FIYAWATA
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FIYAWATA

| INDIE

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Band Hip Hop Reggae

Calendar

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Jun
19
FIYAWATA @ Ashenaz

Berkeley, California, USA

Berkeley, California, USA

May
17
FIYAWATA @ Navy Pier

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Chicago, Illinois, USA

May
07
FIYAWATA @ MOSSWOOD PARK

Communitree, California, USA

Communitree, California, USA

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This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

Press


What would commercial music ever be if there never was an underground? Let's face it, at one time, way back in the day in American history mainstream music was underground, word of mouth buzz was the radio and the live show was the video. These days a virtually talentless individual, with the help of modern digi-audio technology could be packaged, produced and audio tuned to into the next "wannnabe enigma." To that I say Thank GOD for the likes of FIYAWATA, a super musical married couple that serves as the vanguard for quality sound and entertainment.

This talented pair brands thier musical genre as "dubHIP-HOProckinsoul" and has been likened to The Roots, The Fugees when they got it right, Kindred and a unisex Blackstar (Mos & Kweli). They blend Studio One reggae vocal stylings and soulful melodies to ruggedly lyrical rhymes and rocked-out boom bap beats.

While the world is still waking up to their Bay Area by way of NYC vibe, both east and west coasts have been blessed by their positive and amazing performances. If you have yet to wet your palate with some FIYAWATA you can get a chance on Saturday October 6 @ DeeCee's Soul Shakedown Party @ Club 6 (they go on at around 11:40pm).

Also, along side the "dubspittin" dynamic duo are Bay area phenoms FEMI and the legendary Boogieshack. A roster so potent had to be coupled by the wax selections of the world renowned Wake up Show's DJ REVOLUTION, Jah Warrior Shelter HiFi founder Rocker T and members Jah Yzer and Irie Dole. Champion sound kings TD Camp, King Most, Stepwise and DJ Ready complete the bill.

Don't miss one of the biggest shows of 07!!



Event Information:
Saturday, October 06, 2007
10:00 PM - 4:00 AM
21+
cover: TBD | $5 before 10:30 pm; Free b4 11 pm with RSVP
music: Hip Hop, r&b, dancehall and reggaeton

RSVP:
http://true-skool.org/index.htm

Venue Information:
Club Six
60 Sixth St.
hidden between Market/Mission
San Francisco, CA 94103
415.863.1221
http://www.clubsix1.com/
view map

Links:
http://myspace.com/fiyawatacrew
http://www.myspace.com/djrevolution
http://www.myspace.com/deecee - www.fusicology.com


It's the year 2000 and as a New York City subway train screeches through the tunnel on its way to Brooklyn, Ambessa the Articulate is passing out flyers for a party he is promoting. As he passes Zakiya Harris, a potential partygoer, he hands her a flier and eases into a light conversation. He is drawn to her natural beauty, she to his shy, yet engaging demeanor. His simple party flyer turns out to be an inviation to something much more. Months go by and they strike up a friendship and soon become inseparable, slowly building a connection that they now say will last a lifetime.

Flash forward to 2007. The two are now three years married. But unlike most typical couples, this pair figured out a way to turn their unique chemistry and love of music into something more. They have become the musical duo known as FiyaWata and have created a musical force that steps outside commercial hip hop boundaries and challenges gender norms portrayed in American popular culture.


"We can truly bring another perspective to the game because we both come hard, we're both classy, we're extreme, intense, and all out driven," said Ambessa. "We're the group and we're male and female. We re both dominant."

Zakiya the Sagittarius and Ambessa the Aquarius, thier groups name, FiyaWata, describes the heavy concentrations of both fire and water in their astrological signs.

"It's the balance of extremes," said Ambessa. "Yin and Yang, Man and Woman. Two elements that can both create and destroy."

Lyrically shying away from musical norms, this duo challenges gender ideals and representations promoted in much of hip hop and American popular culture.
In today's commercial hip hop where men are often defined by their money, sexual prowess, dominance, and power, Ambessa the MC fails to fall into these stereotypical portrayals, challenging them through his music.

"This music game is run from a small insecure boy's perspective," said Ambessa. "A lot of these guys are misguided and don't want to grow up. Some are afraid to change because their afraid of what that change may mean. And this is something that is very male and very wack. People need to take more of a female perspective."

Zakiya, who MCs and sings says that womens power portrayed in hip hop is often based on their physical appearance, solidified by their sexuality and lack of self respect. Although Zakiya says she used to define herself in that way, she no longer feels that way.



"I don't judge because I used to be a video [girl]," said Zakiya. "I [used to be] insecure and I thought getting validated by some man made me feel good. I had low self-esteem. But now, I represent something different. I just have way to much love and respect for myself. I just hold myself and my body in such a level of esteem now and knowing who I am that there's just certain things that I won't do and I still feel beautiful and I still feel confident."

First breaking onto the music scene with a five-person black rock, hip hop group known as Drumm, in New York, the two branched off in early 2001 to create FiyaWata. Moving to the Bay Area in August of 2001, FiyaWata came into their own, performing at local venues and building the buzz around their name.

Citing inspirations from Gladys Knight to Gnarles Barkley, Mos Def, and Jah, FiyaWata infuses dub, hip hop, soul, and Latin-inspired rhythms with their penetrating lyrics and mature subject matter.

