Oceanator Chats New Music, ‘Things I Never Said,’ & Her First Song Ever

When rock ‘n’ roll is part of your life before you even reach a double-digit age, then you know you’re stuck with it. Elise Okusami, aka Oceanator, has been infected with music-making since she was nine years old, and that creativity is thriving—even through a pandemic.

Her latest album Things I Never Said was released last summer and recently she’s been at the studio recording a new album. She says though it’s been weird releasing an album during COVID-19, feeling almost like it went into “a void,” she’s been having no difficulty being musically inspired.

“I’ve been writing a lot of music—the music part is coming pretty easy,” she says. “I’m having a hard time, specifically with lyrics though, just cause it’s hard to write about stuff when you’re not really experiencing them or interacting with people.”

Oceanator “I Would Find You”

Okusami says the top two things she misses as a musician are live shows and touring. However, even with that yearning for things to go back to normal, she’s still cautious about places opening back up.

“I think it’s a little too soon for it to be opening [and] I was already kind of having a hard time in big social situations,” she says. “So I’m a little bit worried about what it’s going to be like now, but I’m excited to get to try it.”

Oceanator “January 21st”

Oceanator “Heartbeat”

Either way, Okusami isn’t letting anything stop her from creating new music—and she never has. She remembers the first song she ever wrote in detail, from the open frets to the melody. Her second and third songs even made it onto the album of her high school band she was in with her brother. She got excited recently after finding an old tape cassette labeled “songs I wrote” from years ago.

Overall, it seems like Okusami is keeping Oceanator alive and thriving through any hard times—using it as both an escape and also a way to process her own emotions. Things I Never Said is an example of that therapeutic take on her music, with songs about things she never said to herself and using the music to help her process.

She says she’s still in the very early stages of her new music, but listen Oceanator’s 2020 album Things I Never Said and the entire interview with Okusame on this week’s episode of The Music Meetup.