Ski Oakenfull

Album Date: 
January, 2023

Ski Oakenfull is an Artist, Musician, Producer, Remixer, and Composer living in London, UK. Having started his career as a keyboard player with the band The K-Creative who were signed to Gilles Peterson's Talkin' Loud label in 1991, he has gone on to release three solo albums, Life Changes (2000), Rising Son (2005) & Short Circuits (2021), play keyboards with bands such as Galliano, Raw Stylus & Two Banks of Four, remix countless tracks, and work as an in-house writer at Xenomania. He currently releases music on his own label, Primaudial Records, writes & produces with artists such as Incognito, Duke Dumont, Dave Lee, Milton Jackson, Str4ta, Nick Luscombe, and Valerie Etienne, and has an Ambient Electronic project called Ayota. Ski has recently collaborated with Milton Jackson on two EPs for Freerange Records and Lazy Days Recordings, and is preparing for some Galliano live shows.

The Ayota project was born out of Ski's love of all things ambient, experimental & Japanese, with artists such as Brian Eno, Steve Reich, David Sylvian & Ryuichi Sakamoto all being big influences.

It was whilst on a holiday in Japan in 2004 that Ski was inspired by a Japanese friend's book of Poetry entitled 'Kumorizora no Helicopta' to write soundtracks to three of the poems. This quickly developed into an album project continuing the Japanese ambient theme, the result being 'Helicopter Cuts' which was released on the label 'Third Ear' in 2007, becoming Tower Records' ambient album of the year.

I’m really honoured to have contributed to the new STR4TA LP 'STR4TASFEAR' released on the 11th of November 2022 on Brownswood Recordings. I wrote and played keys on the tracks ‘City Sounds’, ‘Reflections (Chaser 1 & 2)’, and ‘Something, Anything’

Release Date: 
11 November, 2022
Record Label: 
Listen to a preview: 

The wonderful British singer Noel McKoy very sadly passed away on Thursday 3rd November 2022. I had worked with Noel over the years, having been introduced by Bluey from Incognito, and was lucky enough to have him sing for me in 2006 when I played a gig at Cargo in London, followed by a Maida Vale session for Gilles Peterson's BBC Radio 1 show.

On Saturday 5th November 2022, Gilles (now on BBC 6 Music) played a tribute to Noel which included one of the tracks from that session 'Let Me Be' which featured Noel on lead vocals.

You can listen to an extract from the show below, and catch it on BBC Sounds here

Click play to listen: 

I’m delighted to announce a new collaboration with my good friend Milton Jackson. Out on Jimpster's amazing Freerange Records on the 21st October 2022, and available to stream now

Milton Jackson & Ski Oakenfull
Release Date: 
21 October, 2022
Record Label: 
Freerange Records
Release Date: 
6 March, 1997
Record Label: 
Talkin' Loud

Released: 4th February 2022
Brettina Vs Incognito ‘Simple Pleasures’ includes Ski Oakenfull and Yakul remixes.
This is the new single from Bahamas-based jazz singer-songwriter Brettina. She has been a fan of the Incognito sound for many years and managed to hook up with Bluey to record this new version of her single ‘Simple Pleasures’ . Bluey has brought the trademark Incognito production to this track using the whole band to create a classic horn-driven sound. To complement the original is a remix by Brighton-based electronic jazz act Yakul whose singer James Berkeley has toured with Incognito and long term Incognito collaborator Ski Oakenfull who's delivered a 4 to the floor soulful house dub.

Release Date: 
4 February, 2022
Listen to a preview: 

Alongside the 6-part series of tutorial videos about Ableton Live 11 Lite I made for the Feb '22 issue of Computer Music Magazine, I also did an interview. The one that was published was quite radically cut down, so here's the interview in full:

Can you give me a biog about yourself, how and why you got into music production?

My two main obsessions growing up were music and computers, so I suppose it was inevitable that I would end with a career producing music on a computer! I started learning the piano from six years old, as well as singing in the school choir. I was an 80’s kid with home computers in their infancy, so the first sequencer I used was called ‘MIDItrack Performer’ using an EMR interface on a BBC B computer. I connected my Yamaha DX-7 and Roland S-10 sampler, and together with a Yamaha 4-track cassette recorder (borrowed from my uncle), I was making early demos in my teens. At the same time, I was in a band at school, and we used to spend weekends rehearsing and playing gigs whenever we could. Our school friends were really supportive, making flyers and turning up to our small gigs.

Once I left school and went to University in London, I continued to get together with my school bandmates to work on demos. We were called ‘The K-Creative’ and influenced by Hip Hop, House, and Jazz. It led to us being signed to Gilles Peterson’s Talkin’ Loud label in 1991, and this was officially the start of my music career.

After releasing our debut album ‘QED’ we ended up going our separate ways, but I started to work more on my production skills, writing with other artists, making radio jingles, and playing at jam sessions to build up my network of contacts. This eventually led to a record deal with Columbia France in 2000, and I went on to release three solo albums, ‘Life Changes’, ‘Rising Son’ and very recently ‘Short Circuits’. Throughout my career, I have also played keyboards with bands and artists like Galliano, Raw Stylus, Two Banks of Four, and Kylie Minogue, remixed over 50 tracks, and worked at Xenomania. I currently release music on my own label, Primaudial Records, continue writing and producing with artists such as Incognito, Dave Lee, Duke Dumont, and Valerie Etienne, as well as having an ambient electronic project called Ayota.

And how did you go from there to become an Ableton Certified Trainer?