Fantastic Negrito is a man’s truth told in the form of black roots music. Each song is a real story about a musician from Oakland who experienced the highs of a million dollar record deal, the lows of a near fatal car accident that put him in a four-week coma, and is now in the phase of rebirth despite his playing hand being mangled. Negrito’s music emphasises rawness and space. Slide guitar, drums, piano. Rather than update the Delta Blues, Fantastic Negrito leaves the original sounds of Lead Belly and Skip James intact, building bridges to a modern sound with loops and samples of his own live instruments. But the primary element that drives Fantastic Negrito’s music is uncut realness and zero concern for “pop” anything.
While his rebirth began on the streets of Oakland a couple years ago, Fantastic Negrito arrived on the national stage in 2015 when he won the NPR Tiny Desk Contest and watched his self-titled EP ascend to #1 in Blues in the US, UK, Germany and Asia. He followed that up in 2016 with the release of his debut full-length album ‘The Last Days of Oakland’, national television appearances on hit show Empire and Jimmy Kimmel Live, several performances at rallies for Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, and tours throughout Europe and North America with Chris Cornell, and legendary Seattle supergroup Temple of the Dog. The year culminated when his debut album won the Best Contemporary Blues Album at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards.
“The Last Days Of Oakland is among the rawest pieces of music—sonically and emotionally— you’ll hear all year. But it’s also the work of a craftsman, full of subtlety and sophistication, along with the kind of scars that only a survivor can flaunt.” – NPR Music
“He could be inventing the blues for the first time.” – Pitchfork
“Blues, but reconfigured as a scream of rage rather than sadness.” – The Guardian