Lyrics, Brushes, and 88 keys
Tunes for Travel
By Sathiyyah Parks-Barrett With the holiday season in full swing, good music is sure to be in the midst. As many of us make plans to travel out-of-state, we update our iPods with the newest tunes. While my family usually hosts the incoming family, I still like to slip away to a great song. Also, many of you may be looking for stocking stuffers. Keeping that in mind, I’ve decided to share with you some new tunes that you should check out. To begin with, I absolutely love Melanie Fiona. Her album plays into a lot of emotions young people deal with. If you thought that you went on an emotional rollercoaster with Vivian Green, you’re in for a real thrill with Melanie Fiona’s “The Bridge.” Next on my list is K’naan. K’naan is a Somali artist who makes music that is a mixture of hip hop, African beats and world music intertwined - combining African drums, chants, handclaps, guitars and organic instrumentation sets this album outside the box. I came across K’naan after watching BET’s 2008 Hip Hop Awards. After my computer crashed, I lost the c.d. that I downloaded from iTunes. I was excited to find a copy of his c.d., “Troubadour,” in the bookstore for only nine dollars! Lastly, I am in love with the group Brutha. Brutha consists of five biological brothers from California. This group reminds me a lot of Boys II Men. These guys harmonize in ways that we have not heard in a long time. Auto-tune has no use with these guys…can you say five-part harmony? While their sophomore album isn’t due until next year, you can enjoy their self-titled debut album. Regardless of which artist you decide to look into, I can assure you will be satisfied. As I stated before, I found a nice deal on music in the campus bookstore. Besides “Troubadour,” I have found various CDs for reasonable…almost dirt cheap prices. If you have the chance, stop in and browse through their selection of music. Many of the artists that end up on their shelf are a bit underrated, but they all have unique stories to tell. You never know what you will find until you look.Before the semester ends, I would like to introduce you to one more talented student on the BSU campus. If you all recall, I introduced you to one half of The Harmony Merchants, Dante “Starzfamous” Gregory. Well, I’d like to introduce you to the other half of that group, Nkwanta Barber. Nkwanta “NKB” Barber is an aspiring music producer/engineer/songwriter looking to make a major impact on the music industry in the near future. With great talent in making hip hop, R&B, and pop instrumentals at the moment, Nkwanta wants to become well rounded in all genres. Showing an early interest in music by playing trumpet in his grade school band it is not surprising for him to want a career in music. When listening to music, Nkwanta would always pay special attention to the instrumentation and arrangements. When listening he always felt he could create a song just as well or better but never had the tools to make one. He soon gained access to a free, simple step sequencing sampler program, and seized the opportunity to make his own tunes. Once he began making more beats he wanted to become more serious and invested his money into professional software and hardware. Nkwanta has been making beats and composing music since 2006 and is now taking his creations to another level. When he realized music was his passion he transferred from St. Mary’s College of Maryland to Bowie State to major in Music Technology. Currently a junior at Bowie State, Nkwanta is learning to become knowledgeable of all genres and aspects of music from composing for symphonies, creating karaoke tracks, to writing jingles. Nkwanta is in the early stages of his career and is doing everything he can to make it in the music industry. Some of his musical influences include Michael Jackson, The Isley Brothers, Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys and Kanye West. The Kanye West influence can be seen as he incorporates sampling '70s and '80s songs into a good portion of his music. Although NKB is in the early stages o his career, he already has work for purchase on “iTunes,” by producing the track “Pretty Brown Eyes” for local Baltimore artist Aime’M on his album “My Life, My Story.” By taking a listen to that song, the sampling side of his work is shown. On Nkwanta’s myspace page he has a remixed version of Lady Gaga’s song “Just Dance,” which features one of his original pop compositions. He wants to be as versatile as possible with his music.
To contact Nkwanta if interested in his work, he can be contacted by his email: email@example.com, and myspace: www.myspace.com/nkwantamusic.