Yarn/Wire at Issue Project Room
Daniel Harding and Mahler's Tenth Symphony

Zakee at Parlor

By Sky Disco

I love the diversity and spontaneity of New York.  Last night, I went to Parlor : a private book release party for New African Fashion by Helen Jennings without the slightest idea that Electronic/World/Alternative artist Zakee would gift us with his divinely-given talent to connect with people.

The venue itself was dangerously sexy. The seating throughout the space was cushy leather upholstery with brass studs. It reminded me of the type of sofa a law firm would have --- but EVERYWHERE. The decorative standout of the space was the wall photography, with “in your face” nudity and bondage shots. Every time I glanced at a wall, I blushed a little.  

There were lots of beautiful and eccentric people there – many from different parts of Africa.  My model friend Ebony tugged me towards the DJ area, and just as I sat down, I realized I was sitting next to a man with a guitar. The Dj had stopped spinning and was toying with a track I’d never heard before. There was a mint vibe to it, so I perked up and eased into the groove like everyone else.

Then Zakee - a Philly man with Senegalese roots, wearing dark shades and a relaxed cut suit -loosened his voice, delivering feel-good lyrics over his own electronics and a buddy on acoustic guitar. He’s interesting to watch as he freely smoothed into his own groove filled with outer space and soul. Without being Kumbaya-like, he made me want to dance and hug people.  The older woman next to me couldn’t stop bopping to the sounds, and the rest of the room was soon in his trance.  

Experiencing Zakee’s music is like being taken on a scenic journey on the back of a condor.  And what an approachable guy! Such a beaming smile. He might remind you of Tunde Adebimpe from TV on the Radio, but not as quirky.

Zakee is a musical chef mixing genres and beats with a powerful message that people get right away. Great music for a long drive or a housewarming mixer OR when you get really pissed off but wanna cool down and bring yourself back to a good place.