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Ajamu Akinyele

Supernova

by Ajamu Akinyele

Released 2005
Pearl Jazz Recording Label
Released 2005
Pearl Jazz Recording Label
A blend of smooth jazz/funk fusion in the likes of Marcus Miller, combining futuristic sounds producing a new style called “Cyber Jazz” for a new generation.
NOTES
After R&B/Funk recording artist Marcel announced that he was now “Ajamu Akinyele” at the end of the ‘Secret Weapon Volumes 1 & 2’ (2004) album, 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.

Marcel 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.

Now recording as Ajamu Akinyele, pronounced Ah-jah-moo + Ah-kin-yay-lay, he has left the moniker “Marcel” in the past. But, let’s recap: As Marcel and a multi-instrumentalist he released five R&B/Funk albums from 1998 to 2004; had worldwide success with those releases, including in Europe, Japan, and Australia; and released his last album in 2004 as Marcel titled ‘Secret Weapon Volumes 1 & 2’.

As Marcel, he arrived on the scene in 1998 with his debut album ‘The Diary of Marcel’ and followed that up with the release of ‘Spice : The Alternative Hip-Hop Experience’ (2001) which helped him to establish a loyal following in Japan and Europe. His third and fourth album’s ‘Uptown : 2025 A.D.’ (2003) and ‘Uptown : 2025 E.P. The Remixes’ (2004) allowed him to develop a true sense of artistry and a vision of being dedicated to his musicianship, these releases also 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 gained Marcel attention on MTV Germany.

With the release of Uptown : 2025 A.D. he stated that the album was a self-awakening, allowing him to be aware of who he was and where he was going! As such, in 2004 he released his fifth and final album ‘Secret Weapon Volumes 1 & 2’ as Marcel and 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.

As Ajamu Akinyele, he embarked on his first jazz album and found his true unique identity, producing what he calls "Cyber Jazz," a sound to redefine jazz for a new generation. With the bass being the primary instrument and playing all the instruments himself, except where noted, ‘Supernova’ is filled with elements of futuristic sounds that combines funk and fusion while maintaining a sense of an R&B feel. The album was promoted with the singles “Supernova”, “Evolution”, “2704 Shane Drive”, and “Starwalkin’ feat. Jon O’Bergh”. The track "Pearl" and the establishment of the Pearl Jazz Recording Label is a tribute to Akinyele’s grandmother Pearl Jones.

Always struggling to find his true musical style, Akinyele stated, “Reviewers thought that I changed my name because Prince changed his name, I guess because my music as Marcel had always been influenced by him. But, in reality, I changed my name to reflect a more African heritage (Yoruba culture of Nigeria and Benin) after my grandmother passed away in December 2003. So, Prince had nothing to do with it. I wanted to honor my grandmother and with the new change I also wanted to find my own sound. I don't know where this new adventure is going to take me, but it sure feels right! Exploring is how we grow, never stop exploring. Experience Cyber Jazz!"

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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