The Oxymorrons don’t just supersede genres with their music- they smash the genres and rise from the ashes of the boxes the music industry tries to force artists into. The band hails from New York, the literal and proverbial melting pot of cultures, people and inevitably music- it comes as no surprise that The Oxymorrons are influenced by nearly every type of music under the sun. You can see this in their work that confidently blurs the lines of rap and hip hop, hardcore and punk, rock and soul.
KBX was blessed enough to talk to Demi “Deee” and Kami “KI”, the brothers and vocalists who joined forces (and voices) to start The Oxymorrons. We talked about what “Urban Alternative” really means in the industry, how tour life has been, what their mission is with their music and their upcoming “Complex But Basic” project that’s set to drop this summer.
How’s touring with Waka Flocka going?
It’s going great, touring with him is a lot of fun. It’s always awesome.
So you guys describe your sound as Urban Alternative? What does that term mean to you?
For us, we don’t really like to be put in a box but for the sake of the industry, we had to be put in some kind of box…Urban Alternative was the best term because we make a lot of alternative music. Pretty much, we’re black kids in the industry and the code for black is “urban”…Anything that a black person is making that isn’t hip-hop is called “urban”.
I actually saw y’all at Afropunk a couple of years ago in their Battle of the Bands. I feel like Afropunk’s whole energy as far as normalizing that “alternative” side… all of that together in one space is dope.
Dope!…Afropunk is really really dope, it really shows you the difference in black music and Afropunk celebrates that. It don’t all gotta be trap, it don’t gotta all be one genre that the industry wants to focus on at that moment. We make tons of music, we make tons of different kinds of music but we’re only represented in one way.
So what do you guys have next? You guys have a project that’s gonna drop this year right?
This year, this summer…its an EP called “Complex But Basic”…It’ll definitely be dropping this summer.
What did you grow up listening to musically, what were you grooving to ?
Anything from, realistically…Lionel Richie to Billy Joel to Queen to N.E.R.D…literally anything. We listen to everything. Wu tang, Blink 182-
Yo! I loved Blink 182!
A lot of people listen to them but they don’t wanna admit it
So obviously you guys draw your influences from everywhere then.
We live in a world of everything. Why not listen to everything?
I definitely feel like I understand where you guys are coming from when you say you don’t want to be defined as any specific sound
We just wanna be us…. you might have a particular writing style, you may use a specific format. But realistically, when you take all that away… like genres are made to categorize. Music is all sound that gets put together, specific types of people and cultures make a certain kind of sound. But it’s all sound, we all use the same type of equipment. Especially with us, we represent so many different genres, we never say “Oh, we wanna make a rap song” etc…
So where did you guys get the name ‘Oxymorrons’ from?
Well that’s what we’re talking about as far as our music goes. We bring together things that aren’t necessarily, supposed to fit…technically everything is supposed to fit because it’s all music…but genre wise it’s not supposed to fit. So we are the “Oxymorrons” because we make it fit and it works and it feels good. Think about what an ‘oxymoron’ means…
And going along with that, what about the masks? What influenced you to incorporate those into your logos, performances and all of that?
The masks represent artistic freedom. They’re asian celebratory masks. Back in the day, you weren’t allowed to publicly speak out against the government. So artists used those masks to be free. So for us…we celebrate that and we celebrate artistic freedom on all levels…For our fans, we wear the masks and we can take them off and be free whenever we want to but you (the fans) can wear our masks also and speak for yourself until you feel like you can stand on your own and speak out without it (the mask).
So is that your mission with your music? To pass that feeling (of artistic freedom) on to other people?Yes, yes most definitely.
So aside from “Complex But Basic”, you guys are still touring with Waka?
After May 31st, we start a tour headlining for ourselves.
That’s dope! Awesome! Are you guys going to be performing at Afropunk this year?
We’re not sure yet but our agent is negotiating right now so we’ll see what happens.
It would be awesome to see you guys back on stage in Brooklyn!
Of course! That’s home. And the event itself…we can connect with people (musically).
Do you feel like the tour will be national or maybe overseas?
We’re definitely thinking about overseas just trying to see what will happen once we drop the EP.
I can definitely see y’all in Japan, I don’t know but I can just see you guys being super popular over there
That’s funny because thats where everyone says we should go next!
And on one last note, your website is dope!!
Have people play that video game on our website! Our guitarist did the website. Pretty much everything we do is in house.
The Oxymorrons are currently finishing up their tour with Waka Flocka and then will be on their own tour after that. You can check all of the upcoming dates here. Make sure to keep up to date with the band via their amazing, interactive website and keep an eye out for “Complex But Basic” when it drops this summer. In the meantime, check out the latest music video for their single “Hello Me” below.