O-Lay & Diatonic

McNally Smith College of Music cultivates musicians, and set the scene for Matt “Diatonic” Mulheran and Wesley “O-Lay” Jones to meet by way of blind chance. In late January 2011, As O-Lay was taking a break from writing, he found himself overwhelmed by Diatonic’s sweet soulful sounds coming from the opposite side of a studio door. After he stood in the hallway with his ear pressed against the door for the better part of ten minutes, the artist that Diatonic was recording at the time opened the door and found a bizarre kid, awestruck by the melodies that had so effectively left him frozen in his tracks. The artist invited him into the room where he quietly took a sit and continued to be floored by the tunes that followed.

During the session the two began discussing similar interest such as 9th Wonder, Lupe Fiasco, and Little Brother, and as a result of the connection that they formed Diatonic invited his new acquaintance to tag along and attend a few upcoming studio sessions. In the mist of one of these sessions, O-Lay, who would be best described as a closet rapper at the time, built up the courage to ask Diatonic to record him. He obliged his request and so began a beautiful working relationship. In the months the followed the timid emcee continued to present songs to his soon to be partner, to which he would always respond “Dude, You have got to stop being so scared. Let people hear your stuff. I promise they will like it.” However, O-Lay continually refused to do so.

After doing various collaborative songs within a few months of making one another’s acquaintance, they discovered that O-Lay’s southern dialect ,and articulate verses, combined with Diatonic’s smooth, yet dance inspiring, musical styling combined to create a sound that was uniquely their own. Given that knowledge, the two decided to continue their musical careers as a duo and, in doing so, each artist has continually pushed the other to exceed his previous limitations. The process has spurred the creation of a diverse collections songs of with a wide array of different moods and subject matters; however, at the very core of each song lays common traits of soulfulness and realism that reach out to any demographic, giving the O-Lay and Diatonic listening experience universal appeal. [+]