Skux Goes From Park Ranger to Punk Rock

Skux is the ultimate punk. After all, what’s more punk rock than protecting the environment in today’s world?

New Zealand native Ayisha Jaffer spends her summers in Kodiak, Alaska working as a park ranger for the federal refuges. Kodiak is home to some of the world’s largest bears and Jaffer teaches people how to tell different kinds of bears apart and safely coexist with them. She also teaches wilderness survival skills to children, boards boats and planes to keep an inventory of the parks’ animals and clears paths and maintains the wilderness. That’s already a full-time gig for anybody, but this year Jaffer managed to release her badass debut EP, Kudis.

“‘From punk rocker to park ranger,’ that’s what my sister always says,” Jaffer laughs.

The five-track EP bursts with fast and catchy punk rock riffs. But Jaffer doesn’t leave her day job behind when she goes punk. Her music was inspired, not only by the ups and downs of life, but also by the environment and living in Alaska.

Skux, “On Her Way”

“You’d be surprised how many shenanigans happen in the forest,” she says. “There’s a lot of characters here and always something happening in the wild.”

Her lyrics explore the strength of the environment and the emotions it provokes—even though they were written before her move to Alaska. With tracks like “I Am the Explorer” and “On Her Way,” Kudis makes the ultimate soundtrack for any planet earth warrior or simply someone going through a hard time and needs a pick me up.

“The idea [with my music] is to take all of that negative and get up and face it, so that you can have a more enjoyable life and party with us,” Jaffer says.

She named the EP Kudis (pronounced “cooties”) after reading a satirical article about cooties being a serious illness called “playground death” and saying that it came from the latin word “kudis.” She figured that was the perfect word to keep things light and fun, but also encourage people to get up and fight for what they need to fight for. Though it’s a call to action, Jaffer really wants to inspire people to enjoy themselves.

Skux, “Kudis”

“This EP was just me having a lot of fun and I hope people feel it,” she says. “But also there’s an underlying theme of a call to action that there is something blocking your fun, so go out and do something about it so you can continue to have fun.”

Since her park ranger job is seasonal, she plans to take Kudis to the U.S. and New Zealand in the near future and hopes to donate some of her musical earnings to environmental protection programs.

Hear all of Skux’s Kudis and the entire interview with Jaffer on this week’s The Music Meetup.