Christylez Bacon! You may have seen him at any one of hundreds of hi-fi & lo-fi events about the DC area in the last year. The man is in demand! As we head in to 2011 to see what he's working on, we also look back with the Human Beatbox to touch on what has been a stellar year for this local DC artist.
Q: As 2010 comes to a close we are guessing that your Grammy nomination was the highlight of the year for you. Please tell us about the children's album you were nominated for and your experience attending the ceremony.
A: The children's album is called BANJO TO BEATBOX. It was a collaborative project with Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer, who are heavy-weights in both children's & old-time traditional music. This project
< Photo Credit: Mark Silva
started as a cool way for us to explore the possibilities of our musical worlds with Human-Beatboxing, rhyming, ukulele, banjos, and washboards. Attending the festivities surrounding the Grammys was great! The Strathmore staff accompanied me there and I got to experience the red carpet, the after-party, etc...
Q: You recently appeared at a SOFAR SOUNDS show at Marvins where you mentioned DC Mambo Sauce! For those of us who don't know, what is Mambo Sauce!?
A: Mambo Sauce is god inside of a sauce bottle that is only used for fried-chicken and french-fries! Actually, it's a sauce native to Washington DC, that can only be found in Carry-Outs here. I have a song "Mambo Sauce" which explains all the details.
Q: You are currently working on a new album called "Hip Hop Unplugged", sounds great. What can you tell your fans about it and when do you expect to release it?
A: I'm expecting to have it released by Summer 2011, but it's a great small body of work and I want to make sure that it has all the technical expertise that it needs. So, I'm not trying to rush music, even in this age where we want everything to be on a fast-food schedule. This album uses all acoustic instrumentation, vocal trio, and a string & horn section over my songs as well as guitar playing and human-beatboxing.
Q: As an aspiring musician growing up in South East DC who were your greatest (local) influences?
A: I draw my influences from various sources, but DC has influenced me rhythmically through Go-Go, and crowd participation. Those influencers would be: Chuck Brown, Rare Essence, Backyard Band, Northeast Groovers, etc.
Q: Not only are you working on musical projects but you've taken on a project in fashion. Tell us about your collaboration with designers Bill Johnson of Transient & Hugh & Crye?
Photo Credit: Joshua Yospyn for WORN Magazine >
A: I love what both HUGH & CRYE and Bill Johnson of Transient Clothing, are doing. They are filling a void in mens clothing. Hugh & Crye are creating mens dress shirts that fit according to body types and give a tailored look without the tailor prices. Bill Johnson styled me in his creations for the 2010 Grammy's. Both of them have pieces that match my vision, and I'm working with both to create some custom pieces that I hope other can dig as well!
Q: Please give the details for your upcoming appearances at PG County Libraries in January & February.
A: This has to be my 2nd year doing the PG County Libraries. Yayyyyyy for consistency!!!! I travel to all the PG County Library locations using public transportation, performing my One-Man Orchestra concert for those communities, while trying to avoid catching a cold.
Q: You also mentioned that a monthly musical series is in the works; what can you share with us about that?
A: I can't reveal too many details because it's still in the incubating phase and I'm still thinking about the perfect venue for it, but every gig that I've done in 2010 (190 Gigs as of Dec 31st) have been people booking me to perform for the events, series, schools, etc... I want to establish a performance-home where I can introduce audiences to my musical tastes and influences in a live & collaborative setting.
Q: Finally, what are the 5 songs (and artists) that have been looping on your iPod this week?
Donald Fagen & Steely Dan
Earth Wind & Fire
Bust a Rhymes (Early 90s Era)
Kanye West (The New Album)
Photo Credit: Mark Silva