Rising New Zealand Soul/Jazz musician Arjuna Oakes makes his debut on our page with a heartfelt cut that bridges the gap between the old and the new. Aptly titled “Old School Heart”, the soft-voiced singer delivers a soul-gripping performance that showcases his versatility and wide range of styles. Over a rousing jazz ensemble, Oakes brings back the classic vibes of soul-infused jazz music that would surely keep you entranced from start to finish.

“Old School Heart” is the first single from his upcoming EP entitled The Watcher. The EP is slated for a December release and features instrumentation from some of New Zealand’s most exciting young jazz musicians

Get the single on Spotify.


21-year-old New Zealand musician Arjuna Oakes’s debut EP, The Watcher, is a showcase of his ability as a singer-songwriter, instrumentalist and producer, and a testament to his depth of engagement with music. The first two tracks on the EP fit neatly within the jazz-infused soul music landscape he is quickly becoming part of, but the latter half of the EP is far harder to categorize. Featuring instrumentation from some of New Zealand’s most exciting young jazz musicians, The Watcher explores a wide variety of themes and musical ideas, with Arjuna’s charismatic soul vocals and robust sonic palette serving as a connective thread. From big social issues to personal relationships and internal self-discoveries, across The Watcher, Arjuna takes his cue from the title track and exploration of mass surveillance, and its relevance within our everyday lives. This watcher theme continues throughout the rest of the EP, with the stories told rendered as if being observed by an outside force. Decorated by cinematic soundscapes, hypnotic grooves, creative improvisation and catchy melodies, Arjuna’s debut is a test palette for his future projects, one that makes his enthusiasm to develop and explore themes and style in song abundantly clear.


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