Mustafa Akbar and Chosen
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Mustafa Akbar and Chosen


Band R&B Funk


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"Mustafa Akbar and Chosen at Black Cat in DC"

Mustafa Akbar

A quick rendition of "Up for the Down Stroke" never hurt anybody, but there are better ways for a band to add Clintonian touches to a show. At the Black Cat on Friday night, singer Mustafa Akbar gave a nod to the founding father of '70s psychedelic funk by flanking himself with two red-clad, winged, afro-sporting women who looked as if they'd jumped off of the album cover for "One Nation Under a Groove."
The ladies followed choreographed moves that made them seem like robotic mannequins as the local funk/soul vocalist and his band, the Chosen, stirred up the audience with songs mostly taken from Akbar's 2003 disc, "Natural High." The Rastafarian leanings of the record's title track, with its chorus, "It's okay if you wanna get high, but you don't have to get so low," were coolly inspirational, and the easygoing groove of the dance song "Shake (The Party's Live)" was thickened by a breathy falsetto from Akbar -- who has appeared on projects of ESL drum 'n' bass act Thunderball and legendary hip-hop icon Afrika Bambaataa.
Akbar, who performed with rapper Cy Young and singer Muhsinah, was able to move the small crowd during his lively set, but as hard as he tried, he couldn't get the angels, whom he called his "painted ladies," to break form.
The women remained stoic and stiff even during "Dark Berry," when Akbar sang about the beauty of a "statuesque princess" with "mahogany skin" just inches from their faces. They finally succumbed to the rhythm during "I Want U 2," when Akbar's guttural wailing spurred them to rock and sway with the music.
-- Sarah Godfrey

- Washington Post


"Scorpio Rising" - Thunderball (ESL Music)
"Teak All Eye" - T. Kolai (Chillifunk Records, London)
"Dark Matter, Moving at the Speed of Light" - Afrika Bambaataa (Tommy Boy Records, NYC)
"The One" - Jon H. & Raskil (Fort Knox, WDC)
"Transitions" - various artists (Odara Productions, WDC)
"Natural High EP" - Mustafa Akbar (Odara Productions, WDC)
"Natual High Album" - Mustafa Akbar (Odara Productions)
"Sign of the times" (POJI Records - Baltimore, MD)



A Native Philadelphian, Mustafa Akbar has been touring the U.S. and internationally as lead vocalist for the Drum and Bass superstars, "Thunderball" (ESL Music), promoting their critically-acclaimed CD, "Scorpio Rising". This CD features the stand-out track "Heart of the Hustler", which displays Mustafa's singing and songwriting skills. You can also hear him on the dancehall smash, "Zouk", from the T. Kolai album, "Teak All Eye"(Chillifunk Records, London England), and on the hit tracks, "Touching You", by talk (Perfect Toy Records, Germany) and "Wonderful Life" by A.S.E. (Odara Productions, WDC).
Mustafa can also be heard on "Just a Smoke" from the album "Dark Matter: Moving At The Speed Of Light," a recent release by Afrika Bambaataa (Tommy Boy Records), as welll as many vocal contributions to the upcoming Fort Knox Five album and the new Thunderball album. "We make music to move the crowds world wide", says Mustafa, having shared stage with Thievery Corporation, De la soul, Los Amigos Invisibles and many other notable artists.

Mustafa now has his own full length album entitled "Natural High" (Odara Productions), a culmination of funk and afro-beat flavored dance tracks produced by Mustafa Akbar and various partners.

The Chosen is a high-energy funk band that Mustafa has formed to promote the "Natural High" album. The Chosen brings old school funk, hip-hop, and R&B grooves with a new dance vibe. This talented group of funk-minded musicians interprets Mustafa’s studio electronica, house, and dance compositions for the live stage. Tight and tasty, deep-pocket grooves with live, energetic flare sure to get bodies moving. The live band also adds an exciting improvisational element to Mustafa’s music. You’ve heard the silky studio tracks - now get down with Chosen.