Derrick N Ashong and Soulfège

Sweet Remix

Download the Free mp3 of 'SweetRemix' via SoundCloud

 

Download a FREE ZIP file of the FULL ALBUM via MediaFire or listen to and download individual tracks in the SoundCloud widget below:

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Love Rain Down - A Short Film "Love Rain Down" is a 2012 Official Entry in the Palm Beach International Film Festival

An animated film based on the song "Love Rain Down" from the album "AFropolitan" by Derrick N. Ashong (aka DNA) & Soulfège. The movie follows the tale of a little boy named "Johnny" who makes a trip to the legendary "Crossroads" of Robert Johnson fame, and stands down the Devil armed only with a song...


CALENDAR


Check out this Unite Against The War on Women video using our song "Fight On" Then DOWNLOAD the Free mp3 of 'Fight On' via SoundCloud

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Monday
Mar192012

Million Download Campaign - An AFropolitan Sound

 

A few weeks ago I had a chance to sit down with the wonderful folks at the "Potluck" program on Fairfax local TV, and talk about music & the Million DOWNLOAD Campaign. The conversation went in some interesting directions, one of which being a quick look at how we think about musical "genre" given that we're an "Afropolitan" band. This excerpt gives some insight into how much of the music we listen to in the West is actually much more connected than many people think.

Whether you know how Country and R&B are based in the same music, or that Punk Rock has roots in Doo-Wop, once you see the connections it's easy to build "musical bridges." DOWNLOAD & Share! 

D.N.A

THE MILLION DOWNLOAD CAMPAIGN

Wanna be down? DOWNLOAD!

Friday
Mar092012

On the Charts Again!

 

For the second week in a row, our album AFropolitan is on the JazzWeek World Music Chart!  We debuted in the Top 50 last week & have held strong at 48 this week.  This is a pretty big deal for us, as this chart features the likes of Sean Paul, Hugh Masekela, Nneka, Jimmy Cliff, Thievery Corporation, Gregory Isaacs and more
 
Being one of the few truly Independent artists on the list, we have got to give much love to all of you for your support in getting us there.  We'd love to enlist you, in helping us march up the charts!  Here is a breakdown of some key stations that are spinning our record.  If you have five minutes, please call a station or two & request AFropolitan!  This will keep us on their minds & keep the record spinning.  Make a post on our Facebook page to let us know when you reach out to a station so we can all see our progress!
 
STATION INFO:
 
Station Location Call-in #
WUTC Chattanooga, TN (423) 265-9882
KUNI Des Moines, IA (515) 725-1700
KUNM Albuquerque, NM (505) 277-5615
KUVO Denver - Boulder, CO (303) 480-9272
KWNJ  Quad Cities (IA - IL) (319) 273-6400
WLNZ  East Lansing, MI  (517) 483-1000
WCSB  Cleveland, OH  (216) 687-3515
WMBR  Boston, MA  (617) 253-8810
 
Thanks again for helping to put the Million DOWNLOAD Campaign on the map. Onwards & Upwards!
 
D.N.A

 

THE MILLION DOWNLOAD CAMPAIGN

Wanna be down? DOWNLOAD!

 

 

Tuesday
Mar062012

Million Download Campaign - Responsibility Bites Back

 

In my last post I wrote about the impact of marketing decisions by major labels on youth worldwide who consume so-called "urban music."  A great point was raised in response on the Hollywood Progressive blog about the responsibility that people in urban communities have for their own condition. After all you can't blame all the ills of the hood on rap music & the Record Industry right? 

Right. People must take some degree of responsibility for their own condition, otherwise that condition cannot be anything but hopeless. It's not popular to say in some progressive circles, and while I might not agree with his delivery, Bill Cosby was basically right - we need to look in the mirror at the issues plaguing our communities in order to find genuine solutions. Everything can't be blamed on "The Man," "The Record Biz," "Rap Music" etc.

That said, I don't think we can ignore the impact of our cultural life on our material surroundings.  You can't eat twinkies all day & expect to grow up to be an Olympian.  Neither can you fill your mind with images of nihilism and decay and expect it won't have an impact on your sense of self and thus your place in the world. Positive thoughts won't necessarily save you from a killer tornado, but negative thoughts may well lead you to smack your neighbor and wind up in jail.

