My latest conversation disguised as an interview was with the brothers Deee and KI of Oxymorrons, a band that incorporates rock and hip-hop styles to create an expression of themselves that speaks volumes. Within this Oxymorrons interview, I mean conversation, they explain the origin behind their names as well as the factors that led to their signature sound which ultimately became the foundation for their success thus far.
PABLO (HIGHLARK): First of all, could you introduce yourselves, your names, what your names mean and your favorite colors to know what to put your names under?
DEEE (OXYMORRONS): Yea that’s real cool, that’s different. Everybody calls me Deee, short for Demi for Demi-god, not god residing over anyone but a god… being one and in tune with my powers as well as being fully engulfed in being a human.
KI (OXYMORRONS): I’m KI which is Kami, it’s another Japanese word for god… Kami is a being that can be up in heaven and come down to earth and understand both realms. There are many other Kamis, I’m not the only Kami, and my favorite color is purple. Purple for royalty.
DEEE: Yea my favorite color is blue.
PABLO: Yea I got no problem with blue, I like purple also but I don’t look very good in purple so…
DEEEE and KI: (laughing as to not hurt my feelings).
PABLO: But for Comicon I’m going in this sick Riddler jacket (which has purple on it) and interviewing people.
DEEEE: Ohhhh that’s sick! He got a Riddler jacket.
KI: (equallly as hyped) Ohhhh he’s my dude!
DEEEE: That’s crazy because the Riddler was my first rap name when I was a kid. That’s mad funny, that’s cool.
KI: Yea you know we love Comicon that’s extra dope.
PABLO: Next question, how are you?
DEEEE: I’m pretty good. I’m chilling having a good time enjoying life. I can’t complain about too much… I’m here, I’m breathing, I have most of the things I need, and a lot of things I want (laughs).
KI: (laughs) I’m phenomenal, I’m looking forward to this next episode of Dragon Ball Super.
PABLO: You keeping up with Dragon Ball Super?
DEEEE: Yea, I don’t know if you did your research but we are some anime heads man!! It makes me feel like I’m 10 again. I watch it and get mad I have to wait a whole week for the next one.
PABLO: (I did my research) I know the meaning of the word oxymoron, but what’s behind the name Oxymorrons and what does it mean in context with you and your entire group?
DEEEE: Well, in context… it pretty much means being able to fuse things that are seemingly opposite or different and making sense in the end, just like any oxymoron term you’d find like jumbo shrimp (laughs). Things in our music that would normally never go together… we don’t base anything off of genres, we blend every sound and we do the same thing within our band, our lives, just with who we are, so the name ‘Oxymorrons’ came about.
PABLO: When I heard y’all I definitely thought it was fly… mixing rock and hip-hop.
KI: I always told people that you got to like more than one thing, you don’t always just eat chicken? I hope not! I hope you eat rice and vegetables as well… you can’t just have one thing consistently so we don’t do the same thing with our music. Why do it with music?
PABLO: Exactly, I preach that to people as well. I got my brother on sushi and anime and he loves both of them.
DEEEE: Yea that’s wassup, cuz life isn’t one dimensional.
PABLO: I do like that you transcend the whole thought of genres, since there are not many whom do hybrid music like you do.
KI: What I guess you’re trying to say is how do we come across to others? Or that people are stuck in genre-basing? Since it isn’t happening, maybe people can break their mold. We aren’t the first to do it, people feel like they have to be in a shoe box. Our goal is to crack the genre gap and follow our minds.
DEEE: Yea it’s more so that music is an artform and that music doesn’t fall in boxes no matter how you try to put it. People try to comprehend through categorization, but categorization has it’s limits. There is no way you can fully comprehend something that’s put into a category.
PABLO: You guys are from New York right? What parts?
DEEEE and KI: Yes sir. Queens New York, Queens all day.
KI: Me and Deee are brothers. Same house, same mom same dad, Queens all day.
PABLO: I know y’all sing and y’all rhyme but do you play instruments as well?
DEEE: Well I play some keys and stuff like that.
KI: We mess around with keys, but something that we are really good at is…. the best way to describe it is being ‘Geppetto’ when we work with other producers. We say “Oh, make this sound.” You know I don’t play guitar but we can make sounds with our mouth so they can play it for us.
DEEE: We just understand melodies. We play a heavy role in our production with/without the band. We have a real understanding of where we want to go musically, but as far as that, KI doesn’t play instruments but he definitely knows production and how records should be structured. To answer it simply, I play some keys and KI mainly focuses on vocals.
PABLO: I know people get into that zone where you want to get your musical brain working. What kind of atmosphere or routine do you get into to make music?
DEEE: It’s funny for me, it’s not really a routine. I write music literally breeding from inspiration of life, every time I get inspired by something I simply write. I don’t have to be in a certain state of mind, I go in and out. I write in spurts… there will be a time where I’m writing non-stop everyday, but then there’ll be times where I’m absorbing and not writing anything, but it varies. I know some of the dopest verses and hooks that I’ve written, has been in the bathroom while I was doing it (laughs). It seems to be a comfort zone for me.
KI: Same thing for me, it’s like spurts. I don’t have a routine. I’ll eat a bowl of cereal and music will just come out of me. I know I make the most crazy stuff when I’m traveling or looking out the window when I’m in my own head. Whether I’m on the bus, train, car, looking at life, I write the most serious stuff. Like the hook for the song “Hello Me”. I need emotion or that certain sound. We can write music with no windows or anything.
DEEE: It’s funny sometimes we are in different locations and be on the same page.
