Oakley Grenell – Between the sheets

Saturday, August 15th, 2009 | News
Oakley Grenell - Between the sheets

Kia Ora people!

If you didn’t already know, Kia ora is the Maori (New Zealand native) greeting, like saying hello.

And if you didn’t already know, 2 cats from New Zealand; OG and Mark Vanilau have been raising the bar with a few projects they have teamed up for that are putting some soul back on the radio.  Kia ora Oakley and Mark.

I’m not suggesting that soul and blues music are not represented in Australasia, but it’s been some time since a pairing like this has come along. The first time I came accross this pairing of artists was when we interviewed Oakley not too long ago

The live video for ‘Moving On’ has a rawness and yet subtlety that just isn’t apparent in many artists work at this time. I guess only in a place like New Zealand could such a peaceful sound be created by a bunch of young fellas. mean

So a few months on, and Oakley Grenell is set to release his new album in October of 2009 “Departure Lounge in Session” with the first single again having the two paired. Perhaps the press release explains it best: “Once again Grenell joins forces with Mark Vanilau continuing on from the nu jazz soul liaison that started with last years ‘Moving On’. The achingly seductive  ‘Between The Sheets’ gives a nod to the lust and passion reminiscent of D’Angelo’s ‘Voodoo’ album and aims to evoke similar stirrings”.

Funnily enough, I had already made the D’angelo comment before reading this, as i’m sure many others have. Not a lot of people can be compared to D’angelo sitting so far ahead of the game in his area. Mark however has a certain softness and delicacy that sets him apart from others including D’angelo, that can only begin to be described in my mind as the sound innocence and selflessness would have if they were audible.

‘Between the Sheets’ (streaming at the top of the article) is a real fusion of styles and genres which hints at Oakleys incredibly diverse career so far. A patchwork quilt of blues, funk, soul, rock, hip hop, jazz, & ragga, with incredibly simplistic and pre-mediated musicianship, tied together by Marks innocence and realness.


“Once again Grenell has collected some of Christchurch’s most talented and accomplished musicians to make up the
Departure Lounge band – the stalwarts – Johnny Lawrence (Bass), Cameron Pearce (Trumpet), Chris Burke (Sax), Nick Gaffaney (Drums), Sum Suraweera and Kurt Dyer (Percussion), guest vocalists Mara TK (Electric Wire Hustle, Fly My Pretties), MC KP (Sunshine Soundsystem) and the exceptional soulful talent Mark Vanilau alongside new additions Darren Pickering on keys and guest vocalist Roz Langdon.”

Kia ora boys and girls… Kia ora.

You can check out more from Oakley and his band at:




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1 Comment to Oakley Grenell – Between the sheets

[...] noticed  a bit of info on our very good friend (see ‘Artists‘ link above) O.G (A.K.A Oakley Grenell). He is a man with many musical/creative talents that always seems to have a few different [...]

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