An emcee and spoken word artist residing in Oakland Ca. Part of a musicians collective known as Remarkable Current, Baraka Blue has performed all over the US as well as the Middle East, Africa, and Europe. His first album, “Sound Heart” was released in 2010. He is acclaimed for his original synthesis of spoken word poetry with the tradition of Sufi poets such as Rumi and Hafiz. His book of poetry, entitled “Disembodied Kneelings,” was recently published by Remarkable Current Collective Editions. In addition to his performances he has taught classes and led creative writing workshops internationally. Baraka Blue is currently pursuing his Masters Degree with a focus on Sufism and Psychology. His sophmore album “Majunun’s Lost Memoirs” will be released soon.
New “album/project” bio:
Welcome your self to Majnun’s Lost Memoirs, the follow up to Baraka Blue’s debut album Sound Heart. On his sophmore effort Baraka Blue reunites with DJ Anas Canon and Fred Nilsson to craft the multi-dimensional soundscape he lyrically dyes in his madness. Majnun’s Lost Memoirs is the diary of a madman torn from his beloved homeland and forced into exile in an industrialized, mechanical, dystopian, Babylon concrete profantuary. A collection of musical memories, poetic yearnings, and reflections on maneuvering through the veils of separation, Majunun’s Lost Memoirs have finally been unearthed and presented for your perceptive experience. Enter the immersive environment.
Creme De La Ultra
Within the elusive world of independent music, the range of talent is infinite. There are indie artists who purposely shy away from the mainstream in order to fill the creative void and lack of honest expression in the corporate pop music of today. Yet there are those who manage to creep to the forefront while upholding the indie code of nonconformity.
“I don't care much about music. What I like are sounds.”
A musical pioneer and jazz innovator of the 1950's and America’s first Jazz Ambassador, Gillespie’s words remains relevant today, especially for those who choose the path of independent music. As Crème De La ULTRA maestro Anas Canon puts it, “we don't think of a target or specific genre when we write songs because you end up thinking in a box.” In a flooded music industry which seems to be stuck at a capitalistic and technological fork in the road, thinking outside of “the box” is the whole idea.
Producer Anas Canon, founder & artistic director of the indie hip hop label Remarkable Current, and Azeem, one of the SF Bay Area's celebrated wordsmiths (who prefers the terms songwriter or lyricist to describe his craft), have united forces to create the group known as Crème De La ULTRA . . . the best of the beyond . . .
Azeem began his career writing songs for another Bay Area legend Michael Franti. Azeem was ranked 2nd in the Nation as a slam poet under the alias Invisible Man, and has a list of critically acclaimed releases known to the many connoisseurs of rare underground hip hop.
There are no contrived political manifestos here. In the true spirit of the independent movement, Crème De La ULTRA's only focus is creativity itself. When asked to describe the new collaboration Azeem jokingly opted to quote French poet and novelist Jean Cocteau-
"An artist cannot speak about his art anymore than a plant can discuss horticulture. Sometimes you don't have to think too much. Just imagine and take notes…”
“Exactly,” Says producer DJ Anas Canon, “The idea of alternative music is about creating an alternate reality or fictional universe then making it real..”
The KAJ . . .
...as in cashmere and casual
When Anas Canon got together with Kumasi for their next big project they decided they needed a trio.
Kumasi invited his friend Joel Van Dyke to an informal jam session with the two and the rest was history.
“Joel was such a beautiful spirited person to me and Anas,” Kumasi recalls, “and his music was equally beautiful and so it just all came together. Our names Kumasi, Anas and Joel link into a nice name for the group...The KAJ.”
The KAJ is meant to remind you of a sound you didn’t even know you missed, it’s meant to remind you of good music.
“Its soulful, it fills the soul like being at church listening to the gospel song you needed to get through what you're going through.” Kumasi also had this to share, “It’s meant to inspire love makers to inspire the fire of romance within each individual that listens to it.”
A man of profound words and immeasurable talent whose expertise and command of audio production, sound engineering, and DJ'ing are recognized and requested worldwide. The breadth of his diverse body of work is a testimony to the distinct ingenuity and inspiration he infuses into his projects. Anas is firmly committed to advancing social awareness and promoting diversity through art, while continuing to explore new channels for his creative expression.
Current Location: Los Angeles
Musical Influences: Michael Franks, Donny Hathaway, Incognito, John Lee Hooker, Journey, Fela Kuti, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Hank Shocklee, William DeVaughn, Susanna Baca, DJ Premier, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Mos Def, Prince, Doobie Brothers, Teddy Riley, KRS-One, Hector Lavoe, Bobby Blue Bland, Brand New Heavies, The Eagles, Cannonball Aderly, John Coltrane, Randy Crawford, The Crusaders, D’Angelo, Miles Davis, De La Soul, Earth Wind & Fire, Amos Lee, Marvin Gaye, Astrud Gilberto, Gilberto Gil, Herbie Hancock, Average White Band, Jimi Hendrix, Gregory Isaacs, Massive Attack, Christina Aguilera, Michael Jackson, Billy Joel, Robert Johnson, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, B.B. King, Lenny Kravitz, Talib Kweli, Ramsey Lewis, Chuck Mangione, The Meters, Joni Mitchell, Shuggie Otis, Santana, Sly Stone, The Smiths, Steel Pulse, Sting, Tribe Called Quest, Tuck & Patti, Joe Turner, Tower of Power, War, Bill Withers, Michael McDonald, Ambrosia, Public Enemy.
Book DJ Anas Canon for your next Gala, Shindig, Bachelorette Party, Bat Mitzvah, or Jamboree!
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