Reggae-funk group Luv Locz Experiment continues to evolve



The past several years has been a period of intense evolution for reggae-funk outfit Luv Locz Experiment, celebrating the release of “Strange Fruit” at PNC Arts Annex in Dayton on Friday, April 28.

Founder Jay-Vez Hicks, Natural Onyx (vocals, flute), Phil Hutchinson (trumpet) and Chris “Taggs” Kennedy (percussion) recently reflected on the group’s collaborative follow-up to their 2021 debut album, “Honey.”

Hicks: “We recorded this album right before we went to Jamaica for the first time in February 2022. We took our time with the mixing process. We wanted it to be right. The first album we had was good, but we felt like it could’ve been a lot better.”

Kennedy: “We were more intentioned this time because the execution was not what we wanted. Not to say we don’t love it, but we’re trying to push that other side now that we know how to be a band.”

Onyx: “We won the Middletown Battle of the Bands twice and with that we won 10 hours of studio time with Third Street Music in Middletown. We went in all together and dropped that whole record really quickly. It was magical. The energy in the room just allowed for everything to flow so beautifully.”

Luv Locz Experiment’s “Black Man” featuring Natural Onyx on lead vocals:

Hicks: “One of the reasons we were able to record the songs in such a short time is because we were so well rehearsed. We worked on the songs for about three months before we actually went into the studio so we could just go in and knock them out.”

Onyx: “When coming up with these songs, we had each member in the band come up with their own tune. They brought that in and we created a song around each tune so each tune is tailored to a person in the band. That was an awesome process.”

Hutchinson: “This album is completely different from the first one in every way. We’ve been playing a lot of songs from the first album for a long time and everything we’ve done on the second album sounds so different. There’s still the hip-hop-infused funk and reggae element at our core but we’ve expanded on that more.”

Hicks: “It’s been an amazing growth process from six years to now. We sent this project to one of our good friends in Ghana. We were looking for a certain sound and professionalism in mixing and mastering. He put his flavor on it. I can definitely say it doesn’t sound like anything else around here.”

Contact this contributing writer at 937-287-6139 or


Who: Luv Locz Experiment with Haya Healing

Where: PNC Arts Annex, 46 W. Second St., Dayton

When: Friday, April 28 at 7 p.m.

Cost: $38

More info: 937-228-3630 or

Artist info:

About the Author