The Traprock Misfit
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The Traprock Misfit

Hampton, Virginia, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2015 | SELF

Hampton, Virginia, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2015
Solo Pop Rock




"The Traprock Misfit (a.k.a. K'bana Blaq) has big plans for show at Downing-Gross"

K'bana Blaq thinks big. It's part of his mystique.

Blaq - singer for the ever-popular Fuzz Band, and a solo artist under the stage name The Traprock Misfit - has a date to perform at the Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center in Newport News on Aug. 14.

But it would be too simple to just do a concert featuring songs from his outstanding "Blaqmagie" album, which came out early this year. A concert? Anyone could do that.

K'bana Blaq wants to do more. That's why he has designed an elaborate stage show called "The Chronicles of Blaqmagie." It will feature video images, live dancers, a voice-over narration and a scripted storyline that tells the story of how he came to make the "Blaqmagie" album.

Blaq says the show will feature a dozen of the songs from that CD, ones he selected that are particuarly connected to themes of overcoming obstacles and defeating self-doubt.

"I wanted it to be a visual representation of the whole experience of the album," he told me. "It's going to include some songs that I don't normally get to perform when I'm on tour and playing clubs. At a club, you have to play more upbeat stuff, not a lot of ballads. At this show, there will be some ballads, and costume changes and a lot of really great stuff."

Blaq said the idea for this show came from that stage play he wrote and produced at The American Theatre last winter, "O Where, O Where is my Christmas Tree." That was another example of his penchant for doing more than "just a concert," and he was thrilled with the experience.

Comedian Gary Mitchell, who performed in "Christmas Tree," will also be a part of the "Chronicles" show at Downing-Gross. Calan Bryant did the choreography for the Reaction dancers. And Blaq wrote a script that reflects the dialogue he had with himself while trying to develop the confidence to make his solo album.

"You're going to hear the dark voices in my head, and some of the things I heard people say, or some of the things I thought people were saying," Blaq said. "There were people who didn't think I was ready, or didn't think I was commercial enough. I had to challenge myself to beat those voices."

Tickets, priced at $20, are on sale now through Eventbrite. Purchase by Aug. 2, and you can also gain free admission to the One Band, One Sound artist workshop that will be held at Downing-Gross before the show.

For full details, call Downing-Gross at 757-247-8950. - Mike Holtzclaw (Daily Press)

"Fuzz Band's K'bana Blaq brings his songs to life"

K'bana Blaq can't help himself. It is simply in his DNA to push the limits of creativity.

Given an opportunity to perform at The American Theatre in Hampton last year, he couldn't bring himself to just sing his songs with a band behind him. Instead, he wrote and produced a full-length dramatic play that led up to a climactic concert scene.

Likewise, when he appears at the Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center in Newport News this weekend, he won't just be singing songs from his recent CD "Blaqmagie." Instead, he will present them within the context of a multi-media performance that depicts the process of creating that CD, his debut as a solo artist.

"I always want to strive and challenge myself to do something different," Blaq said. "I always want a performance to be theatrical, to take people on a journey.

"When I first went our tour to promote 'Blaqmagie,' I was trying to give people a different opportunity to experience my music. But around here, I feel like they know my show and the know the songs I sing. I didn't want to be predictable, so I tried to come up with a new way to present them."

The result is "The Chronicles of Blaqmagie," which he will perform at Downing-Gross on Friday night. The show will combine elements of an R&B concert and a play, along with 18 dancers and images projected on a big video screen. There will also be an opening set by local comedian Gary Mitchell.

Blaq, a Hampton native who sings with the popular funk group The Fuzz Band, also uses the stage name Traprock Misfit for his solo work. He said he wrote the dramatic portion of "The Chronicles of Blaqmagie" to reflect the struggles he encountered in writing and recording the album.

"You're going to see and hear the dark voices in my head, and some of the things I heard people say or that I thought people were saying," Blaq said. "I had to challenge myself to beat those voices in my head that told me I wasn't good enough, or that it wasn't commercial enough. But once I beat them, I feel my purpose more than ever before. If I didn't go through anything, I wouldn't be anything."

Calan Bryant, who operates the Reaction dance studio in Newport News, did the choreography for the young dancers in the show, who range in age from 9-20. He said he found it "very euphoric" to work with Blaq on the show.

"You don't find many people with his level of ambition and creativity," Bryant said. "The challenge is the most fun part of it. K'bana is so animated in his music that it gives you another insight into the production. He want to work with other creative people, and give them that creative freedom to develop ideas. The movement of the dancers needs to bring his music to life."

The show will feature a dozen songs from the "Blaqmagie" disc — mostly up-tempo numbers such as "You Can't Hold Me Down" and "Pushing."

Blaq said it has been gratifying to see the various elements of the performance come together during the rehearsals.

