IT ALL STARTED FROM A CAR SEAT...
... singing along to the music on the radio as my father would drive around our neighborhood of Fort Greene, Brooklyn. From a young age he encouraged me to be observant and to not ignore the change taking place in our community, a change people of color would be and have been excluded. Over the course of 22 years, I watched the cost of living increase, people color begin to move, and an influx of young white couples all hoping to make their place in the world in the new "hip-urban community". In this time, I watched the public schools that were once neglected, now beginning to improve in quality and receive more funding from the government. In Brooklyn, cafés and restaurants changed their menus to cater to a new clientele…after raising their prices, and the arrival of commercial banks which took the place of check-cashing institutions.
In all my youth I never had the words to articulate to others what I was seeing, and taken face value, none of this would seem to be problematic, as it is indicative of progression in a community. Under the surface, however, the problem becomes apparent when the new people in your building and neighborhood now see you, the life long resident, as an outsider because they assume your skin does not align with the new demographic.
I have lived in Brooklyn all my life.
With Marvin Gaye's "What’s Going On" playing in the background, I began to take the soulful sounds of Motown, and the rhythmic beats of hip-hop and the emotion of my Gospel upbringing to craft the sound that encompass my musical identity. Having graduated from Dickinson College with a degree in economics and a concentration in Social Justice, I learned that to change systems of power, one has to change the activities of the unheard. It is with this in mind, I hope to create music will engage, and change the ways in which we see ourselves.