Calid B.
Gig Seeker Pro

Calid B.

Columbus, Ohio, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2016 | SELF

Columbus, Ohio, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2016
Solo Hip Hop World




"Calid Bowen has a sound, and it's called Afrobang"

Calid Bowen has a lot of goals. For a man who only began pursuing music professionally about 18 months ago (Bowen performs as Calid B.), his ideas sound fully formed. These aren't thrown-together sketches of a theoretical sound, but carefully crafted creations that invoke a variety of genres — everything from jazz to hip hop to R&B — to end up somewhere squarely his own.

Bowen calls it Afrobang and it's the culmination of years of creative endeavors, research and careful thought. He began his musical journey at a young age. "My mom put me in the Afrocentric community from where I'm from in Columbus, Ohio," Bowen said. He learned the djembe drum, which would later become an integral part of his sound. In college, he began experimenting with hip-hop beats. Other students would visit the young producer in his space to rap to his music. After college — while still working a 9-to-5 job in corporate advertising — Bowen created his own production company, managing and producing artists.

A year and a half ago, he pulled back on his managerial duties and began pursuing music again. It was, if not an easy transition, at least one that made sense musically. Sometimes the things in life that hold us back are ourselves. For Bowen, it was finally allowing himself to pursue music on his own terms that made his creativity flow. "I always took a more behind-the-scenes approach and took a producer/manager role," Bowen says, "But now that I've stepped away from the business aspect of it and found the love of it and creativity for it, that's when all of these songs came out."

Although Bowen's project came about at the beginning of 2015, he sat on it for six months. "I had to figure out what energy I wanted to get out of it," Bowen said. He began attending shows that featured international, researching the artists and the sounds he heard. Bowen also began storing samples from international world music artists to let the feeling take him to where he couldn't yet articulate. "I didn't try to lock myself in too much for the direction for each song," Bowen said. "I always wanted it to be fun and to also be inspirational."

The root of Afrobang lies in the African diaspora, from which Bowen has pulled to craft his music. "My philosophy is really channeling the African diaspora across the world and infusing that into my music and sharing that set of cultural values through creativity," he said. "I'm trying to take that perspective and celebrate the African diaspora in a way that is really contemporary and compelling."

Bowen is influenced by his father, who is from Cote d'Ivoire, and his music uses everything from African chants and djembe drums to 808s smashed with steel drums. There are Caribbean vibes and reggae elements, as well. If this sounds like too much, it would be for most artists but Bowen uses a deft touch, keeping the music from sounding too complicated.

This can be heard on his recently released single "Gold," which features Sam Trump and members of Party Noire. His new EP, "AfroBang Vol. 3000," comes out Friday. The track begins with a vocal sample and transitions to a downtempo groove infused with the rhythms of hip-hop, the off-kilter inflections of jazz and the smooth vocal stylings of R&B. It is sophisticated music for the grown and sexy set.

Afrobang is not just a musical project, but a moment for people to come together. For Bowen, the project — which incorporates the sounds that have shaped and influenced him — can be a unifying force for the African diaspora. "I want Afrobang to grow into a movement and a collective and to work with artists from across the world," Bowen said. "I wanted people to think of Africa and how it can unify people through music."

Britt Julious is a freelancer.

Twitter @chitribent - Chicago Tribune

"Calid B. Says Bye Bye To The Parasites"

HipHopDX Exclusive Premiere: Calid B is a fresh new voice from Chicago. He steps out with his lead-off single for his Afrobang campaign with a video for “Parasites.” Afrobang, due out later this summer, is a fully-realized glance at several intonations of what R&B can be in today’s ever-expanding genre landscape. Pulling from vast influences from African Tribal music to new-age production techniques, Calid is able to blend new and old seamlessly into a new sound that is wholly his own.

This initial video, shot by Eryn Allen Kane and Austin Vesely-affiliated Nate Salter serves to underscore the kind of innate eye for aesthetic and sound the kid has and acts as a sort of prelude to what’s to come. With a wide section of his hometown’s creative community behind him, Calid stands poised to take off very soon, something that is becoming increasingly common in this part of the country. - Hip Hop DX

"PREMIERE: Chicago’s Calid B Presents An Ode To The Beautiful Sistas With “Gold” Single (AUDIO)"

Fresh from the Windy City comes producer/emcee Calid B. After recently releasing the video for “Parasites,” Calid is back with the single “Gold” from his forthcoming Afrobang album.

“Gold” represents the African tribal music mixed with new-age production that is the foundation of the Chicago based performer’s sound. Sam Trump and Party Noire aid Calid as the former ad man offers uplifting words for the ladies.... -

"Calid B. - Free The Watoto"

Making his 2018 debut, Calid B. finds the versatile producer Lord Haiti for his new track “Free The Watoto”. Skating over the symphonic beat of Lord Haiti, Calid champions the track with a strong message rooted in bringing more awareness to the systemic oppression of POC world wide. Digging into the production, Lord Haiti’s Quincy Jones esque soundscape drives home with a danceable beat from start to finish, a perfect backdrop for Calid’s jazz scattering rhymes to keep you in tune with a track that feels like it was built for the big screen. As a solo artist, Calid’s carefully curated sound has been going strong for the past two years. Beginning as a man behind the scenes through artist management and production, Calid’s self produced project AfroBang—featuring fellow musicians like Sam Trump and Boyang—became his official mark as a vocalist on the Chicago music scene.

