Blk Odyssy

Blk Odyssy

Event Time Sun 20th Oct at 7:00pm-Sun 20th Oct at 11:00pm
Event Location The Deaf Institute, Manchester
The Deaf Institute
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Blk Odyssy

BLK ODYSSY project is pushed by liberation. On his first album under this new moniker, titled BLK

VINTAGE, BLK ODYSSY―born and raised in Plainfield, NJ, based in Austin, TX― dives into his personal

history as a Black musician and the world he's grown up around. It's an album deeply informed by

individual experiences but applied to the plight of Black Americans everywhere. Even when the

album chooses smooth vibes and laid back lyrics in favor of overt activism, there's a philosophical

bent that inspires BLK ODYSSY's work. BLK VINTAGE is inspired by a few key moments and artists.

There's the death of BLK ODYSSY's brother, who was killed at the hands of police officers while BLK

ODYSSY was living in New Jersey. It's the seminal moment of BLK ODYSSY's life, the moment he was

forced to become an adult and reckon with the harsh reality of being Black in America. It fuels

everything he does, especially his activism.

After making a name for himself as an Americana musician, BLK ODYSSY decided to ditch the

popularity he gained in favor of creating music that would reflect his own experiences and

worldview. The result is BLK ODYSSY, and this first project, BLK VINTAGE, moves with the urgency of

an artist finally realizing their true sound. "I want to create something that will be culturally impactful

for my people. I want to do something that is impactful on a larger scale, something that is for groups

of Black people across the country." There's "1980," which slinks with the rich funk-soul of artists like

Anderson .Paak and Knxwledge, but BLK ODYSSY's half-rapped cadence is wholly unique and utterly

intoxicating. The moments of levity hit equally as hard as the work refracted through the trauma BLK

ODYSSY has experienced. Still, though, BLK ODYSSY has the rare ability to present multiple sides of

himself. "Hang Low" is a sultry love jam, strutting with velvet harmonies and a bass line straight out

of the Pino Palladino school of indestructible grooves.

The good times occasionally give way to introspection and remembrance, though. The death of BLK

ODYSSY's brother makes its way into the powerful "Drinking Good," but he balances it with a desire

to inspire the next generation. "My goal is to connect with the black youth, and my goal is to connect

with my people and speak to them on a level where we can stop suffering from happening," he

explains. "There's only so much we can do for the dead. This record asks: 'How can we stop this from

happening again?'" Though the music is deeply tied to BLK ODYSSY's own identity, he speaks a

universal music in his language, one easily relatable for those that want to see a better world.

Neo-soul artists like D'Angelo and socially conscious MCs like Kendrick Lamar are clear touchstones,

but BLK ODYSSY also takes cues from the celebratory funk of Parliament who also came from

Plainfield, on tracks like "Funketology." "All the musicians that I grew up with are relatives of

Parliament members. We grew up in that culture, it inspires who we are," explains BLK ODYSSY. This

potent combination of politically-charged street anthems, party-ready funk jams, and top-down,

head-nodding beats makes BLK VINTAGE a sterling debut and one of the most powerful and timely

releases of the year. BLK ODYSSY speaks to his predecessors, but the new concoction is all his own.

It's a triumphant testament to Black power, a message to the kids that look like him that there's

someone in their corner. "The Black youth has been poisoned numb because of the shit we have to

deal with," BLK ODYSSY explains. "I want to speak to our experiences and let people know it's okay to

shed that layer and really, truly feel."

Venue

The Deaf Institute
135 Grosvenor St, Manchester M1 7HE, UK
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