Georgia Anne Muldrow
LA born and bred, Georgia is the daughter of two jazz musicians - Ronald Muldrow (guitarist with Eddie Harris for 10 years) and Rickie Byars-Beckwith. She has been part of the fabric of Los Angeles’ hip-hop / jazz / soul avant-garde since 2005, and has built a mightily impressive discography and a reputation to match during her career as a vocalist, songwriter, producer and musician. She describes her childhood sitting under the piano by her mom’s legs hearing the pedals pop - “That made me a beat maker. Hearing the pedals. That was my comfort blanket”. She also fondly remembers listening to her father play jazz LOUD - bass cranked up - at home. She took Coltrane’s seminal 1964 LP “Coltrane’s Sound” in to show and tell at school aged 9 and, inspired by the Afrocentric philosophies of Public Enemy, X-Clan, ATCQ, Arrested Development and Gang Starr, she became fascinated not only by how hip-hop sampled, looped and re-processed jazz music but its potential as a vehicle for delivering a Message. It was an artistic space where all of her favourite things could mould together.
“Through the ages, the most disenfranchised group in this country, finding new ways to express themselves because they HAD to… that deserves a lot more reverence than it’s given right now,” Georgia declares. “When you see videos like the one for Gang Starr ‘Manifest’ with Guru preaching from the stage… I was a young child and that stuff was like watching comic book heroes in real life.” Even when Georgia was in First Grade - 1989-90 - “I had the awareness, because there was a lot of stuff going on at that time. The political climate leading up to the riots in LA in 1992. Hip-hop was everywhere, on TV, in the streets, it was in the air”.
Georgia has famously been credited with the popularisation of the phrase “Stay woke” (originally coined by William Melvin Kelley in his 1962 New York Times essay “If You’re Woke You Dig It”) via her collaboration with Erykah Badu and Sa-Ra Creative Partners - ‘Master Teacher Medley’ - on 2008’s “New Amerykah Part One (4th World War)”.
Georgia was 17 when she began making beats in earnest, but first lit up the scene with her debut album “Olesi: Fragments Of An Earth” in 2006. It was at this time that Georgia met, befriended and collaborated with the likes of Madlib, Oh No, MED (fka Medaphoar), Wildchild, DJ Romes and her future partner Dudley Perkins aka Declaime. She co-founded the SomeOthaShip Connect record label with Dudley in 2008, the platform and spring board for many of her musical travels that have expanded and extended down myriad pathways. Georgia has collected many names over the years: Ms. One, Pattie Blingh & The Akebulan 5, an electro fusion collaboration with DJ Romes called Blackhouse and astral jazz outings as Jyoti - a Hindu name given to Georgia by her Aunt Radha’s friend Alice Coltrane (they attended the same ashram) and serendipitously Great Aunt to one Steven Ellison aka Flying Lotus.
Photo Credit: Drew Gurian
- Feature Artist