PABLO: Y’all aren’t twins right? I think that telepathic stuff is a twin power.
(DEEE and KI laugh simultaneously).
DEEE: Nah we aren’t twins. Our energies are just connected. We learned at an early age we’re great apart but together we are borderline perfection, like ying and yang. One can’t function without the other.
PABLO: Yea I think it’s a Virgo thing, we go outside and get flooded with ideas.
DEEEE: Yea I’m a Virgo.
KI: I’m a Gemini so I’m in the clouds. I stare out of the windows in my own head. Man, the future is going to be crazy with the songs we got man.
PABLO: Can you tell us a bit about what to expect from Complex But Basic?
DEEE: Realistically, it’s gonna be the story of Kami and the realities we face daily and in life. It’s gonna be a really dope project. We’re gonna break a lot of ground, we push the boundaries sonically… it’s really evolved, if you followed us you will see the growth, and if you’re just getting into us you will really enjoy it.
PABLO: How about you KI? How do you feel after making Complex But Basic?
KI: I’m excited honestly… I can’t wait for people to hear the music and really see where me and Deee and the rest of the guys are coming from. I’m excited to have people realize that boundaries in music can be broken all the time and for people to be inspired and try that as well. I can’t wait for it to come out, can’t wait for y’all to see the visuals, all the things we’ve been working on and yea, I can’t wait.
PABLO: Do you know any specific date?
DEEE: We haven’t skated a date for release. It should come sometime this summer.
PABLO: We’ll probably find out through your social media?
DEEE: Yea it’s us, so we’ll respond. It’s the funny thing about it, people don’t want to be social on social media. People use it as an extension of their brand but it should be an extension of themselves.
PABLO: Favorite rapper growing up?
KI: It’s hard to answer… for back then, a part of me would say Slick Rick because his ice and all that… My favorite artist as far as rapping goes would be Pusha T. He holds everything I look for in an artist bars, the way he talks about stuff he’s my favorite.
DEEE: My favorite as far as rapping goes would be Lupe Fiasco.
PABLO: Did you see him beat Justin Wong (I meant Daigo :/)
DEEE: Yo of course though, I didn’t think he was gonna win. I thought he would’ve gotten washed. He was learning everything step by step.
KI: I think if Lupe would’ve played Daigo on 3rd strike he would’ve gotten washed.
DEEE: He’s definitely on my top 5 dead or alive.
PABLO: That’s definitely not a question I can ask [about Top 5 DOA]. I thought Ice Cube should be there but there’s people that only know him as an actor.
DEEE: Yea, but it’s really up to them. If you truly are a fan of something, you should research it whether it’s movies, music, etc. This age is dope, you can sit in the comfort of your own home and learn about anything you want to learn about.
KI: Yea, we try to encourage people to do what they want to do, do what they love. I like Linkin Park and Nirvana and N.E.R.D is my favorite band ever.
DEEE: Yea I love N.E.R.D but my favorite band of all time is Queen and they weren’t even my era at all. I just did my research… Queen in general, they are theatrical, they changed during every chord progression, that’s what I love, you never know what you’re gonna get, the way it starts isn’t always the way it finished… they inspired a lot of our music the way Freddie [Mercury] wrote his music.
KI: Yea Freddie’s lyrics were amazing.
PABLO: I only have a few more questions. I think you had the Madara mask on [from Naruto] in a few pictures I’ve seen?
DEEE: Ohhh, No those are the Kami-Demi god masks that were inspired by that. A lot of people know the meaning of that but that inspired it.
KI: Also in a political point of view of it.
DEEE: It’s about having freedom of artistic expression. Being behind those masks allowed them to speak freely and be themselves. It’s not about always living behind the masks, it’s about the masks liberating you. So speak freely for yourself not just behind the mask.
PABLO: April 20th you’re coming to NY with Waka Flocka?
KI: Yea at Webster Hall. Come through. I’m excited.
DEEE: Yea it’s gonna be crazy. It’s gonna be a very very lit situation. We’re gonna have a blast with that one.
PABLO: Do you know the moment that you knew that music was gonna be your life journey?
DEEE: That came in stages. At first, we did it separately but there was always an inclination that we were gonna do it together. When we decided to do this together, from that moment forward we knew that this was gonna be our careers. There were up and downs and pitfalls in it but we never stopped. It’s not just our careers, it’s our lives. For us, no matter what life throws at us… music will be a part of us.
KI: Yea, no matter what the situation is, no matter if we have millions and millions, we’re gonna make music no matter what, it’s in our DNA.
PABLO: An artist that each of you listen to that you don’t think anybody you know listens to?
KI: I already got an artist.
DEEE: There are a few artists that I really love that I don’t think a lot of people know about. I listen to Foxy Shazam, there are the closest thing to Queen and their lead singer Eric Nally his voice is literally like Freddie Mercury reincarnated. You would know about him for singing on Macklemore’s “Downtown.” I’ve known Eric and been a fan of that music for as long as Foxy Shazam has been making music.
KI: For me I listen to K-Pop, so I know a lot of people don’t listen to the much, my dudes Big Bang. They are the flyest ones. Big Bang do rapping and everything, they aren’t afraid to try different things, no boundaries.
PABLO: Thank you, I definitely liked the interview.
DEEE: Yeah we appreciate the questions. I liked the whole free flowing style like a conversation. It wasn’t like basic questions. You were way more in-depth and we always appreciate that.
PABLO: Have a good rest of the day! Put pressure on the guy who interviews you next, and if they’re whack, just call me back and we’ll do another interview.
DEEE and KI: (laughs) Yea I got you.