There are some in society who would like to lay the entire fault of poverty at the feet of the poor and they are wrong for doing so. But even if you accept that a society must take responsibility for it's own condition & upliftment, it does not help a community to better itself, when someone is profiting from it's depravation. Canadian MC Baba Brinkman in his excellent production titled The Rap Guide To Evolution, argues that in communities where young men have a lack of access to opportunity, there is a concurrent rise in violence.  I can't help but wonder, in how many of those communities is that violence glorified for profit by outsider? And what impact does that dynamic have on efforts to stem that violence?

If we accept that art has an impact on the human mind & spirit, then we have to question what the images we sell our youth are doing to them.  There are more poor kids per capita in a developing country like Ghana than in the US or France, but the latter two have higher rates of depression. Why? What is it that makes young women feel like they need to be bone thin to be beautiful? Or makes young men feel like they need to bust-a-cap to be cool? If money can't buy you happiness, at least it can help you make bail...

I believe in the right of an artist to say damn near anything they want.  But I also believe in the necessity for we the creative community to question whether the pimping out of our cultures is something we are willing to stand by. Or do we believe enough in the power of what we do, to demand something better. In the end it's not just urban communities that need to take responsibility for themselves.

D.N.A

THE MILLION <DOWNLOAD CAMPAIGN

Wanna be down? DOWNLOAD!

Thursday
Mar012012

Million Download Campaign - Global Gangstas

 

 

Last week I wrote about how the Recording Industry has systematically targeted Black communities as a way of testing talent designed for marketing to a broader demographic.  In a nutshell, they promote artists who can develop "street cred" in the Black community but will be acceptable to White people.  This doesn't come from an understanding of a globalizing society where the classic walls of race, ethnicity etc that have historically divided us are finally crumbling in the face of transcendent, uplifting artistry. Rather, it plays upon an understanding that you can reduce your risk of investing in new talent if you focus on what's easy to sell (ie. sex & violence), and tough-looking Black dudes from the "hood" are impressive to rebellious suburban teens.
 
Thus Hip Hop has been transformed from the voice of urban youth rebelling against a system that didn't provide them the opportunity to learn to play instruments, much less respect their humanity and artistry - to a caricature of what White suburban kids think hardcore Ghetto youth must be like.
 
Sounds like a domestic problem, but it's not.  It goes way further  than the borders of the United States and the implications are far more insidious than some suburban kids patterning their rebellion on the actions of some fake gangstas.
 
A few years ago I was on a trip home to Ghana & had an experience that put a lot of this in a new perspective for me. I was walking along when a young bruh approached me & apparently prompted by my manner of speech or maybe the way I was dressed, rolls up and says "wassup my nigga" in a full Accra accent.  I was stunned. That isn't a word used in my home culture, and I couldn't remember ever having heard it there before.  In that moment it ight as well have started snowing in our equatorial hometown, it was that out-of-sorts.

Why would a young Ghanaian kid in Accra, address me using an American racial epithet? Maybe for the same reason why other dudes were walking around town wearing baggy jeans, timberlands & Triple Phat Geese, in the 90 degree heat. The cultural influence of Hip Hop has been pervasive worldwide. And for good reason - it's a music that lends itself to people literally "making it their own."

But what happens when the template for "what's cool," "what's authentic" and ultimately "what's 'Black'" is based on a stereotype manufactured for sale by a company looking to make a buck off the Black community? It sounds sinister, even hyperbolic, but the implications are real & they are serious. For years I'd travel around the world & the dominant image I'd see of young Black men would be of Gangsters & thugs. And so for young Black men, growing up in such a world the archetype of "authenticity" has actually been a stereotype marketed by industry executives who most likely, don't live anywhere near the "hood."
 
Sometimes keepin' it real goes wrong on a global scale. But the real gangstas aren't necessarily the ones you hear in rap songs. If you want to hear artists promoting something more than guns & girls, perhaps it's time to take the beef out of the streets and into the board rooms...
 
 
D.N.A
 

THE MILLION DOWNLOAD CAMPAIGN

Wanna be down? DOWNLOAD!

 

Wednesday
Feb292012

AFropolitan Hits the Charts!!

Big News! We just got word that after our first week of broadcast radio promotion, we've debuted in the Top 50 of the JazzWeek World Chart! This puts us in the company of artists like Hugh Masekela, Stephen Marley & Gregory Isaacs. We have no idea where the album will go from here, but we DO know that your support in spreading the good word has been invaluable.

SO, if you haven't already, please Download & Share the album. And, if you have 5 minutes today, give your local radio station a call & ask them to play the album "AFropolitan"!

There's some other cool stuff percolating as well, so we'll keep you posted on all n sundry. In the meantime, thanks a million for all your support. Together we will make history!

Peace & AFrobeats,
D.N.A