The name “Fantastic Negrito” might throw you off step a little bit. Musician Xavier Dphrepaulezz says that, just like the sound of his music, the name Fantastic Negrito is rooted in blackness and also international. It’s exuberant, but there’s a sharp point to it.
Dphrepaulezz grew up one of more than a dozen children. He left home when he was twelve, eventually settling with his “street family” in Oakland. That’s where he still lives today.
Nowadays, Fantastic Negrito is busy touring the world, carrying forward the torch of Black roots music. His new album, Last Days of Oakland, comes out this week. In this episode of Bay Area Beats, he talks about the personal roots of his sound.
You can hear Fantastic Negrito play songs from his new album, Last Days of Oakland, at a free record release party on June 3rd as part of First Fridays.