Fantastic Negrito – Listen to Our Interview in the New Episode of the Under the Radar Podcast | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Thursday, November 26th, 2020  

Fantastic Negrito – Listen to Our Interview in the New Episode of the Under the Radar Podcast

The Fifth Episode of the Simply Titled Under the Radar Is Out Now on Major Podcasting Platforms

Sep 29, 2020
Bookmark and Share


For episode five of the Under the Radar Podcast we spoke to versatile two-time Grammy winning Oakland blues and R&B singer/songwriter Fantastic Negrito (born Xavier Amin Dphrepaulezz). His most recent album, Have You Lost Your Mind Yet?, came out last month via Cooking Vinyl and his own Blackball Universe label and features rapper E-40 and Tarriona “Tank” Ball of New Orleans’ Tank and the Bangas. The new album is delved into in our interview.

In the episode Fantastic Negrito also discusses growing up with 13 siblings, leaving home at age 12, and living on the streets of Oakland in the early 1980s. It was when he won a talent show covering Prince’s “When Doves Cry” that he got an inkling that he was destined for a career in music. He signed a deal with Prince’s manager and in 1996 released an album under the name Xavier, but a near fatal car crash in 1999 that left him in a coma for three weeks and hurt his hand derailed his career. 

He gave up music for years, but came back to it when playing Beatles songs on guitar soothed his infant child, which led to him busking. In 2015, decades after winning that talent show, it was winning the first ever Tiny Desk Contest that thrust him into the limelight. His 2016 album, The Last Days of Oakland, won a Grammy award for Best Contemporary Blues Album, even though it was a self-released album. His 2019 album, Please Don’t Be Dead, won the same award. “To this day I never think about what cannot be achieved, that’s insane to me,” Fantastic Negrito says in our interview. In the episode he also discusses systemic racism and the current crisises our country faces.

The Fantastic Negrito episode is available now on major podcasting platforms and can also be streamed below.

Each monthly episode of Under the Radar features an interview with a different musician conducted by host and producer Celine Teo-Blockey. Episode one featured an in-depth story on Black Belt Eagle Scout (aka Katherine Paul), episode two featured gender non-conforming artist Ezra Furman, episode three featured Caroline Rose, and episode four featured British art-rockers Everything Everything. On top of being available on all podcasting platforms the podcast also airs on WLUR, an NPR affiliate based in Lexington, VA (the city where Under the Radar is currently based).

As well as writing features and reviews for Under the Radar, Teo-Blockey is an independent radio producer and Transom Traveling Workshop alumni. She has previously produced radio stories for Sound & Vision, a podcast from the Seattle public radio station KEXP, and a sonic postcard for Sounds LA, from the Los Angeles public radio station KCRW.

As well as our new Under the Radar podcast, we have also been co-presenting the second and third seasons of the Why Not Both podcast.

Find the Under the Radar podcast on Apple here and Spotify here.

Support Under the Radar on Patreon.



Comments

Submit your comment

Name Required

Email Required, will not be published

URL

Remember my personal information
Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

There are no comments for this entry yet.