St Giles Concert Review: MY View

MY View - Gig Review

After watching Hans Zimmer live with a full orchestra and choir at Wembley Arena earlier this year I was inspired to perform my music with a bigger supporting cast than usual. It took A LOT of planning and so much went on behind the scenes to make this concert happen. I had to speak to and listen to many musicians before I found ‘the ones’. I knew we had limited rehearsal time so attitude was key as well as their ability to learn rapidly! I found an incredible ensemble of creative and talented individuals and thankfully it worked beautifully as we started to piece together the live show.

The final lineup included 3 violins, 2 violas, 2 cellos, 1 double bass, trombone, flute, and vocals.

Some of the behind the scenes work included finding a photographer, videographers, lights, venue,  rehearsal studios, flyers, CD’s and of course selling the actual tickets! So with all that and more going into, I was more nervous when I stepped on stage than I’ve been for about 10 years. I walked out to a huge applause and a packed venue which was beautiful to see. 

Growing up I used to get a physical reaction to feeling nervous (I think I’ll reveal this at a later date) but that kicked in during the first half of the first song, ‘Purple Sky’. Thankfully once we got going I got fully into the performance and let go of the nerves. It felt so good to be playing my music with all the musicians and to an engaged audience. It’s a song that’s it so dynamic - it builds, and then it’s quiet, and rebuilds and then a huge ending. Here’s the album version of ‘Purple Sky’:

My song ‘Rise Again’ was next which felt like by this time ALL the musicians had settled in and were comfortable. The audience gave a huge applause at the end of each piece which was amazing - it felt great to get that energy back from everyone in the room and gave me confidence to give even more in every song.

After a few more songs (Including ‘Winter Sun, Summer Rain’, and ‘Xiro’) I played a medley of popular songs with the orchestra. I crafted this very carefully. I wanted to play a song with a slight religious sentiment as we were in a church so we performed Jeff Buckley’s ‘Hallelujah’. I of course wanted to contrast this heavily to show my range of influences so included songs from Dr Dre through to Ludovico Einaudi (very nearly included the Pokemon Theme song.. nearly!). People sang along and reacted to all the songs and it was a fun break in the run of the set.

I then had blindfolds handed out to all the audience members to put on - I wanted to create an even more immersive and personal experience of the music. This way everyone could go in to their owns minds, imaginations, thoughts and feelings without the visual of me and all the instruments and the other audience members. The song I played to this was ‘Mercy’. Various members of the audience told me that they cried during this part of the night and that a lot of emotion came up for them. As one man said “I’m not one to cry but I wept”. It’s very special for me to know that my music can connect and have that type of effect.

I performed another song I composed called ‘The Other Side’ that I was inspired to write after seeing this quote on social media: ‘Everything you want is on the other side of fear’. The quote resonated with me at that very moment of reading it and that song came out.

We then geared up for the end of the concert with ‘Fifty Horses’. It felt powerful to play and as we finished there was a huge applause and a standing ovation. There were calls for an encore so we settled back down and to finish performed ‘Purple Sky’ once more. This time better than the first as any nerves had disappeared and we all just gave an authentic performance.


I would like to thank all the people and companies that came together to make the night a success - all the musicians - Jonathan, Aemilia, Karina, Joelion, Jordi, Mariona, Hetti, Sarah, Pola; Casio Electronics, St Giles in the Fields, Edgar, Infinite Pixel, Pianist Magazine, Ikki, Mouna, Martine, James, Ben, Sergeo, Bonnie.

Download XIRO today.





My Music on a Gary Vaynerchuk Video: Timing is Everything

There’s an incredibly smart, inspirational, fast-talking American entrepreneur I’ve been following for YEARS by the name of Gary Vaynerchuk! Also known as Gary Vee. A few of his speaking videos have gone viral so you may well have come across some of his stuff. So when he posted on Instagram that his videographer is looking for new music for his upcoming videos I got straight on it as I figured some piano music would work well with his inspirational style. Thankfully, his video guy (D-Rock) listened to my music and loved it. He replied this to my email:

Well Okiem,

You are super talented! I appreciate you sending over your music! seriously man! you are super talented! :)
— DRock


That was a great compliment and he went on to use my music in a Gary Vee video entitled ‘Timing is Everything’. I couldn’t agree more. I woke up to a lot messages and tweets from people saying they could hear my piano on the new Gary Vee episode:



 It was great to have the exposure and a link with a world-class entrepreneur so thanks to Gary and DRock!

The song they used from my album is called ‘Calais’. I love this song, even though it’s not in my live set (yet). You can stream it entirely on my site here - 

 If you’ve never come across his stuff before, here’s your first look. My song Calais kicks in at 6:24 all the way to the end of the video. Enjoy:

Gary Vee - Timing is Everything - Episode 040


Performance at ILUVLIVE - June 2016

Welcome to blog post #1!

It’s been a great week - but - with these posts I really want to document the journey of the highs and lows, the struggles and the triumphs. So often on social media ‘all is always good’! But as my journey as a solo artist goes further and deeper I want to keep track of all the stories and some of the behind the scenes realness.

A few weeks ago I saw a tweet saying ILUVLIVE were looking for artists for their event in Reading. I got in touch and they put me on the bill. It was almost 2 hours away and I was sure there wouldn’t be much of an audience but I wanted to perform more for the organisers so they would give me a slot on the London date. Sure enough, the gig at Reading was a success and they asked me to play the following London show in Hoxton. The headliner of that event was Mi'Das - a really talented singer songwriter. Check him out:

On a lineup with rappers and singers I was really curious how the audience would receive my music. I had fifteen minutes to give it my all. It was just me and my violinist Jon.

In my zone.

I started the set with ‘Purple Sky’ - a new song that is loud and proud and builds into a very powerful piece of music. There was a long applause at the end and I thought the audience were fully locked in. Unfortunately not everyone was.. yet. I played the title track ‘Xiro’ next which has some very quiet solo piano parts as the song builds. I could hear a lot of people talking throughout so I knew I needed to do more. I ran a competition to give away a copy of my album for anyone that could tell me the titles of the songs I was about to play. I played a medley of popular songs - some that me and Jon had never played together before, they just felt right. The audience loved it and shouted out the answers back to me which really involved them in the show.

On to the finale! I finished the set with ‘Fifty Horses’ and could feel everyone engaged in the music. I could hear the silence. The audience gave me a long applause at the end which was awesome. I felt really connected to the music and gave my all in the performance and I’m glad it was well received.

Concert over. Take a bow - get off stage.

It was an intense fifteen minute journey we just went on.

Big Thank You to ILUVLIVE: