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Washington, D.C., Washington, D.C., United States | INDIE

Washington, D.C., Washington, D.C., United States | INDIE
Band Hip Hop Soul


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The best kept secret in music


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day.break - Rock Slinger Incorporated 2007

Stacey Epps - Ruff Drafts Volume 1 / 2007
Little Brother- Getback / ABB 2007

Appears On:
Stacey Epps - Ruff Drafts Volume 1
DJ Roddy Rod - Blunt Park Sessions /Rawkus 2007
Cuba After Market (CD, Album) Without Regrets, Believe Humble Monarch Music 2007
Oddisee 101 Mix-Tape (File, MP3) The Beginning Oddisee (White) 2007
Producer No. 1 EP.01 (12") Without Regrets Fat City 2007
Suite903 No.15 (2xCD) Without Regrets Fader Label 2007


Feeling a bit camera shy


Having landed on the musical radar like some kind of a phantom battleship, this Washington D.C. native continues to fires away at us, sinking nay-sayers and making a name for herself at a rate which some might consider alarming. Appearing on a slew of independent releases this year, including Hezekiah’s “I Predict a Riot” (Rawkus), Little Brother’s “Get Back” (ABB), and DJ Roddy Rod’s “Cuba After Market”, Muhsinah has earned each and every title that’s been thrown her way- engineer/producer/composer/singer/songwriter/arranger/inspiration and the like. Contrary to popular misconception, Muhsinah was not dropped off on this planet by some enigmatic cosmic force; she hitched a ride on her own star.

Incontrovertibly born a slave to the rhythm, this classically trained pianist has spent countless hours honing her skills, banging on velocity sensitive pads and brushing the dust from neatly stacked records; well worn relics, left behind from her mother’s days as a dj. With influences spanning from classical to psychedelic, jazz to world and back, the freshly transplanted Brooklyn resident has gained a newfound appreciation for space and the sound within the space.

day.break - The official debut from the 24 year old phenom, is a culmination of these sounds. Entirely self-produced, day.break is in a sense a heartfelt homage to her inspirations, filled with thoughtful compositions and inspired wordplay. Often times, snatching inspiration right out of the air, Muhsinah employs whatever sonic element she sees fit to complete her hip hop braised, soul compositions which appear to fall perfectly on the tastier side of experimental.

“A.M.” is our introduction to day.break. With it’s swirling harp solo, reminiscent of jazz great Alice Coltrane, Muhsinah’s layers her signature reverse vocal like a golden short-stack luring us to a dream-like state where are handed this breakfast in bed… which is swiftly snatched from under our chins by a morning alarm. We are awakened to “Reconstrut”, taken from day.break bonus track, “Reconstruction”, a remix of “Construction” from Muhsinah’s self-released - The Oscillations EP of 2005.

It is at this point that Muhsinah’s growth as an artist should be marked, as she exhibits her ability to reinvision “classic hip hop” as “progressive future soul”. Leaving behind the key elements the made “Construction” a song adored by fans across the board, she manages to float ethereal vocals over rotund basslines and Rhodes-like roads in a way that makes the new version one to be adored on it’s own; all the while maintaining the songs proactive sentiment. It gets up and out, and sets the stage for everything that follows.

With tracks like “Discovery”, “Gogh” and “Only and Always” Muhsinah’s knack for evoking a head-nod seems almost intrinsic; all the while, her overall choice of words and expressions leaves her hovering somewhere between that of a self-indulgent flower-child and post-modern idealist.

In a matter of minutes the listener is auto-magically made privy to the events and experiences that brought her to this point and they are seduced. Perhaps that’s why those who learned the proper pronunciation of her name, speak it with such conviction. In a day and age where digital mediums are king, Muhsinah’s mp3s are treated less like currency and more like precious stones, used to adorn pocket players the world over like badges of honor, or tribal markings. With a name that translates to “doer of good deeds” it’s no wonder Muhsinah is unwittingly saving music, a noble deed indeed.