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Amerigo Gazaway


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With the breakthrough release of 2011’s *Fela Soul*, Amerigo Gazaway’s sophomore effort was declared “a virtual web hit” (MTV) seemingly overnight. As the creator of one of the year’s most buzz-worthy independent releases, the 26 year-old Nashville native successfully showcased his unique ability to blend multiple genres into a singular dance floor groove. The son of renowned Jazz trumpeter, Gary “El Buho” Gazaway, the producer’s culturally diverse upbringing is reflected in his nuanced, multilayered instrumental arrangements. With a process the LA Times describes as “drawing a different design within a similar framework”, Gazaway’s cleverly executed remix/mashup projects give audiences a familiar, yet fresh and distinct way to experience their favorite songs.

The producer’s first full-length instrumental album, *Selective Hearing Vol. 1*, was released in 2010 on the Cold Busted label founded by veteran dance DJ, Vitamin D. Charting on Beatport’s top selling Chill-Out sales chart, the album introduced listeners to Gazaway’s tasteful use of samples and unique knack for combining diverse sounds into something completely new and original.

While studying Digital Media at MTSU, Gazaway and fellow producer Wally Clark co-hosted the popular “Gummy Soul Show” on the now defunct Nashville radio station WRVU. The program, which featured rare 60’s and 70’s soul eventually morphed into a boutique record label co-owned and operated by the two former radio hosts. The label’s inaugural release came in the form of Kurtis Stanley’s - *Gummy Soul* album- a release for which Gazaway contributed production and established a heavy involvement in the label's video production, album artwork/graphics, and web design.

In 2011, Roots’ drummer Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson hit town with a per-announced DJ set at a local Nashville nightclub. Seeing the opportunity, Amerigo posed as a photojournalist, gained access to the club’s backstage area and cleverly slipped Questlove a copy of his just finished Fela Kuti/De La Soul mashup fusion, *Fela Soul*. Thompson, an avid afrobeat/native tongues fan called the album “brilliant” and published it to his website, Okayplayer. Quickly spreading to other outlets, the album made MTV Hive, The Source and BoingBoing before taking top 5 rankings on both NPR and Soul Train’s year-end “Best of 2011” list.

On the one year anniversary of his *Fela Soul* release, Amerigo found success a second time with the recently released *Bizarre Tribe; A Quest To The Pharcyde*. In merging Pharcyde vocals over re-orchestrated A Tribe Called Quest samples into an album Okayplayer calls “funky like your great-grandpas draws with a fish in it”, the album was downloaded over 30,000 times in its first two weeks of release.