Oxymorrons embodies the essence of New York City, a melting pot of sounds, styles and cultures that can never be succinctly defined or shoved in a box. Comprised of vocalist brothers KI and Deee, drummer Matty Mayz, and guitarist Jafé Paulino, their diverse backgrounds, eccentricities and flawless imperfections blend together to create the soundtrack of our big city lives. Always with an eye on the bigger picture, Oxymorrons use music as a catalyst for change, an opportunity to help craft a global movement that never fails to put community over division.
The Queens-bred brothers, KI and Deee, were touched by the power of music at a very young age. “When you’re raised in Queens, you’re exposed to a melting pot of cultures, which shed light on multiple genres of music. Our dad would be bumpin Prince, Bob Marley, Lionel Ritchie, Phil Collins, Billy Joel, etc. Our older brother would have artists like Biggie and Metallica on repeat. Queens birthed many hip-hop superstars like Nas, 50 Cent, Nicki Minaj, RUN DMC, Onyx, while also birthing rock stars like the Ramones, Anthrax and Bayside. It’s no coincidence that when it was our turn, we would create something so hybrid.” For the brothers it was always about finding their own sound and carving their own path, taking inspiration from acts like N.E.R.D, Jay-Z, Lincoln Park, Kid Cudi, Outkast & Lupe Fiasco to be unapologetically themselves. The eventual additions of drummer Matty Mayz and guitarist Jafé Paulino have proven integral parts of carving that path, and Oxymorrons have not looked back since.
But coming up as Black youth with sights on a career in the music and entertainment biz would require navigating around some imposing potholes. People had biased assumptions about what kind of music they should create. “When we put our music out we were constantly told we were too rock for hip-hop and too hip-hop for rock. When they see rappers they don’t consider it rock. It’s blasphemy because where do you think Rage Against The Machine came from?” Dee adds, “A lot of hip-hop people associate rock music with things that aren’t of Black culture. If you know the history you know where it came from.” Immersed in both musical lanes and naturally pushing those sounds out, the group far surpasses these binaries as it feels authentic from both sides and makes something all their own.
This authenticity couldn’t be more evident on their debut album Melanin Punk, set for release via Mascot Records on October 20. The follow up to 2021’s Mohawks & Durags EP, Melanin Punk was entirely produced by Zach Jones (Fever 333, Nova Twins, Pop Evil, We Came As Romans). “Zach is one of our favorite collaborators, he truly understands the unique OXY hybrid sound and makes the process seamless…. we just go in and blend sounds. It only made sense for us to work with him on this project.”