What is “The Brooklyn Word“? Well it’s a multimedia “5D” concept created by urban music arts and technology specialist Gibril Kuyateh aka GiKu who hails from Crown Heights, Brooklyn. His mother is from Ahoskie, North Carolina and migrated to Brooklyn while his father left Freetown, Sierra Leone in the 70’s for a life in the DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia area). It explains his affinity for African and cultured rhythms.
After working in branding/advertising and technology, he decided he had all the tools to be an effective communicator of urban culture and multi-disciplinary creative. He explores hip hop, soul, funk, afrobeat and house/electronic with this project and its relationship with issues going on worldwide and not just the urban communities. Twisting the message into a digestible work of sound art for ever type of listener.
It’s more than just a compilation of sounds, it’s a message to inspire when one listen’s closely.
Can you tell us a little more about what you mean by multimedia?
Gibril: Multimedia means that it incorporates more than one form of artistic expression. There is the creation of sound, the art that followed and its visual imagery. I’m also dancing in it as well as the eye capturing it all.
5 experimental films will be released on www.gikumusic.com and will draw listeners further into the world of The Brooklyn Word. The others will be created and uploaded every 7 days for till all 5 are out.
“5D” (5 dimensional) in the way the sounds are mixed/layered and purposely distorted at times, very gritty or choppy. All intentional, I wanted it to sound like I was listening to my radio in my room back in the day and shit.
I’m still experimenting and perfecting it, but it should almost sound like your in another world if you close your eyes. Also it should be able to turn the volume completely up and the sound will maintain its structural integrity.
I go off the feeling of sound as opposed to standard ways of mixing/mastering… its what feels right at the moment. Anything different can always be added later as needed. Plus its all so personal, I’d hate for an element, beat, note, essence get lost at the discretion of the engineer. The only way to control that is to be independently involved…. (sigh, smh).
Great attention was paid to every little detail and nuance of this project. Once things began it just flowed and I began connecting to it in a different and organic way. Producing wasn’t enough, I had to explore a deeper artistic fantasy and allow it to take over. And it did…”
Were there any challenges?
Gibril: “The hardest part was getting people to believe in my vision enough to want to work with and contribute their energy. Didn’t always work out, but each time it didn’t I filled the void either myself or with the dope artist that did contribute and made it work with no excuses. It didn’t matter if it was a rough cut or what, i found a way to make it work. In all honesty, I needed that to happen in order to graduate to the next level of creativity.
Now thats the easiest part to deal with… i just don’t care anymore and have stepped away from all non supportive energy. Need to keep my energy pure ya know.
I’m focused watching this growth, its amazing because its easy in terms of coming out. The ideas aren’t stopping, its exhaustive but independently invigorating to not have to rely on anyone for help with getting your creative artistic ideas out.
There are mad people that say they mean well, but that really don’t want to see you succeed. But some things are inevitable and I give them the finger, in my mind of course. No more talking, I’m confident with the quality and originality of whats coming out now, it’s saying everything it needs to say.
I’ve connected to the spiritual but universal creative energy that is supplying me endless inspiration. I can’t fuck up this blessing by redirecting the focus on bullshit. I speak in art output, any response should be done the same…
What precipitated the project?
Gibril: “The project started in January 2015, but it was as a result of my Macbook crashing with everything I ever created musically/visually + my music collection. It was like summer/fall. 5 months of heartache and mental preparation followed. I vowed to install a fail safe and to return to creating music, hosting my radio show (GXKRS on Brooklyn Radio), writing and film making.
All I had was some music on a few hard drives but I did find all my old cd’s from high school/college. Basically everything that inspired me from 1980-1998, which is when I stopped collecting cd’s. I was always a hip hop and soul head, but many don’t know I was into jazz and classical at an early age and played the piano and flute. So I spent all that time fine tuning the Dj Skills, scratching, mixing on the CDJ’s and producing in my head cause the macbook died.
I didn’t want to touch the piano if I couldn’t make a song/beat/remix. Was the hardest thing to do, but necessary. So I started filming everything I was apart of for the summer. Completely sucked that I didn’t have the funds to get the equipment I really needed to get out the ideas at the speed I needed to. My brain was about to explode!
One day, I was talking to my man Jedi (Philly Producer) on New Years Eve/Day. I vibed about how we needed to set an artistic goal and commit to it, putting forth all the energy in our body to make it come to fruition. Attracting success with true intentions and will. I set my goals of not being a dude releasing music on Sound Cloud and being about my business.
Now I have a multimedia audio/video studio and everything I need. Completely content and thankful to the creator for the blessings and good energy.
Ya see, I now wanna be apart of the music I love and not just produce, but be a songwriter, help artist conceptually, film artistic energy, create brand strategies and assist in the arrangement of an album creating multimedia sound design concepts. And it will come, because my intent and output is pure and original.
Whats going on with your indie label GiKu Music?
You’ll hear after this project drops. There’s alot that didn’t make it and everything that your hearing was created for this project but the real rhythms are hidden in layers for later use. Each track has about 4 or 5 versions at least and there are about 20 other joints. Thats will be released in addition to remixes of The Brooklyn Word and instrumentals.
