We connect with influential HYFIN-ators in our orbit to dig deep into how music shapes their life. We also learn more about them on a personal tip. They sit down with on-air DJ Anthony Foster to discuss:
YESTERDAY – ”The soundtrack of your life” type of songs and artists that are favorites of their youth. Think: parents waking you up early to clean type of music; sweet memories music or tracks that simply make you say “That’s my sh*t!”
TODAY – Artists/music they would define as their ‘go-to, no questions asked, request time off, clear the calendar and the 401K, hop on a flight, you are there no matter what’ kind of artist or sound.
TOMORROW – An artist of today that may be under the radar, or even widely known, that they recommend and expect BIG things from. An artist they want to share with the world.
Our first guest is none other than Milwaukeean and former Wisconsin Democratic Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes. Elected in 2018, Barnes is the first Black American to hold this position, and the second to ever hold statewide office. In 2022, he ran for U.S. Senate but conceded to incumbent Republican Senator Ron Johnson.
Barnes is a graduate of Alabama A&M University with a massive range of musical interests. He’s a fan of Nas, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Kool Moe Dee, Sudan Archives, Lil Baby and many others. He’s also a former MC (but you’ll have to listen to the conversation for that one…).
Listen below to find out what’s been on Barnes’ agenda since the senate race, and most importantly, his favorite songs, artists and music memories.
The following interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.
Elizabeth Eden Harris, known professionally as Cupcakke, is an American rapper from Chicago, Illinois. She is known for her hypersexualised, brazen, and often comical persona
Elizabeth Eden Harris, known professionally as Cupcakke, is an American rapper from Chicago, Illinois. She is known for her hypersexualised, brazen, and often comical persona and music although she has also made songs with themes supporting LGBTQ rights, female empowerment, and autism awareness.
Acclaimed GRAMMY-winning multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter Meshell Ndegeocello makes her Blue Note Records debut with the June 16 release of The Omnichord Real Book, a visionary
Acclaimed GRAMMY-winning multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter Meshell Ndegeocello makes her Blue Note Records debut with the June 16 release of The Omnichord Real Book, a visionary and deeply jazz-influenced album that marks the start of a new chapter in her trailblazing career. Following her 2018 covers album Ventriloquism, Meshell returns with an album of new original material that taps into a broad spectrum of her musical roots. The Omnichord Real Book was produced by Josh Johnson and features a wide range of guest artists including Jason Moran, Ambrose Akinmusire, Joel Ross, Jeff Parker, Brandee Younger, Julius Rodriguez, Mark Guiliana, Cory Henry, Joan As Police Woman, Thandiswa, and others.
The Omnichord Real Book is introduced today by the expansive lead single “Virgo,” the mind-altering 8-minute centerpiece of the album which features Meshell on vocals, key bass, and keyboards, Younger on harp, Rodriguez on Farfisa organ, Chris Bruce on guitar, Jebin Bruni on keyboards, drums by Abe Rounds, Deantoni Parks, and Andrya Ambro, and additional vocals by Kenita Miller and Marsha DeBoe. The Omnichord Real Book is available for pre-order now on Blue Note Store exclusive color vinyl, black vinyl, CD, and digital.
“It’s a little bit of all of me, my travels, my life,” says Meshell. “My first record I made at 22, and it’s over 30 years from then, so I have a lot of stored information to share.” Reflecting on the impact that the forced stillness of the pandemic lockdown had on her, she says “I must admit it was a beautiful time for me. I got to really sit and reacquaint myself with music. Music is a gift.”
“This album is about the way we see old things in new ways,” Meshell explains. “Everything moved so quickly when my parents died. Changed my view of everything and myself in the blink of an eye. As I sifted through the remains of their life together, I found my first Real Book, the one my father gave me. I took their records, the ones I grew up hearing, learning, remembering. My mother gifted me with her ache, I carry the melancholy that defined her experience and, in turn, my experience of this thing called life calls me to disappear into my imagination and to hear the music.”
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