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Crowned with the winning design of Julian Wilson's Signature Master Tracks, Luke OKAY impressed Wilson's team with his cartoon depiction of a skeleton beach party. Surfer, skater and talented artist from Australia - we picked his brain on what inspires him, his process and more. Read on: 

What environment do you work best in? 

My home studio is my favorite work environment. There's no one around which sets a better mood for getting creative. I have a big wooden desk I built myself from recycled timber and on the desk sits a row of inspirational books, magazines and an encyclopedia on birds. A few skulls, Spongebob Squarepants and designer toys live on the desk with boxes and jars housing pens, paints, brushes, pencils and other tools.

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What inspires you to create art the way you do?

My friends in the art game inspire me on a daily basis and are constantly pushing me to be better. I'd say the punk music I've grown up listening to has helped shaped a certain part of my style and helps me express certain messages through my art.

Every artist has his or her own creative process - what's unique about yours?

I wouldn't say there's anything too unique about my creative process, when I want to get creative I like having isolation so I'm not distracted or feeling any kind of pressure.

I like comfort so I can explore my soul and put pen to paper or brush to canvas, and let it all out. Music is always on, it always helps me get in the right frame of mind, which usually takes a lot of coffee and procrastinating or "getting inspired" before I get rolling.

Who are some artists that have inspired you and have influenced your style?

In primary school it was Van Gough and Picasso, then guys like Ozzie Wright came out with punky surf art which kinda took my art style away from those older classical roots. Now it's the revolution of street art that is taking over the world. It's hard to not be influenced by the here and now and what's blowing up around you. 

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My best friend Trait is probably my biggest motivator and influencer, it's always awesome when someone you look up to is also a mentor and a soundboard for progression.

What led you to become an artist?

I really don't know, I've always painted and drawn since I was really young. No one in my family did art but I guess I just had something inside me that needed to get out. The progression of being an artist and making it my profession is something that just happened.

Your art is colorful and has a lot of personality. If your art could speak, what would it say?

I feel my ART does speak. There are messages in most of the things I create, it's not even that subtle, in fact I like having it more in your face. If I can make the audience think and question topics then I'm happy. I don't really care if they buy the piece or not.

DESIGN on the other hand is different, design is about making people happy, the trick is to sneak messages into designs so you can subliminally influence people haha.


If your life were a music video, what songs would you play throughout the day?

If my life were some sort of music video I'd be like a male Mary Poppins and fly in on an umbrella, no screw the umbrella... on the back of a flying tiger in a haze of punk and hardcore. The video would mellow out with electro, and build back up with hip hop. I'm out again on that flying tiger of punk and hardcore.

It'd be hard to single out individual songs but it'd be a blur of Rise Against, Gaslight Anthem, Architects, Brand New, Refused, M83, Naked and Famous, Flume, Run the Jewels, Mos Def, Shabazz Palaces, Radiohead, and Alexisonfire. Something along those blurry blurry lines.

You also tend to create really captivating monochrome pieces, how do you decide whether or not to work in black and white or in color?

I don't really have to decide... (I don't think). Some idea's will just suit one style or the other and it naturally progresses as an image in my head and I'll know straight up how to execute what I'm thinking.


What do you do when you're not creating art?

Most of the time it's just the usual day to day stuff. Try and have fun, share some laughs with my lovely girlfriend, go surfing, hang with friends, grocery shopping, cook dinner or be immature in interviews.

What's your Soundtrack of Life?

The album 'The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me' by Brand New would be the soundtrack of my life. I don't know why but I just seem to have an affinity with this band. Their music and their lyrics are just so damn genius it is something I constantly connect with. Even though it's a pretty melancholic album it's something that totally makes me happy and I have a lot of awesome memories that have happened with this album as the soundtrack already. So it makes sense to me.

What's one thing you want people to know about you?

I like ice cream?


Check out Luke OKAY's design on the Julian Wilson Master Tracks.

Every piece of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is an adventure that you and your friends reminisce about year after year.

We are here to prep you with a playlist for this year's journey to Indio, and share some of our own memories from Coachella's past.

