Written by Rahoul Naik
The UK label, Cooking Vinyl, will re-issue Fantastic Negrito’s current and critically acclaimed debut album, The Last Days of Oakland (recipient of a Best Contemporary Blues Album Grammy Award) with two new additional tracks, just in time for his imminent European tour.
Musicians on these new recordings include Masa Kohama and Tomas Salcedo (guitars), Cornelius Mims (bass guitar), Lionel Holoman Jr. (piano and organ), with vocals, additional piano, additional guitar, drum programming and claps by Xavier Dphrepaulezz.
In his teens, Xavier ran the streets of Oakland, before finding music and eventually signing with Prince’s management. After a slow recovery from a car crash that left him in a coma, Xavier undertook several different musical alter egos, but in the end, he walked away from music — only to re-emerge years later as Fantastic Negrito.
A performer with something to say, Fantastic Negrito runs an arts-collective in his hometown of Oakland, and performed at Bernie Sanders’ rallies in New Hampshire, Las Vegas and San Francisco during the 2016 US Presidential campaign. Of the new songs, he says, “We must unify — not divide — along the lines of our differences. We have a common enemy: distraction and propaganda. Our strength is in our diversity. We push back against our common enemies: fear, hate, bigotry, misogyny, racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, classism… these parasites, these carcinogens that live in the shadows of our society. One world, one love, one race.”
Fantastic will be playing the following dates in the UK:
July 28th London @ Nell’s Jazz and Blues | BUY TICKETS
July 29th Cambridge @ Cambridge Folk Festival | BUY TICKETS
July 31st Manchester @ Band On The Wall BUY TICKETS
Aug 3rd Nottingham @ The Bodega | BUY TICKETS
Check out Fantastic’s performance of Scary Woman below.
Credit: Fantastic Negrito