Nayokenza Robyn Oliver (Born Robert Norman Oliver Jr, October, 2nd) is an American musician and songwriter based out of Nakameguro, Tokyo, Japan.
Nayokenza was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey. At a very early age they and their family relocated to Orlando, Florida where Nayokenza spent the majority of their formative years. As a teenager Nayokenza publicly changed their name to Nayokenza and started moving back and forth between Orlando and Tokyo, Japan; relocating to Tokyo in 2008.
They have stated that their earliest form of musical expression was trying to rally their siblings to create a “family band” after being inspired by acts such as The Jackson 5 and Hanson. In high school Nayokenza was involved with several acts most notably being [WING ZERO].
Post high school they would form and join several alternative electronic hip-hop outfits. From 2007-2012 they would form and disband the groups Roseblade and Diamond Shotgun.
In 2012 after returning to Tokyo after their father's passing they would form the Tokyo based DJ and event collective Woodoff Dance Party with fellow Floridian DJ, Yamagucci. Along with DJ SakiSukiSake and other DJs, the two of them host a monthly event in Tokyo called Weightless.
In 2013 they teamed up with Errors drummer James Hamilton to form OWLEYE, releasing one EP.
2014 saw Nayokenza release their Hireath EP inspired by the loss of their father and romantic break up from 2012.
In 2015 Nayokenza briefly joined the metal band Given By The Flames as a DJ for a few months only to part ways with the band in 2016.
(the) ocean and i
In 2016 Nayokenza founded what was at the time, a lo-fi hip-hop project named (the) ocean and i. After releasing the debut ep “An Ocean Alive” they went on to recruit other members to join. They have released four eps (An Ocean Alive, Tidal, Ursula, (t)oai) and one album (The Distance Between Us) along with a compilation album (Hiraeth & Rumination) as of 2020 and continue to play live shows in Tokyo, Japan.
In 2019 Nayokenza returned to their solo project releasing their lo-fi hip-hop/ industrial single, “Gnarly”.
In December 2019 they released their EP “Southern Gothic”. In February they released their ep entitled 夜中, they will be releasing an album called "Skinship" in April 2020.
Styles and Influences
Nayokenza’s music has been described as “a Unique Blend of Hip-Hop and Alternative Metal” (BuzzMusic Nov 8, 2019) and “a smooth fusion of various genres” (House Of Clout Jan 23, 2020)
As an artist they have been known to dub their music as Fever Pop; a genre that has been described as including “sounds from hip hop, industrial, metal, and even synthpop”.
(House Of Clout Jan 23, 2020)
Styles and Influences
Nayokenza has stated that their major influences are KoRn, Eric B. And Rakim, Linkin Park, M-Flo, Slapshock, Dragon Ash, Do As Infinity, Saosin, Chicosci, Seo Taiji, Rage Against The Machine, Deftones, Incubus, AFI, Blaqk Audio, HIM, Breathe Carolina, Capsule, Olivia Lufkin, Story Of The Year, Bloc Party, The Roots, Typecast, Silverstein, Owl City, Taking Back Sunday, J. Dilla, Underoath, American Football, Run DMC, Nyctinasty, Death Grips, The Birthday Massacre, K-OS, Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam, Shiela E, Prince, Lights, The Postal Service, Refused, Organized Noise, Outkast, and Walt Disney.
From 2018-2020 they ran a Tokyo based dance event for children called Kids N Motion.
On October 31st, 2019 Nayokenza married their long time partner Noriko Hayashi Oliver. Together the couple DJ events in Tokyo under the moniker OSS. (Oliver Sound System)
In June 2019 Nayokenza publicly came out as gender-neutral with their pronouns being him/her/ they depending on how "people vibe" with them considerate of the languages they speak.
Nayokenza speaks Japanese and English.
Nayokenza has one EP and one mini album scheduled to be released; 夜中 (yonaka) and Skinship in 2020.
Nayokenza has stated that they are currently looking for artist management and are interested in pursuing a contract with a record label.
Cover Art for Nayokenza's single
"Hate Yourself?" 2020
Nayokenza Robyn Oliver
Born 2 October
New Brunswick, New Jersey USA
Orlando, Florida, Tokyo, Japan
Image: Nayokenza Preforming with (the) ocean and i, Tokyo, 2019
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