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Kokayi

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A synaptic overload of afropunk/hip-hop/funk/rock/psychodiscobilly. Whichever box you seek to put him in, he explodes out of.

Kokayi (Carl Walker) is a Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter, emcee, producer and educator. Pronounced “Ko-Kah-Yee” (or KOKE for short), this Washington D.C. native takes his name from the Swahili word meaning “to summon the people”. Musically self-sufficient and versatile in ways that are reserved for upper-echelon talents, he produces his own music, writes his own rhymes, sings from the gut, and is self-taught on several instruments.

On his own, he’s already independently released his debut album Mass Instructions (2007), toured the world and snagged the aforementioned 2009 Grammy-nod for Best Urban/Alternative Performance for his work as a vocalist and co-producer on “Lovin’ You (Music)” by Ethiopian singer Wayna. He also produced Wayna’s “Moonlight Rendezvous” which spent 7 consecutive weeks on Billboard’s Top 10 R&B/Hip Hop Singles & 100 Hot Singles Sales charts, peaking at #3 and #12 respectively.

As an educator, Kokayi has performed and lectured in over 35 countries and partnered with the US State Department as a cultural envoy through their Rhythm Roads program; which utilizes hip hop culture, education and music to foster cultural exchange. Once a BMG/France and Label Bleu signee, as part of the critically acclaimed band Opus Akoben, Kokayi has created and nurtured his own sound, developed his own brand and continues to be both a student and a teacher of his diverse forms of expression.

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