Black Oxygen, the powerhouse duo of brothers David and Nick Lyle, have been making waves in the industry since their inception in the early 2010s. Ever since, the Lyle brothers have been on an upward trajectory, steadily carving out their niche in the pop music landscape. Their recent release, “Hollywood Nights,” is poised to be a defining summer anthem of 2024. Alongside their new album, Last Ones Standing, released on 3rd May, the duo also celebrated signing significant distribution deals with Twenty-Two Recordings, ADA, and Warner Music Group.

Following the release of their latest album, we caught up with the pair as they share insights into their creative process, the inspiration behind their latest tracks, and their reflections on navigating the music industry. 

From their move from Kansas City to the bustling epicentre of LA’s music scene, we caught up with the brothers as they discuss themes of resilience and ambition in Last Ones Standing, offering a candid look at the challenges and triumphs they’ve encountered along the way.

The Early Days: A Midwestern genesis

The story of Black Oxygen starts back in the heartland of America. The Lyle brothers, always drawn to the world of sound, discovered their love for music at a young age. David and Nick grew up immersed in a rich tapestry of sounds from their parents’ music collections, spanning from the classic rock vibes of Guns N’ Roses to the regal harmonies of Queen played by their parents. 

“We were always listening to music,” recalls Nick. “I remember riding around and looking through my dad’s CD book. It was like a treasure trove of iconic albums.”

Inspired by watching Slash of Guns N’ Roses on MTV, David picked up the guitar at the age of 11, while Nick, feeling the need to carve out his own musical path, opted for the drums. They began their musical journey by borrowing a guitar from their grandfather. 

“David started playing the guitar all the time, and I thought, ‘what am I going to do?’” says Nick. “So, I got a drum set, and we went from there.”

Their early commitment to music quickly bore fruit. After positioning first place in a local battle of the bands early on in their history, their early success spurred set the stage for their career. 

“We’ve been working really hard over these last 10 years,” David reflects. “We’ve toured over 500 shows, released multiple albums, and collaborated with a lot of people. It’s been an incredible journey.”

Building the Black Oxygen empire

Black Oxygen’s path has been defined by a relentless work ethic and a drive to succeed. They’ve built their reputation and career from the ground up, constantly evolving and adapting. Their diverse musical influences have allowed them to blend genres effortlessly, creating a unique sound that defies categorization. “Our music really is a fusion,” explains David. “There’s not a certain set style. If you listen to our new album, there’s pop songs, hip-hop songs, rock’n’roll tracks. We just do what we’re feeling.”

This versatility is evident in their discography, which includes albums like The American Dream (2012), Beating Time (2014), The Times of Our Lives (2019), and their latest, Last Ones Standing (2024). Their willingness to explore different musical landscapes and innovate has kept their sound fresh and their fans engaged.

Their success isn’t limited to music alone. The brothers have ventured into entrepreneurship, creating an award-winning BBQ sauce, “Bangin’ BBQ Sauce,” available online at Walmart and in various stores and restaurants across the US. They’ve also recently partnered with Embroidery Studio LA to transform their clothing designs into a luxury line. “It’s been a great time as brothers,” says David. “We’re always willing to go the extra mile and do the hard work to strive for the next level of success.”

A Soundtrack for resilience: Last Ones Standing

Their latest album, Last Ones Standing, is a testament to their journey and growth as artists. Described by the brothers as their most honest and introspective work to date, it’s an album built on relentless positivity and resilience. “This album is definitely where we’re at right now and where we’ve been,” says Nick. “It touches on a lot of things we’ve been through, and through it all, we try to bring positivity to people and to the world.”

Tracks like “Beautiful” and “Better Days” encapsulate this spirit. “Beautiful” is a song that reminds listeners of their worth, while “Better Days” speaks to moving forward through dark times. The album’s lead single, “Hollywood Nights,” is a celebration of fun and the vibrant energy of Los Angeles. “It’s about having a good time and enjoying the moments we’re living,” explains David.

The process of creating Last Ones Standing was a labour of love for the brothers. They wrote, produced, and performed every song on the album themselves. “Everything on our recordings is done by just the two of us,” David notes. “We put our heart and souls into the album, and it all came together beautifully.”

From local gigs to international arenas

As Black Oxygen’s profile has risen, so too has their performance schedule. They’re no strangers to the stage, having played over 500 shows, including opening for rap legends Ludacris and T.I. in sold-out arenas. Their live performances are a crucial part of their identity as musicians. “Playing live is really special,” says Nick. “There’s nothing like connecting with fans and seeing them respond to our music.”

Their upcoming schedule includes a hometown show in Kansas City and a headlining performance at the MCR Carnival Festival in Manchester, UK. “We’re excited to come over to the UK,” says David. “It’s going to be a great experience, and we can’t wait to connect with fans there.”

The brothers are also set to film 18 music videos for every track on Last Ones Standing, a rare and ambitious project. “It’s a lot of work, but it helps to blow stuff up on the internet and gives each song a visual representation,” explains Nick.

Photography: Rowan Daly.

Behind the scenes: The business of music

In recent years, Black Oxygen’s relentless dedication and undeniable talent have caught the eye of industry giants, leading to their recent major distribution deals with Warner Music Group, ADA, and Twenty-Two Recordings.

“It’s great to have that kind of support,” says David. “Now it’s time to put the machine behind us and see where we can go. It’s exciting because now we have all this extra help. We’ve built something great on our own, and now it’s time to take it to the next level.”

Their signing with Warner Music Group was a significant milestone, providing validation for their years of hard work and perseverance. 

“Walking into the Warner Global Music headquarters and being welcomed was a big release off our shoulders,” the band tell us. “It was a reminder that our hard work has paid off, but it also pushed us to work even harder.”

The road ahead: what’s next for Black Oxygen?

As they look to the future, Black Oxygen shows no signs of slowing down. With their new album out, a packed performance schedule, and an array of entrepreneurial ventures, the Lyle brothers are poised for even greater success. 

“We’re always looking to evolve and push forward,” says Nick. “There’s so much more we want to do and so many more places we want to play.”

Their journey is a testament to the power of persistence, creativity, and brotherhood. From their humble beginnings in Kansas City to the bright lights of Hollywood, Black Oxygen continues to rise, fuelled further by their passion for music and their unwavering belief in their dreams. 

“You’ve got to believe in yourself and keep pushing forward,” says David. “The only one that can stop you is yourself.”

For fans old and new, Black Oxygen’s story is one of inspiration and determination. They’ve proven that with hard work and a good helping of rock’n’roll spirit, anything is possible. As they gear up for their busiest year yet in 2024, the brothers are ready to take on the world, one stage at a time.

In a world where the music industry is constantly evolving, Black Oxygen stands as a beacon of resilience and innovation, reminding us all that no dream is too big and no journey is too long. 

And as they prepare to share their music with audiences around the globe, one thing is clear: Black Oxygen is here to stay, and their story is just beginning.


Gabriella Wieland
Author: Gabriella Wieland

Gabriella Wieland is a writer and English Literature graduate. She spends most of her time trying to keep her mini-poppadom obsession at bay and finding adventures of the ‘free’ variety. Residing in Manchester, she also spends much of her time liaising with scientists to find a geographical cure for eternally-grey skies and Vitamin D deficiency.