Black History Month - Influences on Michigan Musicians, Pt. 1

posted by Jess Martin on 02/22/2021

We have many talented artists in Michigan and they all bring their own unique sound to the community, so this month we wanted to hear a little more about what black artists/musicians have influenced them. Some of our respondents chose to reflect on who they listened to growing up and others wanted to highlight some of the fellow musicians they see making an impact in Michigan!


Let’s take a look at the first round of responses:

J.ROB

Photo Credit: facebook.com/TerpstraPhoto

What black artists/musicians influenced your own developmental interest in music?

Some that have inspired my music are A Tribe Called Quest, Rakim, and Tupac. Tupac was never afraid to speak up and speak out about the issues we face as African Americans in this country and that's always been very inspirational, he is simply the GOAT [Greatest Of All Time]. A Tribe Called Quest made me want to pursue music as a little kid.

What current black musicians/artists are inspiring you?

Since about 2012 Kendrick Lamar has been real inspirational, due to seeing his come up and not staying in a box, just being hisself and different. Common is another one similar to Tupac that wasn’t afraid to talk about real issues in his music like in The 6th Sense [referencing Gil Scott-Heron], “The Revolution will not be televised, the revolution is here.”

What are you/your band up to these days?

We are planning a live stream concert with Triumph music academy in March.

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Earth Radio, Blushing Monk (Dutcher Snedeker contributing for both groups)

What black artists/musicians influenced your own developmental interest in music?

Growing up it was Ray Charles, with Earth Radio it’s artists like Erykah Badu, and with Blushing Monk it’s artists like Thelonius Monk. Basically the neo-soul/fusion/funk/hip hop Black American Music artists influence Earth Radio (among many others), past/present jazz artists influence Blushing Monk, and Motown/Soul artists influenced me growing up. I could probably write even more paragraphs about how so many black artists influence me and the groups I interact with in the scene

What current black musicians/artists are inspiring you?

MonoNeon, Herbie Hancock, Cory Henry, Vaughan Williams, Butcher Brown...so many! There are too many amazing artists out there to fit in a survey

What are you/your band up to these days?

Earth Radio is working on writing and pre-production for the next record, Blushing Monk hasn’t played or recorded in months, and I personally have stepped my writing (album reviews), podcasting (producing 3 podcasts), working on streaming, building out my Patreon, recording more and working on socials. Basically building out my online platforms

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Patty PerShayla & The Mayhaps

What black artists/musicians influenced your own developmental interest in music?

Tracy Chapman, Aretha Franklin, Jimi Hendrix, Taj Mahal

What current black musicians/artists are inspiring you?

Lianne La Havas, Janelle Monae, H.E.R., Brittany Howard, Nikki Hill, Southern Avenue

What are you/your band up to these days?

We are getting everything together to release our full-length album (follow up to our EP from October 2020) and writing the next album for 2022.

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Bedroom Ceilings

What black artists/musicians influenced your own developmental interest in music?

Louis Armstrong, Keb Mo, Victor Wooten, Meshell Ndgeocello and Esperanza Spalding.

What current black musicians/artists are inspiring you?

Toro y Moi, The Color 8, Thundercat, MonoNeon, and Orion Sun.

What are you/your band up to these days?

Making demos in preparation for our next album we are recording this May at La Luna Recording & Sound. Album title is "Buildings Outline Their Own Kind Of Poetry"


Stay tuned at 88.1fm WYCE for more!

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