By Sabeena N Singhani, Staff Writer
OSHUN, comprised of Thandiwe and Niambi Sala, two NYU alumni that met at MLK scholar orientation, made an appearance at Treble Tuesdays, a weekly event for creatives in and out of the music industry sponsored by the Treble app. Thandiwe studied Journalism and Africana Studies in CAS, while Niambi studied at the Clive Davis School of Recorded Music. The two graduated last May, putting out a song, “Graduate” that not only sums up their NYU journey but also their musical one.
The venue Treble chose was Jump Into the Light, a flashy VR studio on Orchard Street. We ran into Michael, Managing Director at Treble, and he told us: “Treble Tuesdays was a beautiful accident. The franchise started in our founder Matt Bond’s apartment in Bushwick about a year ago when we threw a spontaneous happy hour for users on the app. Over 150 artists showed up the first week to network and jam, and after a while of our landlord being thoroughly upset every week, we started scaling out to other venues and booking the best undiscovered talent in the underground NY music scene.”
Before the openers, DJs took the booth upstairs, while VR experiences and drinks were served downstairs. The booth was surrounded by green screens, and was simultaneously projected on a wall as well as two TV screens. In the projections, behind the performer, were spaceships, blurred lights, palm trees … The list goes on. Simon Sez was the first to warm up the crowd, kicking it off with bass-heavy mixes of top 40. The DJs wrapped up, and people really started to really pack into the small venue. John Rivera, artist name Spazzmodius, came on, performing “Pull Up,” which was vibrating the floor while Rivera’s carefully placed ski mask stayed put. The hosts, one of which had a timely Wakunda shirt, lifted everyone up, completely changing the mood of the naturally slow, Tuesday night crowd. Various visual artists also made appearances, including Shantell Martin and Sophocles.
By the time OSHUN walked through the crowd and onto the stage, everyone had forgotten their day jobs and it was just about following your passions. OSHUN’s opener was immediately unbalanced despite Thandiwe and Niambi’s coordination. The track was just a bit too loud, drowning Niambi out in particular. Jump Into the Light is not a venue built for music, but it was alright – Thandiwe offered up a harmonized softness while Niambi laid down rhythmic tracks that grounded their songs despite the chunky track.
Once they worked their way into “Parts,” the audience was already singing along, a gentle hum underlying each word sung. At first the girls trailed behind the tempo a bit, until they burst through the track and Thandiwe hit a high and loud “try” in the verse. Despite the audio setup, OSHUN had brought everyone shouting and grooving.
OSHUN’s “Stuck” seemed to have the most balanced sound, despite the song’s difficult vocal arrangement. It really brought the crowd up, everyone seemed to know the words. When it was over, OSHUN announced that their music video for “Stuck” had been viewed a million times; it’s certainly a marker of achievement, especially for fresh graduates. OSHUN is performing in Brooklyn on March 30, see their tour dates here. If you’re interested in Treble or Treble Tuesdays, check out the app here.