The SA-RA Creative Partners™ is a trio of accomplished musicians, producers and trendsetters, comprised of Om’Mas Keith, Taz Arnold and Shafiq Husayn. On their musical quest they have dazzled with amazing productions, collections, mixes and remixes. But now, for the first time, with “Nuclear Evolution: The Age of Love”, they deliver a completely new and original album. Built from scratch, it’s a truly coherent and innovative body of work. Musical, adventurous, and even more evolved than anything they’ve done before, “Nuclear Evolution…” also shows a controlled, polished, and in-the-pocket side to their work. It is an album on which SRCP™ shine as the innovative musical force they promised to be, ever since the cult hit “Glorious” first shattered bass bins and minds worldwide.
Whether on the otherworldly opus “Love Czars”, the bombastic soul of “I Swear”, or twisted tales of drug-fueled-freaks on “Traffika”, “Nuclear Evolution: The Age of Love” blends next-level production with a unique and unconstrained blend of street wit, dirty sex talk, tall stories, and intergalactic future sounds, and is set to become essential listening for the summer of 2009!
It’s an over-used phrase that a band has a unique sound. But The SA-RA Creative Partners use their three minds to combine and make something that is always new, something twisted, a sound not heard before. Their music is soulful, but not limited by the neo-soul tag. They make hip hop, but of the bugged-out and other-worldly kind. Tracks are instantly catchy, but edgy and not commercial. According to the list of high-profile artists requesting their production services, their sound has an infectious global spread and appeal. Most recently SRCP have been making their mystical magical soulful productions for Erykah Badu. Serving as her associate producers, they wrote, appeared, and produced on seven of the tracks from her critically acclaimed 2008 “New Amerykah” album. She returns the favor with a guest-appearance on “Dirty Beauty” on “Nuclear Evolution”. Other collaborators that SRCP have worked with include Pharoahe Monch (on the massive “Agent Orange” track), John Legend, Black Eyed Peas, Talib Kweli, J Dilla, Fonzworth Bentley, Heavy D, Common, Iggy Pop, Herbie Hancock, Dr. Dre, Jill Scott, and Jurassic 5.
Balancing the call to make music for other people with working as the SRCP unit (and working their solo projects) has been quite a feat. “We find time because we love doing this”, explains Husayn. “We are drawn closer to nirvana, with each release and creative statement. As for our own stuff, it is all an extension of our will to create things from out of the mind”, he adds.
Helping SRCP realize their potential on “Nuclear Evolution…” is a crew of friends and co-conspirators that includes legends like soul chanteuse Erykah Badu, and saxophonist Gary Bartz with his quartet. The album also features up-and-coming talent like Debi Nova, Rozzie Daime, Noni Lamar, Erika Rose, Brook D’Leau of J*Davey, Joseph Liemberg, Fenetta Lowe, and Jimetta Rose. Easy to like, but difficult to pigeonhole, the album oozes equal parts jazz, soul, pop, funk, and hip hop. The eclectic collection of productions bounces from the sticky and bubbly soul of “Gemini’s Rising”, to the string-laden bump of “He Say She Say”, and the outer-worldly bossa nova of “Spacefruit”.
Sticking together through more than their fair share of highs and lows, the group channeled their collective energies to create what is arguably their best work to date. “There is something powerful about the Number 3. A triangle is architecture’s most structurally sound shape”, explains Keith. “And there is a sense of brotherhood among us, the strong sense of purpose we all share in our will to cleanse the proverbial palette of music!”, he adds. Having won the BBC Radio 1′s ‘John Peel Play More Jazz Award’ at the end of 2004, the band embarked on a fruitful relationship with mega-star Kanye West. They signed a major recording deal with his GOOD Music Label, then distributed by Sony. Their plan was to release their “Black Fuzz” album through Sony Urban and follow up with the Ubiquity album. However, as with the best made plans (especially those involving major record labels) “Black Fuzz” has yet to be released. After much pressure from fans and executives at Babygrande Records, SRCP opted to release a one-off project entitled “The Hollywood Recordings”, an album of new and previously released material. In 2006 rumors floated on the internet that the group had disbanded. An exclusive interview with Shafiq Husayn, on okayplayer.com, squashed that rumor. The band is alive and well, and they still maintain a strong relationship with West, recently appearing in a video with him, Andre 3000, and Fonzworth Bentley.
Outside of SRCP, the members are all working on multiple projects. Arnold has a fashion company called ti$a consulting, and is working on collections and collaborations with Kanye West and his Pastelle Clothing line. He is also preparing to launch the ti$a x mcm and ti$a x phenomenon lines this summer. Husayn is working on a full-length album called “Shafiq En’ A-Free-Ka”, plus the new Erykah Badu album, a few songs on Bilal’s new album, and the new Sleepy Brown album (featuring George Clinton). Keith is currently producing and writing for P. Diddy’s upcoming album (“Last Train To Paris”), and will co-star in a major network reality television show. He’s also been serving as MD for rapper Jim Jones, lecturing with the Red Bull Music Academy, managing fresh musical talent, and pursuing his acting/voice-over career. “As always, overseeing The SA-RA family of companies continues to be a top priority!”, he says.