So You DJ as well?
Gibril: “Yea, most people still don’t know I do or think I must not be nice because they never heard of me. It’s interesting because my radio show started on the very respected Giant Step (in NYC) and if anyone knows about Giant Step, you know they are selective and housed only a handful of the best radio shows (i think there about 10 of em) on their site. This is the same Giant Step that released Dwele’s first album and had the some of the dopest events in the city in the early 2000’s.
The most popular radio shows were Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide show, I believe LeFto, Jonessey and a few others… all dope and highly respected. So to be in that company gave me faith because I respect Gilles and the others.
My show performed well in terms of numbers, I’m not sure why people think I don’t have an ear or the awareness of how to mix. But honestly all it takes is listening to the show and it will all sink in, the type of energy thats put into it.
Once I returned from a hiatus, changed the name from The GiKu Experience RadioShow In Brooklyn to the GKXRS in Brooklyn. It continued to do very well on mixcloud and a partnership formed with Brooklyn Radio. I liked what they were doing and felt like it would be a great place to share my work.
I hit em up and explained that I have ideas and want to bring my show to their site. They were cool and enthusiastic by it, giving me the freedom to submit. I appreciated that trust and respect but knew I’d return the energy with a unique sounding show that would gain in popularity the longer it was up.
Took some time, but now it consistently performs as a top 10 music cloudcast in each category thats its in on a site called Mixcloud. To put that into perspective, most Dj’s in the world have a show on Mixcloud, so it’s technically going head to head against 10’s of thousands daily uploads of the best (respectfully speaking) and performing in the 1-10th spot.
I don’t worry about the metrics/numbers, it can distract you and throw you off ya game. I did, now i’m aware of it but not emotionally attached.
But I put mad work in the shows to create different “Xperience” than others often remixing an entire 1-2hr show, like no one does it and really doesn’t make much sense. But that’s what my crazy ass does, create as I go. That hard work and dedication is now engrained so it just flows naturally and quickly.
I’m sorry, all that to say, yea I DJ and i’m nice as hell… lol.
You gotta understand, when you don’t have support even from the closest of artistic friends that are around you, a deeper strength takes over and becomes independent and rebellious against energy vamps. A maturer side recognizes others time and obligations which are priority in their life. I’m actually not mad, rather appreciative now… thank you for the hard lesson. Everything in due time.
If everything I say is as good as I say, then the people will speak for it and create its legacy. Besides I’m just excited to release it and move on to the next stage. In a good space right now with good energy, good folks and the support is back and forth as we each hold our on weight in what we offer. #collectivelybuilding
With that, check it out please, support and more importantly watch the growth. I think it will inspire people in the long run.”
Do you have anything else to say?
Gibril: “I’d like to thank the artist that were apart of it:
Tree (Chicago): good look for blessing me with that banging unreleased spoken word. Told you I got ya brother, so let’s continue building and checking in with each other.
LaTasha Lee ( TX ): for the connection and beautiful voice that moved me.
Thee Amazng (VA): good look my 757 Homie, the name is so fitting… #TheeAmazngXperience2016 #goals #letsgetit
Justo Ontario (VA): good look for the spontaneous sessions, I see some dope things coming in the future.
Beam (CA): that session just flowed and grew into some dope ish. Appreciate you spirit and contribution. #part2soon
Kompleshun (NY): bless up! #moretocome
Gra$e (NY/VA): you already know #winter2015Gra$e
I’d like to the group who’s song inspired 3 tracks…
Columbia Nights “Wait A While”… heard this joint pop up on my phone while my soundcloud feed was playing. Off of BamaLoveSoul’s new On Deck 3 mix. It was the melodic equivalent of an orgasm to my ear. My mind had a deeper moment with the sound and I heard the energy of it (rather my interpretation of it) and 2 versions were created along with a 3rd version where it was chopped up and I played the beat like I play the piano, very loosely without rules.
The track already had everything it needed, it was perfect sound…. so subtle essences and more mixing was involved. The Freetown mix was has a soldier type of feel, to get the feet moving at a party. Its sexy and has that African spirit up in it.
So yea, they are dope and a good group to start supporting in addition to Bama Love Soul.
Sananda Maitreya (formerly Terrence Trent D’Arby) – for that beautiful yet to be titled piece. Not sure what made me add it and it to a Stevie Wonder beat, which was gonna be for someone to rhyme on, but it worked out naturally in its rightful order. I originally was going to do a afrobeat track. Regardless, glad I did… the energy was “Wonder’full”. Especially designing the textured sounds around it, really enhanced the mood and brought me further into your words.
Lastly, thank you Jehovah for the ability to create and the energy to be persistent. Thank you to my beautiful daughter who has been very patient with daddy, but loves all thats daddy is doing.
Family, friends, good look Fannie Pak, your gonna be like Carmen Sandiego with a camera. Full support! Plus your son and daughter will be needing a manager, so start reading up. You got that #faith!
Big ups Brooklyn Radio for the true support lets get it.
Fusicology for the push and open ear.