Bashiri Asad may be a soul vocalist quickly on the rise, but the stereotypical singer with his nose in the sky, name dropping and over inflated ego is so beneath him.
I arrive at the bar and grill ready to talk to Asad about himself and his music and end up talking about football.
Following a veggie pizza, Blue Moon, a conversation about his family and love of flip flops, I learn that Asad began singing as a child in the Little Bethel Missionary Baptist Church gospel choir followed by a short stint with the Broad Ripple High School choir.
He moved on to sing in various capacities at Central State University and unlike many up and coming singers in Indianapolis, is today a full time artist…since January 2009.
Asad, along with his band Xenobia Green, has already sung in venues such as the Jazz Kitchen and the Chatter Box Jazz Club, the Conrad Hotel’s Vitesse lounge.
He’s also sung with artists such as Rob Dixon, Kevin Aker, Stacy Dillard, Mario Adnee and has opened for national recording acts such as Kindred The Family Soul, Whodini, The Foreign Exchange, and 112.
He’s worked with notable people and what further proves that Asad is a celebrity on the rise is that everybody wants to work with him.
That’s not really surprising to some, being that Asad doesn’t just get in front of a mic and belt out some tunes. Initially inspired by Stevie Wonder’s “As,” he sings with joy, heart and genuineness.
“Bashiri has always had chops and he takes his craft seriously,” said Doug Morris co-founder and president of Old Soul Entertainment. “His voice is timeless. He has a voice that your 12-year-old cousin or your grandmother can appreciate. He takes his craft seriously.”
Asad would agree and being a well rounded, honest singer is crucial for him.
“We’re all our worst critics. I want to work on riffing. I want to be as good at jazz improvisation as I am with my soul improvisation. It’s a technical avenue that I’m willing to study, but am willing to work on,” said Asad.
That will most likely be an easy conquest being that Asad musical tastes range from the Eagles to Donnie Hathaway to Jamiroquai.
Along this road, Asad, also a husband and father of two, is using his time wisely to gain an education in “the business.” He knows he’s come a long way and admits to still finding his way but is determined to take his musical career to the next level come next year.
He’s already on his way with an upcoming album, “Xenobia Green The EP,” slated to be released at the beginning of October. His current project is a collaboration with Pariah the Poet on a venture called “The Heartspoken Project.” He’s also working to expand his popularity outside of Indiana.
You won’t hear catchy hooks coming from this soul singer and his band, only a meaningful experience. Asad doesn’t perform and there’s no gimmick.
“That’s what sets him apart. If something is packaged, you’d know. He has true, God-given talent and is one of the shining stars in the city. Plus he’s one of the most humble people I’ve ever met,” said Morris.
Music lovers have high hopes for Asad who also hopes to be on that list of great singers. He knows he has big shoes to fill yet is striving to be one of those artists that can contribute to making timeless music.
“I know that I have to keep my head down and work hard to get the notoriety. I see why people give up…but I can’t see myself doing anything else,” added Asad.
Bashiri Asad makes music with staying power. His shows are high energy, soulful and he creates a partnership between himself, his live band and the audience. Asad makes a connection with his audience and takes you on a musical journey. This is a relationship between Asad and his fans that is not breaking up any time soon.
Asad is paying his dues and is confident his hard work will definitely pay off. I’m just glad I got to interview him before he blew up. :0)
Can I get an encore, do you want more?
Sept. 11 – Jazz Kitchen
Sept. 12 – Stacia’s
Sept. 17 – Morty’s Comedy Club
Sept. 18 – Scotty’s Brewhouse
Sept. 19 – Cloud 9
Sep. 25 – The Riverbend Windery, Louisville, Ky.
And another one…
World, get ready for Carlitta Durand. Prophesied by her mother, she was destined to be a singer. By the age of 16 she had her own gospel album.
Durand switched gears to sing about everyday life. It was at North Carolina Central University that she found herself singing for hip-hop duo Little Brother.
Now singing professionally for the past three years, many would describe the Minneapolis native’s sound as sultry, smooth, jazzy-R&B and melodic.
She currently has a mix-tape out on iTunes called “Carlitta’s Way,” and is featured on the highly anticipated “City Lights Vol. 2: Shibuya.” She’s also been featured on Little Brother’s “Get Back” and has recently been singing on The Foreign Exchange’s national tour.
“I’m blessed. I didn’t know how I was going to get here, but I could see myself in front of a crowd,” said Durand. “I want to bring something new and fun to the world. I’m ready for it.”