INDEPENDENT Visual & Performance ARTIST – Musician – WRITER – INSPIRATIONAL SPEAKER – Event Planner – CREATIVE DIRECTOR – Spiritual Consultant
Booking Inquiries: 347-797-7706 firstname.lastname@example.org
Music is my life. Movement is my culture. Art is my savior. Even, when no one is listening.
My mother was my first American idol. She had me reciting poetry in church services at four years old. I grew up in Pentecostal churches; faith churches; then, Baptist. She was a soloist at Bethel COGIC (Church of God in Christ) in Hackensack. My first memories are of her mezzo soprano voice faithfully singing “He Touched Me” to a hushed congregation. Other choir members would be crying as they listened. A photo of her singing and playing a tambourine appeared in the paper when I was small. The eyes of the pastor looked longingly. The eyes of the pastor’s wife threw daggers. My mother never cared about their praise. She sang from a place of love.
Kool & the Gang are from my hometown and their songs were always a part of my development, secretly. (In fact, I won $20 from the lead singer, James “JT” Taylor, in high school. shh!) My family’s faith did not tolerate the listening or dancing to “worldly music.” So, I kept it to myself. The late great salsa percussionist King Ray Barretto tutored my drumming when I was 10. I played trap drums in his son’s church, who also tutored me. (I also gave fifteen minute mini-sermons, or performed a dance solo, from time to time.) I played saxophone for five years in grade school. I’ve written songs since first grade. I wandered and explored as a mostly only child. I often acted out wild adventures.
Zelindo l’Afrosia is a fictional character noting signs of the times. I believe my art reflects a wealth of American and global influences. It also reflects a faith and self-reliance shaped by experiences of emotional abuse, homelessness, abandonment, and growing up Black in America. Self-care and love are pervasive themes to many of my stories. I expose my weaknesses and strengths to inspire those that feel alone. Just real observations, feelings, rhythms, and beats that I love. I have self-produced the last two of my four independent albums: “Meditations of Zelindo l’Afrosia” (EP, 2020) and “Mermaidz Fr: Outerspace” (EP, 2013).
We released my first six-ish song EP in 2000 called The DRKFTHR EP. Four studio songs: Blue Smoke, Buttafli Kisses, Let’s and Painted Face, were produced by Entrfied McCloud. Two songs were performed live from Malik Yusef’s ‘Avant Yard’ back-in-the-day: After U Left and the original version of Black Wine. Emi ‘Equality’ Augustin on keys, Mario ‘Jomo’ Morehead on bass, Tesfa Zawdie on guitar, G. Imani Jones (Ratcliffe) on vox, Eye on percussion, and Jamaki Knight on traps. DJ Kamau Imarogbe (Grantham) also played a bit on the recordings. (Plus, the crowd contributed their own priceless moments, if you ever get to hear it.)
SekouWrites curated and edited a novel called When Butterflies Kiss: ‘Ten writers each contributed a single chapter to this unique novel without discussing the plot. Gradually, the story evolves into a sensitive young man’s reckless journey through love and relationships as he endeavors to better himself.’
Sekou asked if my song, Buttafli Kisses, could be a part of a ‘CD single package’ where people would receive a copy with each book purchased. The ten DOPE-ASS writers were: SekouWrites, Elizabeth Clara Brown, T’Kalla, Kiini Ibura Salaam, Natasha Tarpey, Korby Marks, Shange, Kim Green, Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie, and Tish Benson.
In 2005 we released an LP called The Elixifx with Entrfied McCloud returning for three songs: Let’s (remix), Xtentions and Go Scru. Lionel Sanchez, Jr. is the musical director/primary producer for this project with gems like My Ooh Baby, Black Wine (remix), and Do, Do, Do. Guest producers include Kwame Brandt Pierce and Nelson Pinero. Executive produced by Mr. Craig Lewis (formerly of Nas). Guest artists include vocalist N’Dambi, vocalist AaMinah K. Hassell, bassist/writer Ganessa James, vocalist ZyMoon of Merkury (at age 5), guitarist Nelson Pinero, vocalist Sharina Sharpe, flutist Mikel Banks, vocalist G. Imani Jones, and vocalist Shani Gillespie. And Mama King on the hidden track! (Wait for it…)
The Elixifx is a neo-soulish meditation on life. The aggressive advertisement of prescription drugs by pharmaceutical companies, and the profession of love as the real cure, are subtle themes throughout.
Then, in 2007 an idea about the Middle Passage started to congeal in my brain. I began to suddenly feel the pull of the ocean and hearing Yemaya’s name in my head. At the same time, I started becoming more aware of the creativity of the Dogon.
Based on actual events, The EP Mermaidz Fr: Outerspace was ready in 2013 as a tribute and soundtrack to the adventures of Afrikans “lost” in the Middle Passage. More than 4 million enslaved people were knowingly dumped overboard into the deadly Atlantic Ocean by slave ship captains and crew. The Afrikans were rescued by Mami Wata, Yemaya-Olukun, Afrikan mermaids, and sea people. They were gifted great powers and given the secret knowledge of escape portals leading to outer space.
Rather Drown, Mr. Manning’s Barbershop, and Black Swan are some of my favorites. It is a pretty abstract representation. It was a creative way for me to sonically document an idea that, honestly, just keeps coming. Through the imagination, we can tie up loose ends to the American real-life horror story of the Middle Passage. I have been creating and commissioning work on this concept from then until now. The music is digital, mellow and danceable. Not bad, for my first self-produced work.
By the time we were initially locking ourselves down for the pandemic, I was on my way to finishing my next album. In 2020 I released a collection of songs in an EP called Meditations of Zelindo l’Afrosia. Guitarist/producer/artist Nyaze Vincent blessed me with tracks for This House (I AM) and Fly So Blind. I recorded and mixed the vocal tracks myself. It was a great team effort. Songs like Busy Be, Creepy, Alpha Wars (Pools of Tattoo), Rivers and Streams, and Handwritten (B*tch N*gga) reflect a catharsis to the social and racial injustices of the political times. All the videos were locally produced during the lockdown.
INDEPENDENT visual & Performance ARTIST – Musician – WRITER – INSPIRATIONAL SPEAKER – Event Planner – CREATIVE DIRECTOR – SPIRITUAL Consultant
Booking Inquiries: 347-797-7706 email@example.com