"In my mind, I had this image of the show," Blaq said. "I was seeing dancers, hearing me talking to myself, visuals on a big screen. Then I got with a couple of good people to work with, and it all became real. I'm very happy with the idea of a visual representation of the whole experience of the album."

Holtzclaw can be reached by phone at 757-928-6479. Follow his entertainment blog at

Want to go?

What: "Chronicles of Blaqmagie," featuring K'bana Blaq

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Where: Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center, 2410 Wickham Avenue in Newport News

Admission: $20, available online at

Info: 757-247-8950 or - Mike Holtzclaq (Daily Press)

"Under the Hypnotic Spell of Blaq Magie"

Traprock Misfit, aka K’Bana Blaq, is known to many as the flamboyant male vocalist in The Fuzz Band, a Hampton-based R&B group known for its cross-over appeal, whether taking on soul, hip hop, rock, jazz or ‘80s synth-pop.

K’Bana also has an emerging solo career and has released a fabulous, trippy 14-track album titled “Black Magie.” The album explores the cosmos of contemporary R&B, electronic, punk rock, hip hop, gospel and jazz. The first single “I’m Not Perfect” is ready for primetime.

I recently caught up with multi-faceted entertainer to learn more about the creation of the album. Here’s an excerpt of our conversation.

Let’s start with the album cover artwork where you resemble Teddy Pendergrass. You are known for switching your image quite a bit, but what’s behind this particular look?

I really wanted to go vinyl. That why I did my release at Groove Records. I wanted an album cover as opposed to a CD cover. Album covers are classic. I just remember my dad’s albums: Barry White, Teddy Pendergrass, Marvin Gaye, they always had those great headshots and they always wore beards. I also always liked the stars and the Commodores kind of feel.

I wanted people to see it (the cover) and have it remind them of the past but be trendy enough to remind them of the present. I actually did my own graphics for the background. I was very proud of that.

How did you decide on the album title?

I got it from Mike Holtzclaw of the Daily Press. He did a story on me for the play at American Theatre. The article was titled Blaq Magic. I was, like, “Wow, I really like that name.” But I didn’t want anyone to get too hocus pocus on me. It’s just a name. These days everybody makes a big deal about everything. Social media is like a blessing and a curse.

So I thought, “Well, what does magic mean in another language?” I said it out loud and someone was standing beside me and said, “Magie.” It looked good. It felt good. Basically, that’s where the stars and everything came from.

My brand of music is unique and it’s different. I just want to get people to drift off, escape, party, dance, and cry a little bit. That’s where “I’m Not Perfect” came from. I wanted to draw on people’s emotions again.

When I listen to the tracks they’re very chilled, cosmic. What was the overall sound you were going for?

At first it was the hybrid of hip hop, rock and soul being as my voice is soulful and I love edgy beats. Once I started doing the project I felt like I’m not really doing an album. I’ve done many projects and I felt like they were mix tapes. When I was doing this record I felt I just have a melting pot sound. That’s what happens when they hear my stuff. It’s the same thing when they see me. They don’t really know what to expect. But when they get it, they’re, like, “Yo, that was great.” But it’s really a melting pot sound – good folk and blues; you can feel churchy kind of things; you can feel edgy rock. I have somehow figured out a way to be musical without being too much. I don’t think I’ve overdoing it; it’s just natural. And I have to give it to The Fuzz Band because being in that band it allowed me to always do new things. Like I just finished singing Mumford & Sons “Below My Feet” and I’m in love with it and I’m adding it to my show. I would have never done it if it wasn’t for the person requesting it. So it’s always great to learn new things. It is the first record where I actually getting real responses.

I detect a little bit of Prince in your voice. Having seen you perform, I understand that. How has Prince influenced you, even if subliminally?

You know I did not realize how much influence Prince had on me until I did my performance at the VEER Awards. I had sung Prince, and always thought it was funny because I’m a baritone. Prince was definitely a tenor. So I was always surprised I could sing Prince. My first favorite Prince album was “Controversy.” My favorite song was “Private Joy.” I love how out-of-the-box he was. I love his look, even from the eyeliner and all these crazy things. The androgynous stuff I do I pull from him. Him and Little Richard, James Brown and Michael Jackson really have influenced me as a performer. Musically, my roots are embedded in gospel, like the soulful sound that comes from me, even though I’m not a gospel singer.

You really weave that gospel vibe with contemporary R&B and electronic in places. With so many different producers on these 14 tracks, I amazed at the overall cohesiveness of the sound. How did you manage this?

Not only do I have a number of producers but the two main producers are DJs. I have DJ Kalismeo and I have DJ Alien 1. DJ Alien 1 is my MD. I do not have a traditional band.

