Artist. Innovator. Educator. Grammy nominated artist entrenched in the ethos of hip hop culture yet colors outside of the lines of genre and tradition. Co-Curator of Beats&Beans: a discussion on creativity and re-imagining creative spaces, Kokayi continues to chase the origins of creativity and innovation. A recipient of the DCCAH Artist Fellowship, Sister Cites Grant and Artist Grant and his music can be found in MTV's Rebel Music Series, Kevin Hart's Laugh at my Pain, A'Larrache (Canal +) and many others. He is currently faculty at the School of Improvisational Music in NY, guest Collaborator with international arts program OneBeat and works as a music emissary throughout the world.

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"My work is an amalgamation of my life experiences as filtered through the lens of DC, go-go and the music of the African diaspora overall."

What Does Black History Month Mean To You This Year?

This year black history month to me is less about the celebration of black history as it has been celebrated prior, but more about the heralding of all that we as a people have contributed and continue to contribute. As of late the diaspora has begun to embrace itself as more than just the footrest of the world but more as the creators of our own presents and futures. Afro futurism is embraced, afro now-ism is what we are seeing from black Presidents to Black Panther.

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 I was working in Mauritania with producers from Mali, Morocco, Senegal and more. The kids in the back were in awe about the software that was being used to record and produce music.   

I was working in Mauritania with producers from Mali, Morocco, Senegal and more. The kids in the back were in awe about the software that was being used to record and produce music.

 

Where Are You Finding Inspiration To Create This Year?

I find inspiration in different environments; from coffee shops, galleries or anywhere there is life moving about.  My kids inspire me and keep me connected to the youth.

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