NEW ALBUM ‘THE LAST DAYS OF OAKLAND’ – OUT NOW
“The first great album of the post- Prince / post- Ali world”
The Mirror ****
“Blues, but reconfigured as a scream of rage rather than sadness.”
The Guardian ****
NEW ALBUM ‘THE LAST DAYS OF OAKLAND’ OUT NOW – VIABLACKBALL UNIVERSE
The Last Days of Oakland, the highly anticipated first full-length album from critically acclaimed artist Fantastic Negrito, is out NOW on Blackball Universe. Known for his unique fusion of blues, soul, roots and rock music, on The Last Days of Oakland frontman and songwriter Xavier Dphrepaulezz tackles the socioeconomic, race and class issues he witnesses on a daily basis living in the East Bay.
Fresh from an extensive UK live jaunt that saw him support one of the great rock voices of the past 25 years – Chris Cornell of Soundgarden, Audioslave and ‘Casino Royale’ Bond theme – Xavier has had an amazing 18 months. In early 2015 he was still busking on the Oakland streets where he grew up (as did Seasick Steve). His rise began when he won the 2015 Tiny Desk video contest run by NPR – the American equivalent of BBC Radio – ahead of 7000 other entries, with this clip;
Since then he has played campaign rallies for Bernie Sanders; recorded withBlackalicious, and is about to appear in Fox’s acclaimed hip-hop soap opera ‘Empire’ (May 9th, UK broadcast date on E4). While drama series ‘Hand Of God’which features his song An Honest Man as its theme tune, returns to TV this autumn.
His story is an enthralling one. He ran with Oakland gangs in his teens, but cleaned up, was signed to Prince’s management in the early 90s and had an album on Interscope as Xavier. In 1999 he suffered a car crash which resulted in a fractured skull, shattered limbs and a 3 week coma. After a slow recovery, he went through several musical alter egos – including punk band Blood Sugar X – before walking away from the industry for five years, only to regenerate as Fantastic Negrito in his late forties. He has been described as the patron saint of second chances.
“Passionate, raw sounds… vintage good vibes, this may well be his time.” Best of SXSW – Jim Carroll, Irish Times
“He makes black roots music, like a thread from Lead Belly to Sly Stone all the way to Alabama Shakes…he throws out all the rules.” Attica Locke, The Observer
“America has lost its soul. This unforgettable new singer has found it.” Mother Jones dot com
The Last Days Of Oakland, out NOW on Blackball Universe via Tunecore/Believe.