Harvest Homicide, that is an interesting title for the song, where did the inspiration for the title come from?
Autumn is a very special season to me. It has always been my time to recharge. In this particular song I wanted to talk about my experience in the Autumn of 2009. It was during this time that I learned to let go of thoughts that caused me pain and discomfort. The harvest season marks the end of a growing period, and maturation; Harvest Homicide is my attempt at illustrating this.
You have awesome song writing and musical arrangement skills, how long have you been writing and arranging music?
Like most little kids, I was composing songs daily when I was very young… You know those songs that don’t rhyme and are sort of atonal?? I was that kid that lived in the sky. I got back into writing when I started the band in the Summer of 2008. We started booking gigs and they wanted original music. I didn’t know that I would be so fed by composing. Now it’s all I want to do. I studied the writing styles of Cee-Lo, James Baldwin, Saul Williams, Stevie Wonder. Chick Corea, Kirk Franklin, Bjork are always on heavy rotation. They’re my bread and butter.
You have a dope style that combines, theater, rock, soul and so much more, who has been your musical, spiritual, and theatrical influences?
My language is the language of motion. I hear and see everything through the prism of dance; everything should move; everything should rock. That’s Black music, and I’m always trying to make the Blackest music possible. I have a classical and jazz background. I sang in choirs for most of my life. I am interested in elegance and sophistication but I am also into producing sounds that are visceral. I love the opera. I also love Youssou N’Dour, Dorothy Ashby, and Janelle Monae. They are scholars and intuitive beings. That’s the mission behind my music- to marry scholarship and dialogue about spirituality and identity. I’m a fan of most things. I’m inspired by most things. I suppose resourcefulness is something I live by.
What has been your most magical musical experience… well, ever?
I’ve had so many magical moments performing with my band, and there have been so many mind-blowing concerts I’ve been blessed to witness in and outside of the U.S. However, some of my most magical musical moments happen when I see dancers perform. So often I wish I could set music to movement when I see it. I have a lot of dancer friends and they’ve taught me a lot about fluidity and being physically authentic. There’s nothing more musical or magical than that.
Speaking of that magic, what is your vision for your album and what would you like to manifest through producing it?
The name of this EP is paraboLA. Ever since 6th grade, I’ve sort of been obsessed with quadratic equations and parabolas. As I’ve grown, I’ve understood the spiritual implications even more. To me parabolas captures the idea of going forward in order to get back. With this EP I pray that people will desire to be a little more fearless. We spend so much time rejecting things that are intrinsic to us because we’ve inherited so much illness and so many ideas of deficiency. I want to live a full life. The 2012 shift is all about exchanging the fragmented perspective for clarity.
Do you have any advice for up-and-coming artists, especially new to NYC?
Be authentic. Be bold. Observe the signs. If it’s screaming at you…listen! A peafowl never asks itself if its a peafowl; A rose knows that its a rose.
What quote would you leave The Culture-Connector readers for remainder of 2012?
"Isn’t fear just obsession inverted?"
Where can we find more information about your work?
Filmed by: Herman Jean-Noel for Neglakay Productions
Location: Granny House, West Philadelphia
Engineered & mixed by: Micah Forsyth
Executive Producers and Producers: Josiah Wise, Anwar Marshall
Drums: Anwar Marshall
Percussion: Olatunji Ojore
Vocals: Josiah Wise, Elle Morris,Andre Webb, Vinchelle Woods
Guitar: Brosh Laven
Bass: Steve Lyons