"Music is not this commercial thing for us," said Zakiya. "Its very personal. Its intimate."

"We talk about solutions to problems," adds Ambessa. "We're idealists."

Through their message of spiritual enlightenment, activism, and street life, FiyaWata stretches the definition of what hip hop is and can be. Forbidden & Forgotten, a song about the underclass, brings light to the dim reality of people, history, and things that are often pushed aside and forgotten.

Sweatshops dont stop; in the land of hard knocks; where second chances are forbidden; and being poor is forgotten, Zakiya sings.

Slated for an upcoming U.S. tour as well as a new mixtape and album set to hit streets in late May and August, FiyaWata is gearing up to deliver their sound and message to fans, both old and new.

Though challenging at times, Ambessa and Zakiya both agree that being in a group and in a loving relationship is what God intended for both of them.

"Ive been on the stage sometimes with him just really feelin the vibe and being able to look into his eyes and just share this high vibration with him on a musical level and then be like whoa, this is my man too", said Zakiya. "Its just very complete and whole to me. The reward is wonderful music." - Maya Pope-Chappell


Fiyawata front-duo Ambessa the Articulate and Zakiya Harris came together to battle the homogeneity of hip-pop radio, blending hip-hop, reggae, Afro-Latin, and soul, backed by a live band. If you haven't seen this group perform live before then prepare to be AMAZED. The Oakland outfit appears this weekend at an event promising to be just as diverse -- FlyLove at Oaklandish Ise Lyfe also performs, and DJs Sake-1 and Yaddos turn the party out further. Expect food, a raffle, and a dance competition hosted by Rashidi (Company of Prophets). 8 p.m., $10. Oaklandish.org, 510-451-2677. -- Stefanie Kalem - East Bay Express


Rising teenage stars from Raparations and B.U.M.P. Records take the stage at Oakland's Frank Ogawa Plaza Saturday, along with hot local groups like the Rasta-influenced Fiyawata a hot new group that has taken the bay by stormand Richmond's popular duo the Frontline, the emcees who pioneered that yodel-ish siren sound that has already become clichéd in regional hip-hop. Sponsored by Let's Get Free -- an organization dedicated to curbing the tide of youth incarceration -- the aptly titled "Not Down with the Lockdown" concert also features Company of Prophets, BoogieShack, DJ Treat U Nice, and others. The free show kicks off at noon. (Rachel Swan) - East Bay Express


Discography

Live In The Raw EP
Destined Nation Media
Summer 2005

This Is A Journey Into Sound
Destined Nation Media
Spring Summer 08

Journey N2 Sound
Destined Nation Media
Fall 08'

Photos

Bio

FIYAWATA
According to Fiyawata, the radio is a great example of what NOT to do. Fiyawata finds its pride of artistry in the fact that it steers clear of tired convention and strives always to create music that is original. As evidence of this musical ethic, look no farther than the band's music. Fiyawata boasts a signature sound, the mark of aural auteurs. Distinct songwriting flavors permeate every tune that Fiyawata writes and records. This group of musicians isn't interested in finding its place in the current scheme of things. Instead, Fiyawata is only happy carving its own niche.

Talent Convergence
Bringing together personalities from opposite ends of the country – Ambessa from Brooklyn, New York and Zakiya from Oakland, CA – these two have joined their talents in the Bay Area in order to forge a formidable new sound. Fiyawata's sound consists of a heady blend of hip-hop stylings, reggae groovaliciousness, deep and powerful soul and Afro-Latin elements. It's a transcendent brew and it's a good thing, too, considering what Fiyawata has to say. “Our message is a fine concoction of spiritual enlightenment, activism and day-to-day street life.”

Stage Time
Fiyawata has earned a special place in the realm of music and the band's popularity continues to grow. Fiyawata's magnificent music has earned the opportunity to share the stage with the likes of Yellowman, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Planet Asia, Latoya London, Blackalicious, Dead Prez, Killa Mike, Zion-I, Prophets of Rage and the Crown City Rockers. Fiyawata has appeared at such noteworthy venues as Studio Z, Last Day Saloon, New College of California, The Oakland Box Theater, The Jahva House, Blake's of Berkeley, CB's Gallery, Wetlands and Nkiru Books.

Erotic Sorcery
Fiyawata's self-described “dubHIPHOP and rocking soul” is a potent brand of spellweaving. “Our music is high frequency medicinal erotic sorcery that sways humanity into cosmic ecstasy.” Indeed, Fiyawata's music is utterly compelling, luring the listener into a transcendent trance. There is fun to be had here, but this is an experience that extends well beyond mere entertainment. For Fiyawata, music is a being that makes the listener feel “ecstatic, energetic, all-powerful, vibrant and like God.”

The Artist at Work
Fiyawata is busy planning a Fall 2007 East Coast Tour. Meanwhile, writing and recording are under way. The band is in the process of wrapping up work on a mixtape entitled “This Is a Journey Into Sound.” A new album, “Journeys of a Destined Nation,” has also been announced. Guaranteed to be icons in hip-hop and the entire field of music, Fiyawata is the inspiration the world has been seeking for a very long time and at last this long-sought force of music is here to turn the party out.

“You could call Fiyawata hip-hop, but that would be kind of like calling Jimi Hendrix a guitarist.”