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Coming out of New York City, Cardinal Theory is an indie rock-soul band. Its genesis begins with the eclectic songwriting of lead vocalist and guitarist Odane Whilby, The band began as a medley of his alternative rock roots mixed with his contemporary gospel and soul influences. Listening to a mere snippet of Odane’s voice, it’s easy to notice his singing and songwriting influences which include: Fred Hammond, Switchfoot, U2 and Mutemath on the gospel and alternative side, while still showing hints of a sound reminiscent of Musiq Soulchild and D’angelo on the neo-soul wave of the late 90’s early 2000’s. With their own brand of rockin’ soul music Cardinal Theory creates music for all people, not just one group or set. The band stands behind the belief, that Music should bring us together not tear us apart.
The band consist of 5 members: Odane Whilby, Duvane “Phatz” Whilby, Marcos “Cos” Robinson, Patrick “Jayare” Mckenzie and Gabe Smith. They came together in 2010, when they were asked to join Odane in his first showcase as a singer/songwriter. Upon realizing the potential of their chemistry, they decided to combine the Neo-Soul influences of the band members with the gospel and alternative rock elements of Odane’s vocals and lyrics to form Cardinal Theory. The name Cardinal Theory derives from a play on words, which means the principal or unbreakable belief.
Garnering a name for themselves as a premier and exciting live act Cardinal Theory performed and were finalist at the 2010 Hard Rock Rising International Battle of the Bands. They also established their fan base through a regular spot at the Bruckner Bar & Grill in the Bronx from 2010 until 2012 when Hurricane Sandy washed out the Bruckner. They however persevered and continued to perform at other NYC venues including The Legendary BB Kings in Time Square, and Philly’s Warm Daddy’s.
The band just wants to honestly make good music and break the mold of genre. You can classify them as Rock or Neo Soul band or even a contemporary Christian band if that’s what you take away from their music, but as a band they want to musically move people to greatness.
So what lies in the future for Cardinal Theory? Their next tour, which will take place on the east coast, is called The Wake Up Tour. It will focus on promoting the band through acoustic solo sets by Odane Whilby; that will give listeners a preview of the Cardinal Theory experience, and will be followed up with full band performances in NYC and Philly.