Artist Spotlight: WITCH PROPHET
Queer, Canadian Ethio-Jazz, operatic soul + alternative R&B artist WITCH PROPHET comes to Portland, Oregon as part of BELOVED EMERGENCE on JUNE 4th!
Witch Prophet, an evolution of Toronto-based, artist Ayo Leilani, is a queer, East African singer-songwriter and the Co-CEO of Heart Lake Records. She delivers a soundscape of vocal layers, loops, raps and harmonies on a bed of hip-hop, jazz and soul-inspired beats.
File next to Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill and Portishead.
- Exclaim! Magazine
Leilani finds depth and connection in creating music as a portal for self-growth and discovery, as she navigates and better understands her cultural and queer identity.
“Just being alive on this planet is the greatest magic of all, but to have the additional chance at living out my dreams is proof enough for me that my manifestation powers are on point. I’ve always wanted to make music and to sing — ever since I was three years old.”
DNA Activation connects the historical with the cultural and the personal for a record where ancestry and autobiography become one and the same. –Bandcamp
Backed by the musical production of Sun Sun, this power couple are active on the scene: they make up two-thirds of hip-hop trio Above Top Secret, and together they founded Heart Lake Records, self-releasing Witch Prophet’s albums The Golden Octave and DNA Activation.
Really this album
is just to
people’s inner truth.
The whole point
of DNA activation
the part of yourself
that allows you
WHO YOU TRULY ARE.
Instead of DIY, it’s DIT: DO IT TOGETHER
From Ethiopian jazz, Eritrean influences, R&B + hip hop fusion, all of Witch Prophet’s work is rooted in community. She speaks on identity, on the gender-based double-standards in the music industry, and how it’s always necessary to tap into the collective in order to find success.
“We don’t do it ourselves, there's always community helping, as an independent artist, you always have to keep moving.”
Enchanting and hypnotic Ethio-jazz featuring sultry sax riffs, timeless hip-hop rhythms and soulfully soothing melodic mantras that affirm who you are and the power you hold. –wavelengthmusic
“We need more support for BIPOC artists within the rap, R&B/soul, and reggae genres. Canadian music is not just singer-songwriters, folk and indie bands. We need more money, funding, access to resources. We need more festivals and events to book outside of their comfort bands, we need media to write about up-and-coming artists as well as those living and working in the margins.” –Witch Prophet