One of the things that made me go to these DJs was the fact that they’re connected to radio. They play a lot of music that is underground. So their ears are far more sensitive than ours. I’ve been working with these two people for two years. The first song we did, which was “Snakes,” it kind of predicted where I would go. I tell people all the time if I had to be under an umbrella I would easy be classified under a Pharrell. Some of the beats of the early N*E*R*D especially.

DJ Kalismeo is in Atlanta. He would just start sending beats. DJ Alien 1 would do beats. I had the honor of working with Derrick Braxton. Armani Wadley is the featured rap on “You Can’t Hold Me Down,” and he produced it at age 16. I’m open to doing not just for seasoned people but young people as well. I also worked with vocalists, which was different for me because most everything I have done I have been vocally the driving force. The reason I love Luther Vandross is he would never feel the pressure of having to do background vocals. He had singer-singers in the background, and I thought they fit. I say, “Well, let me try that.” - Veer Magazine

"Traprock Misfit (a.k.a. K'bana Blaq) has new CD and new video"

K'bana Blaq will be at Groove Records in Norfolk on Saturday, in his current guise as the Traprock Misfit, to mark the release of the CD version of his album "Blaqmagie."

Blaq, a Hampton entertainer best known as one of the vocalists for the ever-popular Fuzz Band, made the album digitally available for one day on his webiste at a discounted price ($1.11 on Jan. 11). Now it is coming out digitally and on CD, with several new tracks added. It will be available on iTunes and other online outles.

Click here for details from the performer himself.

The album is terrific, reflecting many different influences as well as the work of eight different producers. The result is a wickedly cool sonic soup of many flavors, with lots of grooves and intensely dance-able tunes like "Pumped Up."

The video for the first track, "I'm Not Perfect," will also be released on Saturday. Click here to see the new video for "I'm Not Perfect."

The live event will be from 1-3 p.m. Saturday at Groove Records, located at 401 Granby Street in Norfolk, Suite A. For info, call 757-622-4523. - Mike Holtzclaw (Daily Press)

"It's gotta be the shoes"

A “fashion shoe show” in Hampton on Thursday night will serve as a fundraiser for Parents Against Bullying Virginia.

The show, called Walking Against the Bully, is from 7-9 p.m. at Bryant & Stratton College in Peninsula Town Center. Admission is free.

K’bana Blaq, the Hampton R&B musician who organized the event and will serve as emcee, said in a press release: “Entertainment has always been a great way to send a message and/or to get a point across. We envision an event that combines statistical data, audible and visual references, testimonies as well as the modeling of a variety of shoes that represent the various types of people and ethnic groups being targeted by bullies.”

For details, call 757-592-3026. - Mike Holtzclaw (Daily Press)

"Interview: K'bana Blaq"

Hi Kbana, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

I have been doing great!!! I feel like a crazy man for the pass few months trying to get this CD done but I would not change a thing.

Let´s talk about your new EP BlaqMagie – what´s the story behind the title?

Blaqmagie the title actually came from a entertainment journalist named Mike Holtzclaw from the Daily Press. I just finished wrapping up my first written and directed play in December called “Oh!Where Oh! Where is my Christmas Tree” and the Daily Press did a front page story on it and titled it “BLAQ MAGIC” I loved it and it felt perfect because I wanted to create a CD that everyone could get into and escape into my magical musical world of Blaq.

How was the recording and writing process?

I love it but I’m still on the indie grind so the hours,places and sleepless nights to meet my deadline were a pain in the butt lol. The studio is like me going to a therapist and letting go of every emotion possible or even finding out something I did not know was inside me until write it out and sing it. I live for the process of creating…

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics in this record?

Just living my life and seeing others live there life.

How do you feel about the reception given so far?

Two words…I’M HYPED!!!

Will you be hitting the road this year?

Of course…colleges,venues,etc. I MUST PERFORM THAT IS MY FIRST LOVE!!!

What else is happening next in Kbana Blaq´s world?

In March I will be in my first movie “Employee of the Year” Directed by Charles Farmer and that is really exciting and I just want to be the type of phenomenon that I had when I was kid like Prince,Michael Jackson and Marvin Gaye but with a twist because I still want to be uniquely me. - RJ Frometa (Vents Magazine)



Traprock Misfit, aka K’Bana Blaq, is known to many as the flamboyant male vocalist in The Fuzz Band, a Hampton-based R&B group known for its cross-over appeal, whether taking on soul, hip hop, rock, jazz or ‘80s synth-pop.

K’Bana also has an emerging solo career as The Traprock Misfit, who's music is a delicious sonic stew of contemporary R&B, electronic, punk rock, hip hop, gospel and jazz. The endlessly creative composer, performer and artist reflects global appeal with a humbleness rarely seen in artist of his stature. His critically acclaimed 2015 album, Blaqmagie, introduced many to a sound and idea that hasn't been seen nor heard before.

Band Members