This being Philadelphia, vote early and often for the street-corner crew that's made it to the finals of the new Oreo & Milk jingle contest.
Odysy are four baggy-pants singers in ballcaps, sneaks and Temple Ts, doing an ecstatic, Philly-style send-up of lyrics provided by Nabisco. What they turn that promo copy into sounds a world away from the competition.
... when a dark, delicious cookie meets an icy cold sensation ...
You could vote for the four reggae players from Charlotte, N.C, in such a deep groove they don't get up from their chairs; a San Diego quartet who sing a capella in strange, thigh-length zebra coats; three alt-dudes who met at a Henderson, Tenn., skate shop; country cousins from Nashville who look and sound like they could go pro.
Or you could stuff the ballot box for Odysy, listed as being from Philadelphia, but Ravon Reed, 24, is from Harrisburg, Chris Decker and Jesse Lee Stearn, are both 19 and from Toms River, Pa, and Owen "E-Luv" Brown, 24, actually hails from Southwest Philly. They sure sound Philly.
They've been together a little more than a year, starting out as a back-up dancers for a local troupe called TKO. Then they started singing a little together. Then a lot. They've recorded several songs one can check out on their MySpace page. Already they've opened for The Neptunes, G-Unit, Tony Yayo, Eve and Patti LaBelle. On their site they list their influences as The Temptations, Maroon 5, Michael Jackson, James Brown and Ginuwine.
One of their friends read about the contest online and the foursome thought that the first song they had written together, called "Watch Out Girl," would provide a righteous melody for the Oreo lyrics. They recorded the video you see on the Oreo site this spring at the Holiday Inn on City Avenue. They beat out hundreds of pretenders.
If they triumph over the other four finalists, they travel to Hollywood to record the song, they get to hang with American Idol judge Randy Jackson, and they get to split $10,000. If they win, they pledge to plow that money into making Odysy (pronounced Odyssey) a household name.