new music: producer michael uzowuru is a bold unique voice that needs to be heard #soundcheck

January 14, 2015

I regret that I was unfamiliar with producer Michael Uzowuru’s name and work, despite his work with Earl Sweatshirt, before reading his powerful words about police violence. The heartfelt post on his Tumblr page tells his personal story of courage and strength in the face of racial profiling and police violence, and is worth a full read. (Read an excerpt below).

By Nathan Leigh, AFROPUNK Contributor

Like his words, Uzowuru’s music has an indelible hope and passion. His recent mostly instrumental EP Pink Orchids is the mix of ambiance and rhythm that far too many producers who dabble in both forget to balance. With West African rhythms, analog synths, and effects-laden spaced out guitars, tracks like “Of the Moons” and “Twenty Seven” manage to be chilled out while still demanding attention. “Waves” stands out with regular collaborator Vic Mensa’s guest vocal. The duo’s recent collaboration “April 13th,” which uses Aphex Twin’s classic “Avril 14th” as a jumping off point for a bold uncategorizable track that needs to be heard.

“In the midst of the catastrophe of Ferguson and the non-indictment decision of the police officer who killed Eric Garner, I’m reminded of my own haunting experience with police. When I was 19 I was wrongfully and brutally assaulted by a police officer. Being profiled and assumed to be something that you’re not—a threat to society—based on the color of skin is something that nearly every black person experiences in their lifetime. I did nothing wrong and was undeserving of being assaulted, and the realization that my life could have easily ended that day is one that haunts me. If I had been killed that day, if mercy was not ultimately shown to me, my story would never have had the opportunity to be told. And I can’t stand the thought of that. So many stories aren’t given the chance to be told. We will never hear Mike Brown’s account of what happened, we will never hear Eric Garner, or 12-year-old Tamir Rice, or Aiyana Jones, or Rekia Boyd relive their assaults. Instead, they lost their lives and their murders were turned into ethical and political debates. Their stories, in their own voices, will never be heard. It amazes me that I feel fortunate that my life did not end, and that I can tell my story. It is incredible, in the worst way, to realize that surviving an encounter with the police is considered to be a fortunate experience. There’s a major problem with that. “What, if allowed to live, we can grow up and become.”” Read the full thing here: