Happy Holidays, y’all! In this installment of DJ Cleveland Browne Wants to Know, I caught up with one of my favorite folks in the area, Grammy nominated artist, producer and educator Kokayi. Check out his responses to my questions, learn more about Kokayi and make sure to look out for him when he’s in your area!
DJ Cleveland Browne: If you had to put together a soundtrack of your life using only 5 records, what would those be?
1. Run DMC – Sucka MCs – the single and subsequent record started me on my path.
2. The 3 Sounds – Introducing the 3 sounds/Juan Carlos Jobim – Angela. …FOH is all i’m saying.
3. Trouble Funk live from the Capital Center & Junk Yard – Sardines b/w the Word & Bad Brains -I Against I– Go-Go made me. There are countless legendary tapes (RE w/Funk at the Black Hole) that never made it to record but these records are the staples of DC music. Bad Brains, young. I can’t say any more than that. I didn’t discover this record until my college years and then it was a wrap
4. First Priority Music compilation. This was the original blueprint for music business. I can’t find the record.
5. Rotary Connection – Black Gold of the Sun. Two words, Charles Stepney.
DJCB: What do you do when you’re not Kokayi, Artist, Dad and Hubby? What are your pastimes? How do you wind down and get away?
K: I read or run (when i’m in workout mode) to wind down. However, when I’m on tour is when i get the least amount of sleep and the most amount of rest, if that makes any sense.
DJCB: You’ve travelled all across the globe and have been exposed to many different cultures and ways of life, so if you were given the opportunity to live anywhere outside of D.C., where would that be and why?
K: I could live in the south of France, Spain, Italy or Southern California, anywhere where the weather is warm 90% of the time is the next move.
DJCB: What is the most fulfilling aspect of being an Educator?
K: Being able to offer individuals different methods and approaches to life beyond music. There is a difference when you hit a school where the primary focus is music then you get asked all the music related questions and have to help folks bridge the practical with the academic. When dealing with different cultures, the onus of what being a product of the United States is about, especially when hip hop is the foundation on which your ethos is built.
DJCB: You get granted the wish of seeing any two artists (living or deceased) collaborate on a record. Who are you picking and why?
K: Alice Smith and Jimi Hendrix. When Myspace first started I used to write blogs matching artists together and then try to link them up. I like certain production from some and voices from others and imagined if I had a label what I would put out and who I would try and bring together. So for me this is a no brainer, i’d like to hear Alice on some guitar driven Band of Gypsys type shit… eww wee.