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Alexis Molina 


Profile Story  

​Hoax-More than Music, a Way of Life 


Hoax is an indie alternative soul band, made up of 

five 20 something-year-olds, recently graduated, 

hailing from Freeport NY. This group is homegrown, 

originating right in the halls of Hofstra University back 

in 2015. The musicians are Mike Raj on vocals, Frantz 

Cesar on bass, Paul Brower on guitar, Kevin Lopez on guitar, and Jacob Lopez on drums. It is 

safe to say Hofstra is proud of its boys, “We’ve literally performed at every Hofstra event there 

is to perform at.’’ said Mike Raj the bands lead vocalist and songwriter. This pride is rightly 

deserved too, with 70,454 monthly listeners on Spotify and increasing popularity, Hoax is 

definitely a band to add to your “ones to watch list’’. Even Buzzfeed thinks so. The band's debut 

single ‘’Beach House’’ was featured in there “28 Brilliant songs you need on your playlist’’ in 

2016. Following this feature, they released two more singles, ‘’Indian Summer’’ and ‘’Pretty’’ in 

2017. These songs got the attention of a few notable tastemakers, such as Alternative Press and 

Indiemono. In 2017 the band released their EP ’s,‘’The Truth and Other Lies’’ and ‘’words that 

end with wh(y)’’. The success from these earned them features from OldMan Ebro’s Beats 1 
Radio show, Spotify’s Indie Songs For Slackers and Alternative R&B playlists, Guys We 

F****d podcast, and countless college radio stations. 

So why the name Hoax? Hoax is more of a way 

of life then it is a name, it is all about being true to 

yourself and your passions. Raj sums it all up, ‘’ We 

believe we are passed down social programs. If we 

never challenge these programs we just continue to live the life we are handed. There are so 

many people who go through life, just doing what they are told. They become unhappy and they 

aren't sure why. A lot of it has to do with the fact that they aren't chasing their true passions. That 

is being a hoax, if you aren't doing what you think about when you have nothing to think about 

or before you go to sleep, you are a hoax. We want to challenge people to go beyond that and 

consider what they want out of their own lives and the impact they want to have on other people 

and just encourage them to live that way every day.’’ 

Hoax is definitely one of the most diverse Indie bands on the scene currently, with a mix of 

Indian, Haitian, Puerto Rican, Ecuadorian, Italian and Irish roots all in one soul group. So how 

did such a diverse group of people come together to make music? Raj and Cesar met in an 

accounting class during their sophomore year at Hofstra. While not the most creative of spaces, it 

was there the two learned they shared a common passion for music. “Frantz knew the rest of the 

guys from either high school or church life, he invited me to jam with them. There was just an 

instant unspoken bond we all had. It just got to the point where making music together was the 

best part of our week. That’s how we knew we had to do this for the rest of our lives.‘’ said Raj. 

Besides its hyper diverseness, the band has also become well known for their trendy yet vintage 
style and incredible understanding for humanity. The band strives to be ever increasingly socially 

aware. This is prominent in every aspect of their music. Even down to how they categorize it.  

The band's members find the categorization of their music much more complex and 

meaningful than a single genre, so much so that they created their own.‘’It's really important to 

us that every song has a life of its own.’’ said Raj. “ It's not one 

genre but a blending or layering of genres, we call it empathy pop.’’ 

It is this vision of empathy that the band has that makes their music 

so relatable, to people from any walk of life, from anywhere in the 


“ We call it empathy pop because what we truly want people to 

take away from our music is to think about other people, to try and 

see another perspective.’’To Hoax, empathy is more than just what inspires their music. ‘’It is 

the one thing we think this world lacks. If people were just able to empathize with one another 

there would be so much less chaos. We may not agree with everyone but if we could just take a 

moment to have those conversations, we may be able to understand why people are the way they 

are.’’ said Cesar. 

So what does empathy pop sound like? In short, it sounds like a mix of r&b, 70’s funk, 

Motown and indie pop. Elka Martinez, a long time fan of the band said, ‘’ I saw this on their 

website once someone describe their music as the sounds of sweet sadness and honestly I 

couldn't put it better than that.’’  

The bands latest single Grow emulates that vision of empathy. The lyrics to the pre-chorus go, 

“ So you and I should be human beings and not just pieces.’’ Hoax is expected to release a few 
more singles prior to releasing their newest album in the spring. Following the album release, the 

band will set out on a national tour.  

According to Raj, ultimately Hoax aspires to continue to reach people near and far with there 

music, spreading their message of empathy and truth to one's self. “ We just want to make the 

world a little softer, thus bringing us all closer.’’