My London: OKIEM – Pianist & Composer

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OKIEM is an exceptional Pianist & Composer whose music has been described as “cinematic classical”. He creates his signature sound by combining piano, orchestral instruments and synthesisers.

He has toured on keyboards for many of the biggest artists in the music industry including Leona Lewis, Tinie Tempah and Boy George. Prior to that he toured with and wrote songs for Russian sensation Sergey Lazarev which involved relocating to Moscow for 3 years. This unique wealth of experience with top class artists helps to shape his unique sound, compositions, and astounding live performance that continues to captivate his audiences.

Okiem has been compared to composers such as Ludovico Einaudi & Olafur Arnalds. His contemporary take on the classical genre is expressed in the debut solo album XIRO which he recently launched and is now performing with his amazing Orchestra at venues across the UK and beyond.


Favourite neighbourhood:

Covent Garden. Incredible buskers! It’s always alive, vibrant and colourful. There are quiet little escapes and lots of great coffee spots.


Favourite place for brunch:

Quaglinos in Mayfair. Brunch is very important to me! So good food, people, great service and the right atmosphere are things I look for and enjoy.


Best coffee in London:

The Playground Theatre in west London – it has a great little café with seating indoors and out. It’s also only a couple of doors down from the studio where I rehearse with my Orchestra which comes in very handy.


Favourite gallery or museum:

Honestly, I’ve not spent time taking in a gallery for a couple of years now. I’ve been busy performing and writing music but I do particularly enjoy The Serpentine Gallery – It’s a smaller gallery but there are treasures in there. It’s inspiring (and it’s free!)


Tell us a secret:

Before a big show I always wear a brand new pair of socks! It’s on my rider (proper Rock n Roll). Somehow it’s become a thing. Currently taking recommendations…


Favourite place to shop:

A music shop like Yamaha Pianos or at the Phoenix Pianos HQ. When it’s not music-related, Carnaby Street is great.


Favourite place to find inspiration:

Watching live music – it gives me such a boost of energy and inspiration as I love the music, the sound, and the atmosphere but then I’m desperate to get in the studio and create more of my own music.


Best London destination for a date:

Camden – it’s colourful, it’s interesting and there are a few special areas tucked away from all the noise when you need some quiet.


Favourite park:

Hyde Park – there’s a never-ending amount of things to discover. And of course, they host plenty of music events and festivals there.


Your sanctuary in the city:

I have a shisha café I like to go to on Edgware Road – it’s quiet and has a great selection of teas. It’s a cool way to relax and feel like you’ve been transported to another part of the world.


What inspires you?

Nature absolutely inspires me. Walking in a park or forest and especially being around water – lakes, rivers and reservoirs. Also, people! Life. I love speaking to people and hearing their stories – there are so many ways to live life and so many experiences we can have; beautiful experiences right through to heartbreaks. I had lunch with a 90 year old man recently and he told me stories of living through World War 2. Something like that makes me appreciate my life and inspires more music.


OKIEM will be playing at Quaglino’s on 21st September and 26th October. The performance is free when you book a table.


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