Amittai Blakk has just created a soulful brand new project that at times sounds like a far more R&B Lenny Kravitz, mixed with the utter smoothness of Al Green and a much rawer CeeLo Green. It's a direction with deep roots, but also outstretched branches.“This is the music I grew up with,” Blakk explains, matter-of-factly. “I grew up singing professional quartet gospel, so it's music I've always done.” It's as much about sound, however, as it is about style. “This music has a very strong tone to it. It makes the speakers move. And one thing I've found is that people love bass; particularly women. Women love bass! And I like bass. I make sure that tone is real strong in my music.”
The unique stage name of Amittai Blakk “made sense for what I was doing,” Blakk explains, “because I was being very honest and raw with my music.” This raw sound comes through loud and clear, the moment you hear these songs. “Amittai” stands for 'my truth,'” Blakk elaborates on his name.
Veteran producer Neal Pogue has much to do with the high quality sound of these new recordings. Before working with Blakk, Pogue took home a Grammy for engineering and mixing Outkast's Speakerboxxx/The Love Below release in 2004. His A-list credits also include past work with M.I.A., Nelly Furtado, Earth, Wind & Fire, TLC, Pink, Nicki Minaj and Janelle Monae.
The new recordings – although powerful -- are ultimately best served live. This is because Blakk prides himself on being a powerful concert performer, and any time he plays live, you can put money on it that there will be a lot of energy in the house. Ah, but there is so much more than that. “I definitely want to make that emotional connection,” Blakk clarifies. “There's no facade. Just being real. When I leave that stage, I'm wet from head to toe.” Blakk looks to a few big musical heroes for his going-all-out approach. “Think about the James Browns and the Jackie Wilsons,” he says. Women loved those two men, and they also dig Blakk. “It's dedicated to the women, but in a very respectful way,” he adds. And at the end of the day, it's all about the fans. “We can give a performance all day long,” Blakk explains, “but if the fans are not in involved, then it's not a show. The fans are what make it a show.”
Ultimately, the divine makes everything come together. It's a mystical experience whenever the music, a message and an audience become connected together in one place. “You can sing with all the emotion you want to, but it takes a 'god-space' for people to connect with you,” says Blakk. “That's beyond your control.”
Thankfully, Blakk is doing his part to bring life back to its beautiful simplicity through the powerfully comforting language of music. That's his truth, yes, but it's our truth, too.
Artist: AMITTAI BLAKK
Location: Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
Sub-genre: Soul, Funk, Rock, Reggae