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Fikir Amlak

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In 2002, Andres “Fikir” Estrada arrived in Santa Cruz, CA with the vision of forming a musical collective of conscious Rastafari bredren and sistren who would carry the message of Haile Selassie I the First and Ethiopia’s redemption to the four corners of the world. Originally from Puerto Rico, Fikir has been inspired by the roots reggae traditions of the carribean such as the Zioniers, Cultura Profetica and Gomba Jahbari. Previously having sung and played guitar in a Los Angeles area band, The Ghetto Fabulosos, maturity and spiritual growth deemed necessary a new direction and focus. At first using the name Jah Musica, “Fikir Amlak” was chosen as the name for the new band, which in Ethiopic means “Jah Love”. The initial musicians involved in this project were Joe Coberly on drums, Mikey Butler on bass, John Moran on keys and Marcelo Vaz on sax. In 2003, Lion Home Studios was established in the Soquel mountains where the debut self-titled album was produced and released in 2004. At this time, Lucca McCaleb took over on bass and Fikir met local Santa Cruz guitarist Emmanuel, as well as Kris “Tafari” who had recently moved from Arizona. Veteran
keyboardist “Joseph” Chino also joined the band at this time. In the summer of 2005, Santa Cruz saw the release of their 2nd album, “Love Jah and Live”. By the end of 2005, Papa Shanti had come together with Tafari to form the Disciples (formerly Heavy Manners) which has become the current backing band.

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