Initially moving to Chicago from Ohio for grad school at Columbia College, Calid B. looks back on the windy city that gave him inspiration with fondness. “Chicago has played a huge role in my development as an artist. With it being an international city, Chicago definitely allowed me to experience music from all different cultures by attending all the different neighborhood festivals, and city events. And as a manager, I was also able to work with artists early in their career who’ve gone on to have great success, like Brandun DeShay, and Vic Mensa, which just made a career as an artist just seem more real and attainable.”

Along with Calid’s excitement of releasing his next body of work, AfroBang 2: The Son of Sogolon this summer, he’s expressed that he and his team are working hard to take everything to the next level. “I took a little break from performing, so I’m looking forward to getting back on stage [...] I also will be DJing and producing for other artists more this year, to really showcase my full range of skills and just keep giving my community dope content to vibe to.” With tracks like “Free The Watoto”, there’s no mistake that Calid B.’s AfroBang will be a household name in no time!

Find out more about Calid B. and his new song “Free The Watoto” in our exclusive Q&A below.

I’m aware of the Watoto Children choirs in Uganda, but what specifically about Chicago inspired you to create this song?

I always think about how my music will resonate with the youth when I’m creating. I feel like it’s my responsibility as an artist to not only tell my story but also create something inspirational for the next generation. I had the chance to work with the youth in Chicago, I volunteered with the Off The Street Club (OTSC) for a few years, which is an after school program for kids on the west side. And their stories still inspire me daily. Many of the kids I worked with had already experienced the death of close friends and family members often due to gang violence, but their resilience and boundless optimism was remarkable, and they always lit up when they saw me arrive. It gave me more validation that I have to create music that they will not only be inspired by, but can also use to rediscover their heritage. The title of this song, “Free The Watoto” or “Free The Children,” is a call to action to provide black and brown kids across the diaspora more opportunities to thrive and succeed. In a sense, this song is in the same spirit as Saul William’s “List of Demands,” that is calling out the corrupt system that is setup to have our kids fail, and also a song about self actualization, and the freedom that comes with knowing yourself.

Listening to your lyrics it’s evident that you’re speaking about the systemic oppression of POC, but I can’t help but feel the urge to dance to the beat. Do you feel it’s important for artist with socio-political messages to use thought provoking dance tracks to have their message heard? If so Why?

Haha I love it, thank you for dancing. I think it’s always powerful when you can weave in lyrical substance with dance records. M.I.A. is one of my favorite artists, and I’ve always admired how she does it. Kendrick is a master at that as well. Although I don’t think it’s always necessary, I do think it helps if you want your message to reach a broader audience. And for me, I started out as a producer, so it’s always been about the music first then lyrics.

This appears to be your first track with Lord Haiti but the chemistry is certainly there. How did you two get in tune to create this one?

Shout out to Lord Haiti for producing this one. I’d been a fan of his work for awhile, and invited him to our AfroBang Radio show for an interview, and we just instantly clicked and knew that we had to work together. When he came thru and played the beat for me at my home studio I went crazy lol. I knew it would be a banger as soon as it came on. I sat with the track for a few weeks just to catch a vibe, and then wrote the verse in my head, which is a new approach to writing for me, but I wanted it to come out as raw and natural as possible. Then I put some co-production touches on it and had my boy Julian Harris come thru and lay down the trumpet parts you hear, and give it that throwback Fela Kuti vibe. I really love how it came out and how it takes you on a journey as you listen through it. Me and Haiti have other records in the vault too, so stay tuned, yaya! - These Days News


AfroBang EP (2016)
Son of Sogolon LP (2018)



Calid B. is a Chicago based triple threat: producer,emcee, and DJ, pioneering his own sound and movement, Afrobang. Inspired by Calid’s upbringing as a first generation African, Afrobang unites the African diaspora through music and curated experiences. Calid’s early Afrobang influences were rooted in family with his father being from the Ivory Coast and his mother being from East Orange, New Jersey. Calid was able to use his childhood experience to authentically shape Afrobang and explore the beauty and similarities in black American culture and African culture. Since its inception in 2016, AfroBang has since built a global community of supporters through several music releases, a weekly radio show, and merchandise that is shifting the culture.

Calid’s Afrobang sound fuses together contemporary hip hop production such as trap drums, synths, and 808s with the tribal percussions and rhythms from across the African diaspora. In addition to the music, Calid’s lyrical ability to effortlessly drop gems about African culture and provide positive affirmations, while also keeping you dancing and moving, easily sets him apart as a dynamic songwriter.

Notable clients include, Apple, Lululemon, McDonald’s, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Family Dollar, Gimlet Media (The Nod, Civil Podcast), and Black Girl In Om.

In the summer of 2016, Calid released his debut EP, also titled AfroBang, to much acclaim. The album soundtracked the summer with hits like “Gold” ft Sam Trump and Party Noire, and garnered press from the Chicago Tribune, HipHopDx,,, and more.

Calid’s second album, AfroBang 2: The Son of Sogolon, dropped in August 2018, and has immediately gained praise for its message and production quality. Calid’s progression is evident with AfroBang 2, featuring standout records like “Mansa Musa,” “Free The Watoto,” and “All Night Long,” that all speak to unifying the culture.

Band Members