Upon winning NPR’s inaugural Tiny Desk Concert Contest, Fantastic Negrito quickly won over critics with 2015’s self-titled EP. Consequence of Sound wrote of the record, “Dphrepaulezz sings like a man compelled by a spiritual force…[his] voice is impassioned, somewhere between a croon and a scream,” and the Washington Post praised the EP’s “raw vocals and self-assessing lyrics.” The San Francisco Chronicle noted, “almost overnight, the singer-songwriter became an international sensation.” Dphrepaulezz signed a multi-million dollar deal with Interscope Records, performing under his first name, Xavier.
Dphrepaulezz’s life changed drastically when he was involved in a near-death car accident resulting in a three-week coma, followed by intensive physical rehabilitation with his guitar-playing hand permanently incapacitated. After a five- year hiatus, Dphrepaulezz created Fantastic Negrito. Inspired by all American music, most especially Delta bluesmen such as R.L. Burnside and Skip James, he sought to modernize his compositions by sampling and looping his own live recordings. He told NPR that the name is “a celebration of blackness. The ‘Fantastic’ is self- explanatory; the ‘Negrito’ is a way to open blackness up to everyone, making it playful and international.”
With big hair, a dimpled cheek, and quirky personality, Phé steps out of the shadows ready to stake her claim in the world of music and entertainment. After years of exploration and experimentation, she has tapped into a unique musical style, a sultry blend of R&B and urban pop, accompanied by a tapestry of electronic sounds. Through her thoughtful and poetic lyrics, Phé reflects on the world as she experiences it. With the recent release of her debut single “Incredible,” this is just the beginning for Phé, and her career as a solo artist.
Fantastic Negrito plays the Red Room at Café 939 on Oct. 10. Showtime is 8 PM. Admission: $12 general public (standing room only)