okay Kaya doesn’t seem drastically disturbed by her “twin,” there is an element of discomfort that looms in the familiarity of the two figures. Throughout the video, Wilkins interacts with this alternate version of herself, floating in and out of the house, being watched, and simultaneously becoming the voyeur.
Some moments seem as though we are observing a tender interaction between herself and what we might assume is her subconscious. She dances with her twin and shares a moment spinning around the room. It creates an intimate feeling, as though watching a child dance with their own reflection, wishing for the better version of themselves to come to life.
When, at the end of the end of the video, the alter (or inner) ego leaves the room, Kaya leaves the viewer guessing which version of herself is left behind.