Sweetheart Series: OFFWHITE and Mikayla Ketner
In the Sweetheart Series, we give artist interview control to the people who (probably should) know them best: their partners. The questions are up to them and we won't edit anything that's said in the interview. We're hoping this brings out a more intimate, interesting interview and, who knows, maybe they'll learn something they didn't know about their partner.(Note from our lawyer: Distinction Music Management is not liable for any break ups that result from the Sweetheart Series)
The artist: David Marksbury (OFFWHITE)
The partner: Mikayla Ketner of DMM
Time together: 1 year 4 months
How they met: It was some rom-com shit. I (Mikayla) was at the tail end of a serious relationship that wasn’t going anywhere. I had a huge crush on one of my roommate’s friends. (Fun fact: he had a crush on me too and was apparently waiting for the demise of my relationship to swoop in, true love amiright?) The relationship that I was in ended pretty bitterly and I went through my post breakup eating pizza and binge watching tv shows phase. After that I just hoped to see David at every event that my roommate invited me out to. It was summer in Pullman so I kind of figured my odds of bumping into him would be fairly high, but it just wasn’t happening. So I asked him out to movies or invited him out to parties, but he kept blowing me off. Apparently he was just super nervous and wanted it to be perfect. For our first date we got tacos and watched anime and we’ve done pretty much the same thing ever since!
Mikayla: I’m going to start this off super easy, how long have you been making music?
David: Oh shit. I’ve been producing under the OFFWHITE project for like 3 years, but I’ve been “DJing” since 2012.
Mikayla: What did you use to DJ under?
David: It was DJ Icarus.
*shows me flyer of a Melee tournament he DJed for in 2012*
Mikayla: What’s the story behind that name and when/why did you decide to change it?
David: I was just a fan of the story of Icarus, like the Greek story of Icarus, and I decided to change it because there was another shitty soundcloud DJ with the same name who was bigger than me.
Mikayla: So why OFFWHITE?
David: That’s always the question isn’t it? Mostly just because I wanted my music in that project to stand in between what other people were doing and find my own lane, dog.
Mikayla: Do you feel like the OFFWHITE project has helped you grow more as a musician?
David: I think so. I think it’s kind of just taught me to always think differently and not be afraid to put out something that some people might not like because some people still will.
Mikayla: So when you’re making music is it more for you or for the people listening?
David: It’s about 60/40, with the 60% for me. I care what they think, but I’m still going to make what I want.
Mikayla: And how do you describe the OFFWHITE sound?
David: Whatever my bandcamp bio says, I don’t know how to answer that question. It changes. It’s always growing into something different.
Mikayla: A lot of your stuff takes influence from anime and has a lot of Japanese influence, would you consider that a part of the OFFWHITE sound?
David: Uh, yeah. That’s a huge part, that’s like one of my favorite things besides music so it plays a huge role in what I like to make and it effects everything stylistically.
Mikayla: Do you ever get called a weeb?
David: Only by you lol.
Mikayla: How do you separate being influenced by versus claiming those traits?
David: I try to make a conscious effort to make sure people know that I’m just sampling said works and not trying to say that I came up with these cultural sounds and art styles.
Mikayla: So we’ve been dating a pretty long time, and I've seen a lot of your shows, so what show do you consider your favorite (and bonus points if I booked it).
David: I’d say it’s a tie between the High Voltage show with tails., because getting to play with one of my favorite artists was really cool and a house party I played in 2013 where a juggalo showed up to the party and threw lawn chairs off a two-story deck just because I wouldn’t let him play xbox in the room I was playing in.
Mikayla: Woah I didn’t know that, so was he like full makeup and everything.
David: No he just made sure everyone knew.
Mikayla: Is it ever weird for you having me help book your shows?
David: Yeah, you don’t book me enough.
Mikayla: I just feel like it’s a conflict of interest sometimes, do you feel differently?
David: I think it’s easier for me to separate you being with me and you booking me.
Mikayla: True. Who are some of the favorite artists you’ve worked with?
David: Sidewalk Boy, from San Francisco. Elijah Heaps, super cool dude from Denton, TX. They’d be my favs.
Mikayla: Who would you want to work with that you haven’t?
David: There’s a couple of like random Soundcloud people I can think of, but otherwise just big artists that have influenced my sound, but that’s a ways off.
Mikayla: Do you feel like dating someone who works on the other end of the music industry is like beneficial or hindering?
David: Both. Obviously it can lead to some opportunities I might not have had on my own, but it can also possibly detract from opportunities.
Mikayla: How so?
David: Like you said earlier there can always be possible conflicts of interest, especially if it’s through DMM.
Mikayla: Do you want to talk about the new album?
David: No. I’d rather talk about future shit.
Mikayla: So what’s in OFFWHITE’s future?
David: Unnecessarily large SUVs, way more bangers, and some ambient, industrial bass tracks that no one will really like but me and like four other people who tell me they’re cool.
Mikayla: Any last words?
David: Go check out my latest work on Soundcloud, and if you want stop by Bandcamp and buy some songs so I can keep feeding myself.