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Oxygen makes soulful Reggae

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Musicians no longer operate in one set genre.

New emerging artists and bands are fusing sounds to generate their own new genre that speaks to their uniqueness and aesthetic.

Oxygen Box Band — comprised of core members Natalie Alese, Stanley Chery and Malvo509 — forges sounds together creating their own mash-up genre. “We always say soul rock reggae — that describes the sound — and indie conscious describes the concept,” Alesa described. “We’re an independent band and we’re all about consciousness, about being aware of what’s going on around us and working towards good for people. Right now, in popular music there’s a lot of negative messages and a lot of messages that aren’t bringing people anywhere good or bringing life to people. We try to counteract that with the music that we do.”

Originally conceived in Tampa, Florida through the vision of longtime friends and Haitian natives Chery and Malvo509, the duo opted for a change of scenery in New Jersey where they met Jamaican American vocalist Alese. For Oxygen Box, “it’s more than music, it’s a movement.”

“We started writing together and that’s how I came into the band,” Alese explained. “As far as the movement, we all just have a similar desire to do more than music. To have a message and impact people in a positive way.”

Their full band is comprised of people representing all countries, representing the same unity they sing of in their lyrics. “Our band is a diverse band, we have people from all over – Ghana, the United States, Jamaica, everywhere in the world,” Malvo509 said.

Within their soulful reggae sounds, you’ll hear Alese’s powerful vocals singing Haitian Creole as though she is a native of the country. “That’s another thing that our movement is about though, it’s unity amongst all nationalities. I’ve always had a deep respect for Haiti to be the first country to really be liberated and start that whole movement. As black people we’re all connected to it,” Alese said.

“With music, music can bring more opportunity to the country and more people can understand not just American kids but the whole world can understand. It’s an amazing thing when we can hear people from all across the world singing Creole when we’re playing live. It’s a way to promote the country,” Malvo509 added.

The band released its first full-length album, “Move Out,” in November 2013 and has recently released a new single, “Closer To You.” The love song is carried by Alese’s vocals and was written by the majority of the band mates including Alese, Chery, Malvo509 and back-up singer Shauna Gae-Turner.

When it comes to recording, the band runs a pretty tight ship under much direction from lead producer, guitarist and vocalist Chery.

“I think we try our best to do what we’re supposed to do but normally I start getting stuff together,” Malvo509 said. “We all try to keep ourselves active to do what we’re supposed to do. We keep each other on track.”

The summer does not bring vacation time for Oxygen Box Band as they are preparing to release two more singles along with accompanying videos to cap off the summer and start the fall. The worldly musicians will take over Silvana located on West 116 Street between Amsterdam Avenue and Frederick Douglass Boulevard in Harlem on August 7 for a free show that will also double as a birthday celebration for Malvo509.

For more information about Oxygen Box Band, visit their website www.oxygenboxband.com

Reach reporter Alley Olivier at (718) 260–8310 or e-mail her at aolivier@cnglocal.com. Follow Alley on Twitter @All3Y_B.
Updated 3:05 am, July 10, 2018
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