Afro D All Starz
Gig Seeker Pro

Afro D All Starz

Malden, Massachusetts, United States

Malden, Massachusetts, United States
Band Hip Hop Soul

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

This band hasn't logged any past gigs

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

Press


"Tufts Alum Leaps into Hip Hop Scene, Keeping One Foot in Community"

Pete Shungu (LA '03) has, at the age of 27, achieved what few musicians have the time or patience to do: He has kept up with his passion for music and social activism, which began in college, and created an impressive work of art. Last night, he took the stage for the biggest show of his life. He'd performed for large crowds before, but rarely as the main act, and never had the stakes been so high. Shungu, a.k.a. Afro DZ ak, had just released his very first solo album, "Elevation," which had been several years in the making.
Imagine this: Shungu steps up to the mic and loses himself in the performance, doing what he's done for years to create the loyal following standing in front of him. He says something clever like, "These young dreams gettin stopped like a red light/ But yo, I shed light like a golden retriever/ Cuz if young minds are clay/ I'm tryin to mold an achiever." The next day, Shungu wakes up at 6 a.m. and heads off to work, helping high school students prepare for college as a financial aid advisor for the Boston public school system.
Last night's album release party for "Elevation" at Bob's Bar in Boston was just another installment of the busy routine that has become Shungu's daily life. Though he'd been recording his debut album for about a year, Shungu must now wait until the summer to promote it aggressively, as his day job requires him to work five days a week through May.
Finding a balance
Like so many other aspects of his life, this balancing act is captured poetically in one of Shungu's songs, the aptly-titled "Balancing Act:" "Some people tellin me that I'm a talented cat/ But at times it feels like/ more of a curse than a blessing/ Got so many things to juggle/ Can you tell that I'm stressin?" Due to his busy schedule, Shungu will concentrate on a mini-tour in areas where he has connections, stopping in Worcester, where he lived briefly after graduating from Tufts, and New York City, close to his native New Jersey.
Despite the stress, Shungu welcomes this busy lifestyle as a natural part of his life. "I'm the type of person where, if there's something I'm interested or passionate about ,I make time for it," Shungu told the Daily. Although it's taken some time to get his solo act to the point where he could record a full-length album, Shungu has already tasted his share of fame. Included among the various groups of which he has been a member is The Eclectic Collective, a Boston-based genre-defying group, with a sound integrating soul, jazz fusion and pop-punk, for which he played trumpet. The group has recorded two albums with Shungu, "Time Flies" (2006) and "The Flux" (2007), and has toured up and down the East Coast.
Though he admits that touring with a band is a rare, fun experience, Shungu found his role as a trumpet player to be limiting, especially considering the time and energy that was required. "I'm not the type of person who wants to go on tour so I can just get drunk every night and be crazy," he said. "I want to have a good time with music and play shows, and I love the whole atmosphere around that, but I feel like for me having that balance is important. I want to make music to make change and to make music to reach as many people as possible, [but] I would be a hypocrite if my entire life was about being a rock star while making music that says ‘we need to make these changes in society.'"
Becoming an active citizen
Like many other Tufts students, Shungu arrived on the Hill freshman year thinking he wanted to be pre-med but soon decided to pursue other interests.
Shungu took an Explorations seminar for incoming freshmen through the Experimental College called College Students and Community Service, taught by the presidents of the Leonard Carmichael Society. Shungu cites that class as a major reason for his dedication to social activism, which has since led him to participate in AmeriCorps and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay.
Shungu also played a major role in the early stages of the Multiracial Organization of Students at Tufts (M.O.S.T.). His father was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, formerly known as Zaire, and his mother is from Kansas. He remains active in the Boston chapter of Swirl, a broader multiracial organization. It was at an event hosted by Swirl two months ago that Shungu connected with saxophone player and Tufts junior John Mason, who plays in the Tufts Big Band, just as Shungu had during his time on the Hill.
"He mentioned a bunch of gigs he was doing, and we kept in touch throughout the year," Mason said. "We [met up] a couple times, and about a month ago he asked me if I wanted to play a gig with him at Northeastern." The show went so well that Shungu invited Mason to join him on stage a second time for last night's album release - Mike Adams/Tufts Daily


"Tufts Alum Leaps into Hip Hop Scene, Keeping One Foot in Community"

