Made up of guitarists Benjamin Martinez and Justin Phipps, drummer James Small, keyboardists Jansen Verplank and Bryan Simmons, singers Sangin Sara, Joshua Carter and Nanaushika McGehee, MC and producer Tiffani Marie, and bassist Jesse Strauss, Artelia Green & The Bandanas are a 10-piece band from the San Francisco Bay Area. Their new single “Donda” is taken from their recently released sophomore album titled Fly.
Produced by Tiffani Marie, the album sees the band paying homage to black music legend such as Nina Simone, Sly and the Family Stone and Stevie Wonder, and it calls on listeners to embrace the truth of Black suffering and transcendence, and craft more accountable and responsive relationships with our necessary grief.
Speaking specifically about the song “Donda” from the album, Artelia Green & The Bandanas say, “In the spirit of Julie Dash’s Daughters of the Dust, Donda invites listeners to consider departure as a necessary step toward greater health. On this version of Donda, vintage Hip-hop cadence enhanced by West African drums serve as a critical soundtrack for spiritual health and well-being“.
Artelia Green & The Bandanas describe their sound as braiding together Frisco swagger, Arkansas roots and Yoruba remembrances to curate critical thought and action. The 10-piece band merge reverberating funk & gospel-vamping with brass and djembe, to transport listeners to a different time, space, and place.
Listen to their new track “Donda” below: