Nothing unifies people more than music, more than that universal riff. The one thing that unifies us and the hope that we can have, especially being an artist, is that we can create music that can build bridges and smash down very bad ideas.
I think once I had lived life, once I had failed enough in this lifetime and got back up a thousand times from failing, I really connected to the blues.
I can't just sit back and write about the club when our democracy is under attack. I have to be a more positive force.
I don't mind being the voice of the New Oakland to maintain the integrity and edge of it. Old Oakland and New Oakland is one and the same. It's connected. I aspire to be the bridge between both.
I love the power of music and artistry and feel a responsibility having a platform to preach good things.
I just take things one day at a time. I'm just thankful that I have my legs, my arms, my eyes.
'The Duffler' is a very familiar story, a story about someone having something and not appreciating it until it's gone, when it's too late.
I had a dream, as young people have quite idealistic dreams and goals, of, 'I'm going to go to Los Angeles, and I'm going to become a star!' I did get this huge record deal, and I recorded this music under Xavier. That didn't really work out.
I really loved the hardcore alternative vibe Prince had on 'Dirty Mind.'
I came up with the album name 'Please Don't Be Dead' because I felt like we'd lost our way as a society - and I know what happens when you chase the wrong things. It's the story of my life.
Everybody agreed I had all this talent, but I didn't know what to make of it.
Art and culture are the greatest weapons against hate agendas, entrenched ideologies, and power structures that harbor and promote the business of divisiveness.
I was raised on African music, Harry Belafonte, and the Boston Pops. Then I got a dose of soul and hip-hop. I related to it immediately.
'Fantastic' is self-explanatory, you know? And the 'Negrito' is a way to open up blackness to everyone - you know, make it playful, international. It's extremely positive in my view; it's my affair with this music.