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Interview Music Weekend Sum Up

Meet Ras Nebyu

Disclaimer:

This past weekend, I attended the taping of the single “No Love” with every intention of siting down and interviewing the musically inclined Ambessa* himself: Ras Nebyu. Just five minutes into production, I realized there were two stories here – not one.

So, with that being said this article will be a two part installation. The first, obviously, highlighting the artist Ras Nebyu and his video shoot and the second examining the Ethiopian and Eritrean diaspora’s role in going hard for its’ members and contributing to the arts.

 Enjoy.

Meet Ras Nebyu

“I need everyone to go upstairs…”

“Wait, lets do that one more time…”

“Sshhhh…”

These phrases and more were in rotation, this past Saturday, as Ras Nebyu and his team directed scenes for the filming of his song “No Love.”

When I arrived, I walked right into a creative whirlwind. Girls hovering around the door, kitchen filled with the necessary libations, people running up and down the stairs, camera man working on lighting, and Nebyu’s song pumping through the sound system. Everything about the atmosphere, screamed house party but the twist here was everyone was working.

Having debut back in April of 2015, the song “No Love” was produced by Casito Del Fresco and mixed by Arckitech. When asked what the song meant Nebyu had this to say:

Basically…”No Love” is about young adults going through relationships and their variations of no love – so whether it’s being heart broken or being the heart-breaker it’s a song from different perspectives. The video concept adds a little comedic twist….like a romantic comedy. [The comedic twist he is referring to is Filmon “Gergish” Yohannes, an Eritrean-American comedian who participated in the video.]

After listening to the lyrics and watching Nebyu perform the song it was obvious that he’s not new to this. With more than 20+ tracks under his belt, a couple sold out shows, and a faithful fan base accompanied with his hardworking team the “Washington Slizzards” – Nebyu is putting on for his city.

Much of Nebyu’s influences can be attributed to his desire to stay true to his culture which is an amalgamation of both Rastafarian and Pan-African philosophy. (Being a part of the large DMV Habesha network has also been a major factor in his musical career – a factor to be later examined.) His music is a blend of, what Africology Media best described as, “socially conscious content and leisure listening.” Nebyu’s “woke-ness” is probably most visible in his hit song “Washington Slizzards” and is reaffirmed by his Manager Beteley Solomon who says “you’ll never find Nebyu insulting women or just rapping about anything.” (Which, to me, is to be praised in a world where a lot of our jams are plagued with raunchiness and catchy hooks that make no sense. No shade here just facts, my friend.)

To listen to “No Love” see SoundCloud link below and for all things Ras Nebyu visit these links: Facebook, SoundCloud, and you can find him on social media by searching @RasNebyu. To book him or connect with his management please email: Rasnebyubiz@gmail.com.

Video Release Date: TBA

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Artist Adonay G., MC Ras Nebyu, Manager Beteley S.
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Ras Nebyu on set of “No Love”
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Chop N Shoot Video Production directing Ras Nebyu’s “No Love”
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Washington Slizzards X SDBUP

Pictures provided by Kedest Photography

*Ambessa – the Amharic word for Lion.

Stay Down Blaze Up,

Astu Mengesha

Categories
Art Entrepreneur Events Interview Music New

Haile Roots in Concert April 2

FullSizeRender (8)Haile Roots and the Fano Band are coming to the District and we are super excited to be covering the event this year!

For those not too familiar with the Ethiopian reggae artist please check out his music here on itunes and get ready for a dose of feel good music with a dash of consciousnesses. I promise you won’t be disappointed. (Also, as a cheat sheet here are a couple songs I recommend: Nitsuh Quwanquwayen, Bado Neber, and Chiggae.)

The event is powered by the brilliant people over at: NebFoto (@Nebfoto), Muzika Events (@MuzikaEvents), LivDMV (@Livdmv) , Noble Lounge and Bar, and Too Live Crew (TooLiveCrewDC). Be sure to follow the hashtag #haileroots to learn more about the artist and the event. You won’t want to miss this!

Location: Club XO – 15 K Street Northeast, Washington, DC 20002

Date: April 2, 2016

Time: 9:30 PM to 3:00 AM

Purchase Tickets HERE

“Continental drift has rarely sounded funkier.”

Categories
Entrepreneur Events Interview

SDBUP x YouTube

Stay Down Blaze Up is officially apart of the Youtube community! We are so excited to be taking this step in expanding our blog. Please visit our channel: Stay Down Blaze Up  and as always SUBSCRIBE! photo

Categories
Entrepreneur Interview Music

A TRUE Musical Experience

BOOMscat On Red Couch

Last week, I attended the official release party for BOOMscat’s Album The West Wing Project Live Ep. It was held at Mad Momos Beer and Deck Restaurant on 14th street in Northwest DC. I came rushing in all late because I had just left a dinner on the other side of DC but ironically, I believe I came right on time. I told my girl, who tagged along, that the place was going to be packed and don’t bother wearing heels; from what I’ve heard BOOMscat knows how to get a full house. So, it was no surprise when we came in and it was exactly that, a full house. We circled around the bar area and luckily found two seats. While in the mist of settling down, the crowd was shouting “give us more, give us more.”