SOL REPUBLIC's creative director Owen went to the festival back in 2004 when he passed out from exhaustion and the 100°+ weather in the small Beck tent. He warmly recalls when Broken Social Scene's guitarist proposed to his girlfriend onstage. In 2005, our marketing manager Stephanie danced wildly to Perry Farrell (who was spinning a cool set in the dark), and watched the Chemical Brothers standing next to the lead singer of Keane. Product design intern John remembers seeing Deadmau5 perform inside his new tilted cube in 2010, and in 2011 watching Death From Above 1979 on the main stage, where everyone was tapping into the roughhouse music. Social media specialist Chelsea discovered Azealia Banks in 2012 and was impressed by her voice and dance moves, as well as her pasties. 

Now you can listen to a curated selection of songs from the special artists who have played Coachella over the past 16 years. The playlist was put together just for your road trip - so tune in as you head to Indio, CA in style.


Running, as voluntary activities go, can be undesirable unless you’re being chased by a bear and/or an angry Chris Brown. Exercising is hard enough, let alone when you’re approaching mile 3 and one of your earbuds keeps popping from the confines of your ear canal.


At that point, you have two options: continue running while futilely attempting to reposition the earbud (making you look like the world’s dorkiest Secret Service agent with one finger pressed to your ear); or stop running, which, though it may be all your body could ever want at that moment, is regarded as “sub-optimal.” 


RELAYS solves this problem through a novel concept: “an in-ear headphone designed to actually fit inside a human’s ear.” Seriously. Through a dynamic series of "a-ha!" moments, the design engineers at SOL REPUBLIC developed the patent-pending FreeFlex Technology that gives RELAYS a comfortable, adaptable fit that stays put and won't fall out.


Previously, the only solution was to order custom headphones through a home-fitting kit, which besides being an eminently screw-up-able process, costs a ton of money. If you have that kind of “f-you” money, it might be better spent on something more productive (like paying Chris Brown to flagellate you).


RELAYS, on the other hand, cost less than $80. You just can’t get this many good feelings in your ears for $80 anywhere else (outside of maybe a VERY specific fetish club). 


Once your RELAYS are (firmly) in place, the good times keep rolling. The i5 sound engines provide a shockingly rich, nuanced listening experience for such a tiny package. RELAYS are also sweat and water resistant, which you might recognize as a good feature for sweaty activities like sports and workouts. Available in black, white, horizon blue and lemon lime, RELAYS are stylish enough to keep up, no matter where the day takes you (or whoever you are running from).


At $80 for headphones that sound great, look amazing, AND stay-put, the only thing you have to lose is your sanity -- which will only happen if you continue to toil with uncomfortable, out-of-date earbuds.


By Ian Lang

Tagged in: RELAYS, headphones

Music is freedom.

Music is culture.

Music is what connects SOL REPUBLIC to you.

We're celebrating what music means to us -- what does it mean to you? Tell us how music has influenced your life in the comments below, on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We want to know.

To say "thanks," we want to reward you with some gear. There are two ways to win:

1. Share what music is to you on Instagram with the hashtag #MusicIs

2. Sign up and enter to win prizes here.


Tagged in: music, MusicIs, win

Tilly's and Famous Stars and Straps presented their first SXSW with headliners featuring the iconic Travis Barker and Alabama-grown rapper Yelawolf. SXSW has been growing tremendously over the past few years, and this year didn't disappoint when it came to big headliners and music discovery. The showcase included performances by Paul Wall, Slim Thug, DJ Paul, Hopsin, Scoop Deville and more.



Photography by Willie T. 

In a quest to better understand the impact of music and headphones on people's daily lives, we got down with 1,000 Americans about their music habits. 

Did you know that many people have 3+ headphones, and listen to them for over four hours every day? And that 20% of people would rather skip a meal than go a day without music? We get the addiction, we really do.

For more music habits check out our Music Snapshot below.


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The 2014 SOL REPUBLIC Music Snapshot was conducted online within the United States by Critical Mix and was sponsored by SOL REPUBLIC from February 6-11, 2014 among 1,001 adult (18+) headphone/earbud owners.