Album cover

Sinkane’s new album is called We Belong, released by City Slang records.

Where you’re from, and where you belong are fundamental ideas of existence. For a reader, so is deciding if Sinkane is in their realm of music. Where does Sinkane We Belong in music?

Sinkane previously released music from LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy label DFA. Is Sinkane a dance hipster with alternative rock radio possibilities? Sinkane’s latest, We Belong falls under wherever his Okay Africa culture could take someone in  American music.

I’ve found amusement that North American College Community radio, or, considers Sinkane college R&B. Consider the Weeknd, Sinkane’s friend Solange, sister Beyonce and Erykah Badu’s influence on music over a mass of music over a sustained period.

College R&B is a genre with interesting possibilities. Kids starting bands in school, and then releasing underground DIY R&B records like punk bands until labels sign them?

Bilal is featured from We Belong’s second song “Another Day” trading verses with Stout and harmonizing with Sinkane about black peoples’ past 400 years.  

Bilal’s worked with Dr. Dre. Bilal was in the Soulquarians with D’Angelo, Questlove, Dilla, Badu, Roy Hargrove, James Poyser,  Common, Q-Tip, Talib Kweli, and Mos Def. Perhaps NACC’s College R&B is a product of the intent of 1996-2002’s the Soulquarians.

“Another Day” exemplifies the difference of We Belong from previous Sinkane efforts. Sinkane now exists as a R&B producer playing arrangements while singing with other vocalists. We Belong sounds like Sinkane is leading a contemporary Earth, Wind and Fire or some other 1970’s R&B group. Sinkane doesn’t sound retro.

I can play opening track “Come Together” between Weeknd’s “Starboy” and Egyptian Lover. Sinkane didn’t abandon DFA’s dance culture. “How Sweet is Your Love” is a Donna Summer version of a Yves Tumor song. Sinkane doesn’t lose his identity amongst his guests.

During “Everything is Everything” with Tru Osbourne Sinkane sings as a black man who watched George Floyd, and Ahmaud Aubrey’s murders.

Sinkane is black.

Sinkane is Muslim.

Sinkane is from Sudan.

I haven’t asked Sinkane ”Could this song apply toward BLM, Palestine and Sudan?”

Sinkane’s life is better than the residents of Palestine. Sinkane aka Ahmed Gallab lives in New York City and collaborated with Talking Heads David Byrne which included performing with Jazz Legend Pharaoh Sanders.  Democracy Now interviewed Sinkane in April 2018

I mentioned, Sinkane is from Sudan, Africa. Sinkane attended High School in Kent, Ohio before graduating from Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. I know Sinkane from Columbus. I consider Sinkane from Columbus. I watched Sinkane open for Black Violin at Ohio Theatre in downtown Columbus during the spring.

Black Violin is a Violin duo from Philly/ Black Violin showcased violins while supporting musicians and DJ S+S played Hip Hop music. Black Violin packed Ohio Theater because people like taking their children to see black musicians playing Hip Hop music.

Sinkane opened without a band. Sinkane was in a theatre by himself.

I’m friends with Sinkane. I found it interesting watching Sinkane perform for a room full of black adults, and their children.

Sinkane told everyone he loved being black and played “The Anthem” off We Belong.

I’m white. I know Sinkane from the Legion of Doom and Cafe Bourbon Street. It was interesting watching Sinkane build rapport with people who didn’t grow up on Kim Gordon and Pavement. If you talk with me… Sinkane’s home….Columbus, Ohio.

Sinkane mentioned Africa, black pride, and Daymon Dodson while opening for Black Violin. Sinkane received a positive response for Black Violin’s audience. After the show, I assisted Sinkane with selling merch. I wore a Okayplayer sweatshirt because I like the idea of the Soulquarians existing in one of my friends.

We both were excited that people were buying merch and wanted conversation. I’d worked merch at hardcore, and hip hop shows. I’ve worked at record stores.

We knew the process. People ask about music. We discuss the relevance of the music culture. You sell them music.

Sinkane sold shirts and records to adults who liked Sinkane’s influences: Funkadelic, and Fela Kuti.  We both liked the natural market working at Sinkane’s merch.

I thought about the idea of owning Funkadelic, and 40 years later someone releases something which isn’t a sample or a cover. Prince was probably the last artists who made an album which was in this genre for these music lovers. You had Cameo, Prince, and then…..R. Kelly….

People were asking about Daymon Dodson’s parents because Daymon’s parents are known in the Black Church.

Sinkane sent Daymon’s parents friends towards me. Sinkane lives in New York City. Sinkane assumed Daymon’s parents’ community wasn’t interested in a conversation about Daymon’s love of Slum Village, Teeth of the Hydra or Booty House.

I talked Church. I don’t know the name or location of every church in Columbus, Ohio. I tried.

Once people left the theatre, Ahmed and I felt a strong satisfaction. Ahmed had sold merch, and felt embraced by a segment of Columbus, Ohio that Ahmed respected. Ahmed and I both loved the fact his music found a home with people that should like  Sinkane’s music

Sinkane interviewed by Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!