Asha Santee (BOOM) and Jennifer Patience Rowe (scat), the beautiful duo of BOOMscat, are naturals. While on stage, they carried a normal conversation as if this was not a live performance but rather a causal day at rehearsal. Their energy, passion, and emotion spilled over into the crowd. I couldn’t believe what I was watching. Not only did they deliver a five-star music experience but they gave us a show to be remembered. BOOMscat interacted with the audience, urging everyone to get in on it by asking “should we do another” as if the crowd could ever say no. I watched the entire set in “aw.”

Once they were done I had to snap back to reality, because if I wanted to speak to them I would have to beat the other fans who had come early and gotten good seats and had strategically placed themselves right by BOOMscat’s equipment.

The official name of the group is The Peace & Body Roll Duo BOOMscat and as their bio, from their website, states “together, they create a sound that ignites vulnerability, elevation and self-reflection.” I snagged the two ladies separately and was able to get you readers a little more of an insight on BOOMscat.

Patience: 

[A] “Why music?”

[P] “Because it is the thing that comes so natural to me and because I know every morning I will wake up and be able to do this thing and love it and do it with my entire heart because it is in me…I was born with it.”

[A] “If you could open up for anyone, who and why?”

[P] “Ledisis! I think her voice is amazing, she is technical goddess, and I want to interact with her on a vocalist level.”

Asha:

[A] “Why music?”

[Asha] “Because music is necessary for life…I can’t live without music I wouldn’t be here.”

[A] “If you could open up for anyone, who and why?”

[Asha] “Erykah Badu, not questions asked. Her style, her freedom, and her passion with music – just the way she arranges music, it touches my soul and that is how I want to touch other people with my music.”

These virtuosic women are humble and passionate beyond measure. I truly believe that the music they create has the power to evoke emotion that would other wise go untapped. Do yourself a favor and support this dynamic duo. Download their album here: http://boomscatmusic.bandcamp.com/ and visit their respective sites below.  Oh and if you wanted to know my favorite song is: #7 Closure. Get HIP!

This article is just a sample of what is to come from SDBUP & BOOMscat – full interview coming soon. Stay Tuned!

Connect with BOOMscat

FACEBOOK | WEBSITE |TWITTER | INSTAGRAM

Astu Mengesha – Stay Down Blaze Up

Categories
Entrepreneur Events Inspiration Interview

“Am I too African to be American, too American to be African?”

As a child, children would blatantly ask me “what are you?” As a teenager, my peers would joke and say you are my African queen or Nubian princess. As an adult, I find myself tangled up in conversations about whether I am truly African-American, Black enough to be Black, or if I am too American to be African. Growing up in a city where there was a population of 6 Africans, which was my entire family, I never took the time to discuss my identity with anyone but my father. Thankfully my parents were always there to reinforce my Ethiopian-American identity. Being in the DC metropolitan area now, a place full of culture, I now know every first & second generation immigrant experiences this at some point in their life and Nadia Sasso is attacking identity head on.

photo (7)Beautiful, outspoken, and goal-orientated are all words that come to mind when describing, my new friend, Nadia Marie Sasso. This past week, in the midst of a random snow storm, I was able to sit down with Nadia at one of my favorite spots, Bus Boy and Poets in Arlington. She is the daughter of Sierra Leonean immigrants, a Maryland native, and currently resides in Pennsylvania. Pursuing a master’s degree and completing her thesis at Le High University, Nadia is the definition of versatile. Not only she is student but she is a brand curator, social entrepreneur, and digital storyteller. During our meet-up we laughed, we joked, and bonded over the similarities of our experiences of growing up in America. But for Nadia the topic of identity is not just for laughs but rather for research. As mentioned before Nadia is taking identity development by the horns, in producing a documentary, alongside cinematographer Corey Packer , on the ever so popular question “Am I too African to be American, too American to be African?”

She traces her interest in this topic back to a panel discussion at Bucknell University, where she attended undergrad. The panel consisted of generational immigrants that openly discussed their experiences in the United States. Not only did this panel steer her in the right direction but it gave her insight on a topic that has not been translated into film just yet. Nadia has found a way for her passion to be her thesis project. Her film, which includes in-depth interviews with women from different African backgrounds, will be the first of its kind that can be appreciated by all: academia, cultural enthusiasts, and the general public.

The film will debut this spring and to find out more about her projects or this particular film please visit: http://www.iamnadiamarie.com/. Make sure you subscribe to #SDBUP to find out when screenings in the DC area will occur!

 

 

Connect with Nadia Marie

Twitter: @iamnadiamarie| IG:iamnadiamarie| Website: http://www.iamnadiamarie.com/#portfolio

Astu Mengesha – Stay Down Blaze Up