AthM_Fantastic Negrito
AthM_Fantastic Negrito

Fantastic Negrito | Oakland “Roots Radio”

In this Roots Radio episode, co-hosts Lisa Bonta Sumii and Richie Nuñez feature singer/songwriter, Fantastic Negrito.

Fantastic Negrito takes you on a journey, portraying a narrative of triumph over adversity. His journey is a representation of a musician from Oakland who experienced the zenith of securing a million-dollar record contract, plummeted into the abyss after a life-threatening car accident that resulted in a coma, and is now witnessing a resurgence that has brought him from the alleys of Oakland to international fame.

This man’s life story is as compelling as his music because his experiences shape his sound. The music, inspired by a life full of trials, is an expression of black roots music, woven with elements of slide guitar, drums, and piano. The tunes convey an atmosphere of urgency, desperation, and tension.

Negrito earned nationwide recognition when he clinched the first NPR Tiny Desk contest in 2015. He followed up this success with Grammy wins for all three of his albums: The Last Days of Oakland (2017), Please Don’t Be Dead (2019), and Have You Lost Your Mind Yet? (2021). The most recent album includes collaborations with fellow Tiny Desk winner Tank (Tank and the Bangas) and the Bay Area icon E-40.

Negrito’s journey has been full of exciting turns in recent years. His independent record label, Storefront Records in West Oakland, launched his two newest projects. White Jesus Black Problems (2022) and Grandfather Courage (2023) explore the forbidden love story of his ancestors — a white Scottish indentured servant and an enslaved African man on a Virginia tobacco plantation in the 1750s. White Jesus Black Problems is accompanied by a 42-minute video available for viewing on YouTube.

Additionally, Negrito has initiated The Storefront Market, an outdoor community market located at Storefront Records. The tenth iteration of this market recently partnered with Thrive City at The Chase Center, home to The Golden State Warriors in San Francisco. This partnership offered a platform for various Bay Area artists and vendors to showcase their work in the city.

Lisa Bonta Sumii, LCSW, CSW | Athlete Mindset podcast host:

Lisa is a psychotherapist and mental performance consultant to high-performing athletes at the youth, collegiate, Olympic-hopeful, and professional levels. She is the first-ever Mental Health & Performance Coach for the Oakland Roots SC, a men’s professional soccer team, in the USL. Lisa is the Founder & CEO of AthMindset, a diverse team of licensed mental health clinicians and mental performance consultants, who serve alongside her.

Fantastic Negrito: Wikipedia | Twitter | Instagram | Spotify | YouTube

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