Black History Month - Influences on Michigan Musicians, Pt. 4

posted by Jess Martin on 02/25/2021

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 fourth round of responses:

The Accidentals

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

Ella Fitzgerald, Destiny's Child, TLC

What current black musicians/artists are inspiring you?

Erykah Badu, Lianne La Havas, Allison Russell, Rhiannon Giddens

What are you/your band up to these days?

We’re releasing the Time Out EP right now and Vessel this summer and Time Out 2 in 22’ so we’re working on art, videos, mixes, co-writes and workshops for Kaboom Collective - it’s rarely boring.

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Dante Cope (of Les Créatif)

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

My top influences on the music I create are Archie Shepp, Sonder, Stevie Wonder, Andre3000, Isaac Hayes, and Raphael Saadiq.

What current black musicians/artists are inspiring you?

Smino, Michael Kiwanuka 

What are you/your band up to these days?

Recording new music (and drinking).

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Treeskin

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

Questlove and The Roots. As a drummer growing up, Questlove was one of my favorite drummers to play along to while practicing. Their 2011 album Undun shifted my understanding of how you could put an album together.

What current black musicians/artists are inspiring you?

I have loved the last couple of releases from JPEGMAFIA. He continues to push the limits of his production with every new project he puts out. I also find inspiration in Killer Mike of Run The Jewels. Besides having put out some absolutely amazing projects in the last 10 years, he speaks a lot about the importance of being an active member of your community, especially when it comes to elections (both national and local).

What are you/your band up to these days?

I put out my debut record as Treeskin in early 2020 and wasn’t able to fully tour behind the album last year, which is a little bittersweet, but I’m moving forward with new songs and new recordings while I’m at home which may evolve into a new project in the near future. I’m also working on a few collaborative projects with some of my favorite musicians from around Michigan, as well as getting ready to release new music with The Accidentals in the coming year.

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The Hacky Turtles

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

Lianna La Havas, Thundercat, Al Green, Nate Smith, Keb mo, Cab Calloway

What current black musicians/artists are inspiring you?

Phony Ppl, Black Pumas, Anderson .Paak, Brittany Howard, Georgia Anne Muldrow, Butcher Brown

What are you/your band up to these days?

We are trying to record an album at home! It has been many long nights of trial and error trying to get good drums sounds, and live takes. But! We are making decent headway and are excited for the results. Thinking positive thoughts. Wearing masks. Enjoying the snow. We are booking a few outdoor concerts in Michigan.


Stay tuned at 88.1fm WYCE for more!

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