When my favorite co-worker compared Fantastic Negrito to Prince, I totally scoffed. Now, I understand why.
The live performance of Fantastic Negrito is not one to miss. His performance was chock full of groovy costumes, wild dancing, and an overwhelming amount of stage presence. Lead singer Xavier Amin Dphrepaulezz wove stories in between songs explaining origins of his music and stories about his own life. He preached the gospel of the churches of hard rock, funk, spoken word, and a little bit of blues to boot. At various points throughout the performance, Xavier threw in howls one might find in a Michael Jackson track, only to make some Rick James vocals in the next track. The amount of variety in this artist's musical pursuits is significant. Xavier would hop between slow acoustic tracks dedicated to one Chris Cornell into songs with heavy rock roots featuring absolutely vicious four minute guitar solos. One track (that happens to be one of my personal favorites) titled "A Boy Named Andrew," featured a heavy riff accompanied by vocals sounding eerily similar to System of a Down layered with some blues-rock rhythm Jack White wishes he could jam.
Images by Nicole Sergent
As many readers checking this piece out know, I am a total sucker for some classical instrumentation integrated into modern music. And Fantastic Negrito featured one talented keyboard player. His entire band lineup came to play. Negrito's pieces featured slide blues guitar, old school piano, and some straight singing. This phrase might be hokey, or overused, however Xavier is truly a musician for musicians that still compels anyone with ears to tune in. This death defying musician even has taken his music to the streets, quite literally performing on the roads of Oakland. Fantastic Negrito prides himself on playing music for the sheer love of playing, and if you ever have the pleasure of seeing this musician perform you an feel it in your bones. Be sure to check out this artist's recent album "Please Don't be Dead," for a full musical experience. Check out our thoughts on it here. Scope out our gallery here. And most importantly, check out this musician next time he hits your city-check out his tour dates here.