Pete Shungu (LA '03) has, at the age of 27, achieved what few musicians have the time or patience to do: He has kept up with his passion for music and social activism, which began in college, and created an impressive work of art. Last night, he took the stage for the biggest show of his life. He'd performed for large crowds before, but rarely as the main act, and never had the stakes been so high. Shungu, a.k.a. Afro DZ ak, had just released his very first solo album, "Elevation," which had been several years in the making.
Imagine this: Shungu steps up to the mic and loses himself in the performance, doing what he's done for years to create the loyal following standing in front of him. He says something clever like, "These young dreams gettin stopped like a red light/ But yo, I shed light like a golden retriever/ Cuz if young minds are clay/ I'm tryin to mold an achiever." The next day, Shungu wakes up at 6 a.m. and heads off to work, helping high school students prepare for college as a financial aid advisor for the Boston public school system.
Last night's album release party for "Elevation" at Bob's Bar in Boston was just another installment of the busy routine that has become Shungu's daily life. Though he'd been recording his debut album for about a year, Shungu must now wait until the summer to promote it aggressively, as his day job requires him to work five days a week through May.
Finding a balance
Like so many other aspects of his life, this balancing act is captured poetically in one of Shungu's songs, the aptly-titled "Balancing Act:" "Some people tellin me that I'm a talented cat/ But at times it feels like/ more of a curse than a blessing/ Got so many things to juggle/ Can you tell that I'm stressin?" Due to his busy schedule, Shungu will concentrate on a mini-tour in areas where he has connections, stopping in Worcester, where he lived briefly after graduating from Tufts, and New York City, close to his native New Jersey.
Despite the stress, Shungu welcomes this busy lifestyle as a natural part of his life. "I'm the type of person where, if there's something I'm interested or passionate about ,I make time for it," Shungu told the Daily. Although it's taken some time to get his solo act to the point where he could record a full-length album, Shungu has already tasted his share of fame. Included among the various groups of which he has been a member is The Eclectic Collective, a Boston-based genre-defying group, with a sound integrating soul, jazz fusion and pop-punk, for which he played trumpet. The group has recorded two albums with Shungu, "Time Flies" (2006) and "The Flux" (2007), and has toured up and down the East Coast.
Though he admits that touring with a band is a rare, fun experience, Shungu found his role as a trumpet player to be limiting, especially considering the time and energy that was required. "I'm not the type of person who wants to go on tour so I can just get drunk every night and be crazy," he said. "I want to have a good time with music and play shows, and I love the whole atmosphere around that, but I feel like for me having that balance is important. I want to make music to make change and to make music to reach as many people as possible, [but] I would be a hypocrite if my entire life was about being a rock star while making music that says ‘we need to make these changes in society.'"
Becoming an active citizen
Like many other Tufts students, Shungu arrived on the Hill freshman year thinking he wanted to be pre-med but soon decided to pursue other interests.
Shungu took an Explorations seminar for incoming freshmen through the Experimental College called College Students and Community Service, taught by the presidents of the Leonard Carmichael Society. Shungu cites that class as a major reason for his dedication to social activism, which has since led him to participate in AmeriCorps and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay.
Shungu also played a major role in the early stages of the Multiracial Organization of Students at Tufts (M.O.S.T.). His father was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, formerly known as Zaire, and his mother is from Kansas. He remains active in the Boston chapter of Swirl, a broader multiracial organization. It was at an event hosted by Swirl two months ago that Shungu connected with saxophone player and Tufts junior John Mason, who plays in the Tufts Big Band, just as Shungu had during his time on the Hill.
"He mentioned a bunch of gigs he was doing, and we kept in touch throughout the year," Mason said. "We [met up] a couple times, and about a month ago he asked me if I wanted to play a gig with him at Northeastern." The show went so well that Shungu invited Mason to join him on stage a second time for last night's album release - Mike Adams/Tufts Daily


Discography

Elevation (2008)-- Afro D solo release
Strength in Numbers (2013)-- Full band release

Photos

Bio

The Afro D All Starz originated as the backing band for Boston-based MC Afro D as he released his 2008 solo album, "Elevation", but have since evolved into a well-balanced collective of like-minded singers, MCs, and musicians with a smooth, unique, funky style. The Afro D All Starz bring a socially-conscious, musically-rich style of hip hop that speaks truth to the saying that there's "Strength in Numbers", which is fittingly the title of their new full band album, released in January, 2013.

Incorporating violin, flute, trumpet and much more, the Afro D All Starz are not just your average hip hop band. They spread a socially-conscious positive message with their lyrics, while at the same time blending a variety of styles, from hip hop, to jazz, to soul, to funk, while bringing a live band energy that gets venues packed and crowds moving. They have played shows all over the Boston area at venues such as Tommy Doyle's in Cambridge, Johnny D's in Somerville, Rock the Plaza at Patriot Place in Foxboro, and Berklee College of Music in Boston.

Band Members