It is increasingly evident that to be successful in the current landscape of music, artists can no longer be contained in boxes and in fact must for their own survival become multidimensional. Lil Wayne conjured his inner rock star and marched to multiplatinum; Linkin Park blended programmed drums and rap with big guitars and soaring vocals to grow an international fan base; Kanye West reinvented himself as an emo singer on “808s and Heartbreak”, and the list goes on. Blame it on the internet or globalization, but the walls separating musical styles are increasingly looking like lines in the sand… and Soul Mafia is a wave.
A jazz saxophonist/rapper/guitarist who looks like an MMA fighter, a classically trained pianist turned hip-hop producer who has an infatuation with 80’s rock, a foster kid from Indianapolis who channeled his pain into singing like the hip hop Marvin Gaye, and a young drum phenom born and bred in Crown Heights Brooklyn who plays like the loudest rock drummer you ever heard: musical genres crash as often as cymbals. Hints of Prince, Billy Idol, Daft Punk, B.I.G., even Coltrane and Beethoven dance in and out of their new album, but despite these unlikely ingredients, Soul Mafia somehow still sound like pop.
Arriving in New York City in 2001, GC and keyboardist/producer Prism began to establish the Soul Mafia brand through a trial by fire of open mics, battles, self promoted shows, and guerilla marketing tactics. By developing Pursuance Inc., the production wing of Soul Mafia, through placement on FOX, ESPN, and MSG, GC and Prism were able to finance their grass roots efforts. The early years were characterized by a revolving door of supporting players, but after several line-up changes, GC and Prism found the missing elements of Soul Mafia in drummer Lil D and vocalist Iam Beck.
With the inner circle established and battle tested from Detroit to South Carolina, the new album MK Ultra complete and the Wasted tour locked, Soul Mafia is ready for the world. Forged through years of struggle and sacrifice as individuals and as a collective, Soul Mafia is prepared to go the distance. In the words of GC, “might lose my shirt, but never the shoes; receipts you keep when you pay your dues.”
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