Genius designer and stylist Afrovelvet met DC’s local rap phenom Nate Gski in the winter of 2014 at a local hip hop, punk rock show in an underground graffiti art gallery in DC. They immediately clicked through their shared interest in fashion, art, music and culture. They collaborated the following spring for 100% Cacao, a fashion show featuring performance art, custom designs, local designers, and interpretive dance. The show promoted black culture and excellence exclusively using black models in a black owned establishment sponsored by black businesses - WOW!
In the summer of 2015 Afrovelvet featured on 2MYOGs, Nate Gskis 4th album. The album was purchased and streamed in the US, UK, Tokyo and Sydney. 2MYOGs hard copies were presented on custom USB cards with the album cover printed on the front and tracklist printed on the back. 2MYOGs came with the album, custom art and unreleased music video. Once again - WOW!
The collaborative projects from the 2 DC natives continue to grow in merit, message and purpose. Their recently completed EP Not Just A Body is a testament to their creative genius. The 3 track EP touches on racial injustice, gentrification, exploitation, and societal opinion of Black Americans. The message evolves with each song in the album, eventually, with the two encouraging a new idea of Black Power.
The forthcoming EP from Afrovelvet & Nate Gski, is melodically ethereal and serene, despite the heavier subject matter. Afrovelvet and Nate Gski compliment each other in their metaphorical lyrics, painting vivid pictures within the EP’s layered soundscape. Not Just A Body is refreshing, as it addresses important issues, without being overbearing. They mix ambient dancy sounds, with heavier jazzier ones reminiscent of Motown. That raw sound mimics punk music with the spacy ad libs that give somewhat sultry vibes. The use of simple, poetic arrangements create something entirely experimental.
The single, “Peacocks and Pigeons,” touches on gentrification and use of Black people as tools for American culture. It also exposes treatment that supports the mentality that Black Americans are equally and easily disposable.
The cover of Not Just A Body is a compelling piece of art itself. The cover portrays the couple completely nude, in a shocking, but tasteful fashion, adding deeper meaning to the EP’s title. The 2nd song on the EP, “Future Babies,” is an upbeat groovy tune reminding Generation Z to seek truth in life and “unravel what's disguised as a gift.” The EP is beautiful in its approach to creating genuine dialogue on complex topics surrounding race, prejudice, and gentrification in America. The song “Black Twitter” wraps up the project on an empowering note, reaching out to Black people to embrace the power and magic they possess.
Follow the Artists
IG: @nategski - @afrovelvet
YouTube: Nate G.