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Ajamu Akinyele

Black Magic: The Cyber Jazz Experience

by Ajamu Akinyele

Released 2006
Pearl Jazz Recording Label
Released 2006
Pearl Jazz Recording Label
Musically inspired by the smooth sounds of Sade, the laid-back grooves of Meshell Ndegeocello, the funkiness of Marcus Miller, and the fusion of Miles Davis.
NOTES
‘Black Magic: The Cyber Jazz Experience’ is the double jazz/fusion album from Ajamu Akinyele, his second album under the moniker. As a producer and bassist, Akinyele’s ‘Black Magic’ is musically stunning, captivating, and was one of the "Best New Independent Jazz Albums of 2006" from music critics. The album captures the true essence of “Cyber Jazz,” which is a blend of Smooth Jazz/Funk/Fusion in the likes of the smooth sounds of Sade, the laid-back grooves of Meshell Ndegeocello, and the fusion of Miles Davis. The album was promoted with the singles “Pandora’s Boxx”, “Crystal Ball”, “Spellbound”, and “Barbarella”. The second disc features two cover songs, Burt Bacharach’s “The Look of Love” and Sade’s “The Sweetest Taboo”. Several of the album’s tracks also feature Jon O’Bergh on piano. 'Black Magic' marked the beginning of the Jazz/Funk/Fusion band Gemini Soul, founded by both Akinyele and O’Bergh. As Gemini Soul, Akinyele embarked on a local tour to promote both 'Supernova' and the 'Black Magic' album, and his new musical style.

Akinyele’s first “Cyber Jazz” album ‘Supernova’ (2005) was filled with elements of futuristic sounds combining funk and fusion, while maintaining a sense of an R&B feel. That album reflected his personal and musical growth as a recording artist and separated him from his 'Marcel' recording days. ‘Supernova’ was not only a new beginning or a rebirth, but also a new direction in sound to take him to the next level in his journey. That album set the stage for the ‘Black Magic’ experience and what was to come from his Jazz/Funk/Fusion band Gemini Soul.

Accolades: This album received airplay on major and independent radio stations around the world; critics raved about the album making it one of the “Best New Independent Jazz Albums of 2006;” Akinyele was a guest on the morning television show "Sacramento & Co." broadcast on ABC; and, as Marcel, his back catalog was featured on the hit television show "Girlfriends," which aired on the CW Network in the Bay Area.

Who is the man behind the music?

Producer, bassist, and multi-instrumentalist Andre Marcel Ajamu Akinyele, pronounced Ah-jah-moo + Ah-kin-yay-lay, recorded as Marcel releasing five R&B/Funk albums from 1998 to 2004. He's had worldwide success with those releases, including in Europe, Japan, and Australia. But, after announcing that he was now “Ajamu Akinyele” at the end of the last Marcel recorded album ‘Secret Weapon Volumes 1 & 2’ (2004), he released ‘Supernova’ (2005), a Jazz/Funk/Fusion album under the new moniker, musically inspired by various artists including Jon O'Bergh, Marcus Miller, and Meshell Ndegeocello to name a few.

He changed his birth name on his 32nd birthday, June 21, 2004, from ‘Andre Marcel Wilson’ to ‘Andre Marcel Ajamu Akinyele’ to reflect a more African heritage. During that same year, he released his last album as Marcel titled ‘Secret Weapon Volumes 1 & 2’. After struggling in his career as Marcel, trying to find his true musical style, he created his own unique identity producing what he calls "Cyber Jazz" to redefine jazz for a new generation.

Recording as Marcel, he arrived on the scene in 1998 with his debut album ‘The Diary of Marcel’. His follow up release, ‘Spice : The Alternative Hip-Hop Experience’ (2001), helped him to establish a loyal following in Japan and Europe. With the release of his third and fourth album’s ‘Uptown : 2025 A.D.’ (2003) and ‘Uptown : 2025 E.P. The Remixes’ (2004), he developed a true sense of artistry and a vision of being dedicated to his musicianship. These releases gained him radio airplay on the "Upper Room with Joe Kelley," a radio station in Connecticut that was featured on the Pop Icon PRINCE website, and also gained him attention on MTV Germany. ‘Uptown : 2025 A.D.’ was a self-awakening and made him aware of who he was, and where he was going! On ‘Secret Weapon Volumes 1 & 2’, his fifth and final release recording as Marcel, he displayed funk in a way that made fans think of bands like Parliament/Funkadelic. ‘Secret Weapon Volumes 1 & 2’ also gained him distribution, radio airplay, and exposure in Australia.

Ajamu Akinyele has recorded under numerous names including Michael Angelo (in 1989 releasing a single titled "Brina Brown" in Europe) and Marcel as an R&B/Funk artist. His last recording under the moniker Marcel was 2004's 'Secret Weapon Volumes 1 & 2.' He was also the bandleader of the jazz/funk/fusion band Gemini Soul. He now records as Andre Akinyele.

As Ajamu Akinyele, his entire catalog from 2005–2006 can be purchased right here at CD Baby, so look for the following titles:

Supernova "2005"

Black Magic: The Cyber Jazz Experience "2006"

Fun Facts:

He has developed other ventures, including his Orange River enterprise that consists of a record label, book publishing company, and film studio. He produced albums for Jon O’Bergh. He is the bandleader, guitarist, bassist, and lead singer of the rock group Looking for Lester, working under the pseudonym Rebellion and producing the album under the name Messiah Superstar. He is also the lead singer, drum programmer, and keyboardist for the electronic synth-pop duo Lavender Lush, also working under the pseudonym Chambliss Charlie. He co-authored the book ‘Elliptical: The Music of Meshell Ndegeocello.’ Aside from music, he is also the owner of Akinyele Design Firm, which focuses on graphic design and visual arts. Also, he is the owner of Ajamu, a gaming and software development company. He authored the tech book ‘So, What’s the Big Deal About Scrum? A Methodology Handbook for Developers.’ In addition to holding an Associate's of Arts degree in Music Technology and a Bachelor's degree in Legal Studies, he also holds a Master's degree in Information Technology (IT): Software Engineering.

About

Multi-instrumentalist, producer, and composer André Akinyele has recorded under the names Marcel and Ajamu Akinyele, exploring multiple music genres. He is the bandleader and bassist of the jazz/funk fusion band Gemini Soul, the vocalist and guitarist for the rock band Looking for Lester, as well as the vocalist and keyboardist for the electronic synth-pop duo Lavender Lush. He is also the co-author of the book Elliptical: The Music of Meshell Ndegeocello.

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