First Listen: Vangela Crowe – Butterfly (Bang The Drum Vocal Remix) (Next Generation Records)
Although we just have here a little snippet – the track is not (yet) available on Youtube – the feeling is instant. With the first word coming to mind being absolute sultriness. “Like a butterfly in the sky, I’m so free…” As if Vangela Crowe‘s singing was like floating around. An impression which Bang The Drum’s Jihad Muhammad has pretty much managed to expand. Meanwhile enhancing his identiable signature appraoch. This, with aerial keys and synths over a smooth rhythm pattern.
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– Living in Newark, NJ, Vangela Crowe is obviously a versatile character, keeping her mind open to various disciplines. She first attended courses in MS educational administration and BA journalism respectively at National University in San Diego, CA and Rutger Newark, NJ. One could find traces of her on the big screen. Playing the role of an assassin on the James Lyons 2013 film ‘Firefighter’. Then, 3 years after, appearing as herself in an espisode of TV series of documentaries ‘State Of The Arts’.
A basketball player in her spare time, Crowe also happens to write material. She eventually contributed to 11 of the 14 songs for a Savion Glover‘s musical. And also happened to sing in the backings for luminaries such as Patti Labelle, Guy, BlackStreet and Wyclef Jean.
Vangela Crowe opened her own account back in 2011. Taking the centerstage along with producers Franke Estevez and George Mena on ‘I’m Sorry’. She soon after started a long time working relationship with Erik Wikman‘s label Next Generation Records, beginning with ‘Peace’. Crowe eventually sharing the vocal duties with Cassio Ware the same year on ‘Dance With Me’. And this, with production work courtesy of Luke Solomon and Roual Galloway.
Although, one could see her name appearing in various projects, she delivered most of her repertoire on Next Generation Records. With the label delivering a ‘Best Of’ back in June 2015. A package of remixes courtesy of Jonny Montana, Big Moses and George Mena and Franke Estevez to name a few.
– A native of Newark, NJ, Jihad Muhammad began exploring his love for music and DJing at the early age of 12. The first traces one can find of him in terms of discography bring us back to 2001. Back then he did a rework of ‘My Heavenly Stars’ for Black Masses on Easy Street. We then would have to wait a couple of extra years though to hear his first production. An instrumental by the likes of ‘Movement Blues’ which saw the light back in 2004 on Blaze Imprints.
Another important date for him would be early 2006 and the launch of his Movement Soul label. A label which he runs with a lot of care. Obviously opting for quality rather than quantity. Just as his own productions or remixes, as a matter of fact. Eventually sharing the duties with Blaze on a revamp of Jephté Guillaume presents AK‘s ‘Shining Your Way’. Or on his own, remixing Dennis Ferrer‘s ‘Change The World’ and Tamara Wellons‘s ‘Like Rain’ back in 2008.
2009 saw him launching Bang The Drum. A monthy party that has hosted some of the best DJ’s and artists in the underground Dance Scene. Its purpose being to promote the Global Soul Movement. A movement which Jihad defines as follows… “Soulful music (House, Funk, Disco, Afrobeat). And most likely any music that touches the soul of all people… Of all races.” That to him makes it Global…
Jihad Muhammad‘s signature has most likely established itself as a guarantee of quality. A signature one could define as a trancey blend of Afro, Latin and Jazz vibes with a soulful edge. With gems such as ‘Destiny’ which he remixed for DJ Beloved & Shane or ‘Journey Into My Heart’ for Zandy Shejay & Thandi Draai adding to his reputation. But also ‘Heaven’ for Jersey Soul presents Walter Christopher. Not to mention ‘Live Your Life Your Way’ along with Earthman Experience. Or the stellar ‘Illusions’. The whole in addition to his rework of ‘Come Over’ for Nina Provencal. And, last but not least, the mesmerizing ‘Butterfly’ for Vangela Crowe.
2018 seeing him reachin’ new peaks. Eventually joinin’ forces with Carissa Nicole. This on an outstanding reconstruction of Ta-Ku featuring Alina Baraz‘ original ‘Down For You’…