Oakley Grenell
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Oakley Grenell

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia | INDIE

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia | INDIE
Band Blues Singer/Songwriter


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The Albums I have release have been on my own label Central Records distributed through Border Music NZ. Central006 is distributed in Australia by Vitamin.
Central 002: Otautahi Allstars (self-titled album)
Central 003: O.G - Uncharted
Central 004: The Eskimo Squad - City That Frosts
Central 005: Oakley Grenell presents... Departure Lounge - Live
Central 006: O.G - Moving On Relesed in AUS through Vitamin
Central 007: O.G - Moving On Vinyl EP Relesed in AUS through Vitamin
Central 008: Departure Lounge – In Session



Quotes from Oakley's ‘Moving On’ album reviews:

4/5 stars Rolling Stone Austrlia
Easily the best NZ release this year.
One of the shining lights of his musical generation.
Nothing but quality.

For more info and video check out:

O.G. Outside of his native Christchurch the name will be new to New Zealanders but that is set to change in 2010 as O.G., Oakley Grenell, unleashes a stunning second album Moving On that will move him front and centre in New Zealand and Australian music.

Son of one of this country's legends of music - country superstar John Grenell - O.G. has crafted a fascinating resume that has seen him lead a successful record label, work with some of the world's leading talents in the hip-hop genre, give hope to the future for young British offenders wallowing in UK prisons (more on that later), play to thousands around the globe and hone his prodigious talent to a fine art.

Music is in the blood for 32 year-old Oakley Grenell. His father John is one of New Zealand's most successful musicians, selling an astonishing 100,000 pieces of vinyl by the age of 19 ("that was crazy," says Grenell, "he was like the Scribe of his day 'cos Country was the sound back then"), and hosted the Whitecliffs Music Festival for many years on the family farm on the Canterbury plains. Meanwhile, brother Redford is the drummer for drum'n'bass outfit Shapeshifter and the pair with their other brother Denver formed the band The Psycho Puppets when Oakley was just 12, going on to tackle numerous Rockquest competitions.

"With my parents putting on music festivals for a dozen years, it was inevitable that we would also find a path in music," says Grenell. "We grew up around all these amazing musicians – and down on the farm there wasn't much to do except pick up an instrument and start playing."

That instrument is the guitar, Oakley's first love. But his passion is for making beats, and the self-taught musician has been making them since the year 2000 when he picked up a computer, loaded it with Pro Tools, and began an affair with big beats.

"While my main instrument is the guitar, I really enjoy the piano and constructing beats," he says. "It's the marriage between the synthetic and the organic sounds that really excites me. I like to blend the sound of a sampled kick drum, with the live hi hat and snare recording of a drummer, so you get the organic presence of the beat with that deep kick of a club beat."

Grenell gained a scholarship while studying at Christchurch Polytechnic's School of Jazz and has performed in five bands, but has shown no urge to limit himself to one style. On Moving On, one hears the influences of hip-hop, jazz, reggae, and funk – just to name a few. In between, he has managed to find the time to teach music to high school students, as well as splitting time between New Zealand and the UK – working to help shine a light for troubled youngsters of that country.

"Working in prisons started as a means to get me by during the British school holidays, and ended up being one of the most enriching experiences of my life. I would make mix-tapes of beats and let them have it to MC over. There were the highest of highs and the lowest of lows for me, and it's important for me to think that I made the ability to make a difference in their lives.

"While in the UK I made great connections with MCs that I strongly admire and I'm grateful to have worked with them on Moving On. Guys like Spikey Tee and Dynamite MC are legends and masters of the art of MCing and they've got a really strong presence on this album."

Dynamite MC is best known for his work with drum'n'bass superstar Roni Size while Spikey Tee has appeared with downbeat luminaries Morcheeba. Also fronting up for Moving On is rising soul/jazz star LA Mitchell, Mara TK from Electric Wire Hustle, Christchurch MCs KP and Switch (Sunshine Soundsystem), and Mark Vanilau, who performs with another legend of kiwi music, Dave Dobbyn.

"Mark features on the title track Moving On, a killer track that is also very important to me," says Grenell. "It's the only track on this album that I wrote the lyrics for and it speaks of the critical end of a relationship – the pain of the end of something dear to me and the hope and determination of rising above that for the future."

Central Records the imprint was born in 2000 as the result of a Creative New Zealand Creative Communities grant and Grenell's determination to master his own destiny. The idea of a record deal for his own career is a foreign concept. It has launched albums for Otautahi Allstars (featuring members from Shapeshifter, Solaa and Verse2), Departure Lounge, and the Eskimo Squad. Three Central Records ventures have gained b-Net Music Award nominations.

With Central Records and his own career Grenell is firmly in control of a rich and exciting future. With the release of Moving On, Grenell showcases his unique and pr