Eric Smith, NBC5Chicago Street Team
Who is Aniba Hotep-please explain for the world to know.
I am a Messenger of Peace-the person who sees the happy ending to the path of life. Consider me a combination my unique life’s experience and applied knowledge-from mentors who have gone before me. Living through these experiences-this is who I am. Where it all began was in my hometown, performing in talent shows and composing my own music in an academic honors programs, which lead to a chance to perform at the famed Apollo theater as a young child.
How do you define your style…is it Soul Music or is it R&B?
My style is absolutely Soul Music. Originally from small town in Virginia, my musical roots were being established in the Church from age 11. My sound is influenced by my religious upbringing-infused with the blues. Listening to me perform-you can hear Southern based Soul a kind of Soul Blues-akin to many of the greats like Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, Johnny Taylor, Al Green and Billie Holiday.
When I first heard you play you reminded me of some of the great disco classics from the days of Salsoul Records. How do you feel about disco and house music?
Where I’m from-house is GoGo music. And when I first moved here-I fell in love with the older stuff like First Choice and Loleatta Holloway-and you can hear some of these songs incorporated in my live sets. However, I would not have labeled what I heard and listened to at that time as house music.
How does fashion play a role in your music?
Fashion is very much intertwined with my music. When first arriving in Chicago-I started first expressing myself on the poetry scene and then transitioned into the music. Even then, I wanted to leave a mark in all facets of this are. When people see a show they deserve a visual-and fashion would never not be a factor.
What do you enjoy most about your art and performing?
I enjoy the songwriting aspect of my art. I write most of my material and music. Building a song that people appreciate-pleases me. Once an audience is engaged in my art-that’s when I am most comfortable and closer to finding a love for the stage.
What about the city of Chicago influences you?
I became an adult in the city of Chicago. It has always influenced me musically. Before arriving I was always in record stores listening to and looking for records from Chaka Khan, Ramsey Lewis and Booker-T-the Chicago taste in music was similar to what I was listening to and what I like to give in my shows.
What’s in store for your fans in 2010?
I plan to continue with the“All Souled Out” concert series-we already have a growing fan base. The next time you can come to see me play will be at The Morseland-Friday, February 26 at 9pm. We plan to perform at the upcoming Chicago Soul Music Festival and will look to book an overseas tour.
Come on out an see the most soulful band out of Chicago since Earth, Wind and Fire-Aniba Hotep and The Sol Collective!