Continuing the Legacy… with André Akinyele

BACK TALK is an entertainment show that discusses pop culture. The show features candid conversations on topics of the week and segments with special guests. Hosted by authors and musicians Andre Akinyele and Jon O’Bergh, each episode will be a unique combination of entertainment and comedy in bringing you what’s going on in pop culture around the world. Get ready for our Top 10’s, as we do a weekly check list of things this week you won’t believe occurred. The mission: To make you think before acting upon whatever it may be because you may be the topic of BACK TALK.

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My son André Akinyele
My son André Akinyele


To visit André Akinyele’s website click here.
The pioneering force of the cyber-jazz movement of the mid-to late ’00s with his band Gemini Soul, merged musical technology with jazz, funk, fusion, and political topical experimentation; along the lines of such artists as Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, and Meshell Ndegeocello. His first five albums as Marcel, including his debut album The Diary of Marcel (1998), found André Akinyele heavily influenced by Prince. But, it wasn’t until the passing of his grandmother, the changing of his name, and then playing jazz that he would depart from that influence, coming into his own as Ajamu Akinyele (meaning strong warrior in the Yoruba language of Nigeria, Africa) with releases such as Supernova (2005) and, with his band Gemini Soul, The Nefertiti Xperience (2008 – Number 15 Amazon’s Hot New Releases: The Bestselling New & Future Releases Chart), and Dark Skin Babies : The Movement (2009 – Number 13 Amazon’s Hot New Releases: The Bestselling New & Future Releases Chart).

André Marcel Ajamu Akinyele was born on June 21, 1972 as André Marcel Wilson in Richmond, CA (Hilltop/El Sobrante area) but raised in Oakland, CA. He’s been signed three times by independent labels (even signed as Michael Angelo in 1989 releasing a single titled “Brina Brown” in Europe), but decided in 1998 to go on his own right at the brink of the digital age, tired of all the false promises. That decision led to his debut album The Diary of Marcel released in 1998 on his own label Bombay Recording Company. It was a refreshing take on Old-School R&B, reminiscent of Tevin Campbell and Rahsaan Patterson. He toured the local circuit and became a true contender on the independent scene. He then released Spice: The Alternative Hip-Hop Experience in 2001 to critical success garnering rave reviews and media exposure. Throughout the ’00s, he continued recording with his last Marcel album being released in 2004 to make the transition to playing jazz as Ajamu Akinyele, primarily a bassist and band leader. He stated that he had nothing else to say lyrically.

After several successful albums with his band Gemini Soul, who toured relentlessly for five years, in 2012, he released The Potomac Syndrome as André Akinyele. It was a return to his funk roots. The album was also a return to his Prince influenced sound, along with a nod to Lenny Kravitz. It was held as one of his best efforts after performing jazz for a long period. The songwriting was mature and on point, just as his newest effort Metal Skin and Ivory Birds that questions the world where no one or nothing is off limits. To visit André Akinyele’s website click here.


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