credit: Braylen Dion

Kareem Ali

Growing up, Kareem Ali wanted to be a rocket scientist. The New York native (who now lives in Phoenix) never actually made it into the space program, but his passion for the cosmos remains intact—in fact, it’s at the core of his artistic vision. Future Black Music, We Are Stardust, Black Science… these are just a few of the literally 47 releases he’s dropped in the past two years, each one mapping out a utopian future in which humanity—and Black people in particular—can finally carve out an existence that’s free of injustice and oppression.
Specializing in forward-thinking, space-age sounds, Ali is a lot more concerned with unleashing his vivid imagination than fitting neatly into any particular genre box. Although late-night gems like “Night Echoes” have garnered the most attention—Pitchfork described it as “deep house at its most hypnotic and emotionally resonant”—his extensive catalog also includes forays into techno, ambient, hip-hop, R&B, garage and even drum & bass. Fueled by a tireless work ethic and a seemingly endless well of creativity, he’s found an audience and captured the attention of not just Pitchfork, but other media outlets like Bandcamp Daily and Rolling Stone.

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