Chris Burger: Bay Area Emcee

photo by Tuffgyal808

Q#1: Are you a Bay Area Native? and if not, how long have you lived in the Bay? CB: Yes I am a Bay Area Native. I was born in Oakland California.. my father was a black marine helicopter pilot in Vietnam, my mother, a Mexican telephone operator living in Oakland who decided to give me up for adoption when I was born. I was picked up and raised by a wonderfully loving family in beautiful Berkeley California.

Q#2: When did you start on the creative path you are currently on? CB: My first performance was literally in diapers (it’s funny cuz I remember them sagging) but being the youngest of 10 children (as if my adoptive family didn’t have enough already) and the only non-biological, I was always striving for attention. I started playing trumpet around age 9 or 10, and I started with the lyrics around age 13. My first song was a reggae song about love and peace. I just do it with a lot more style and meditation now; many of my lyrics are introspective as a way to change my environment from the inside out. Like Gandhi said, “we must be the change we want to see in the world.”

Q#3: Where do you find your inspiration? CB: My inspiration is from life. Meditating, trying to slow all the clutter that whirls around our lives, and the best way for me to make sense of it all is through word, power, and sound. But usually the producers or live musicians I work with – their sound is motivation enough.

Q#4: What was the first piece of vinyl you ever purchased? CB: the first piece of vinyl I bought was “fantasy” by Earth Wind and Fireā€¦ man that was everything to me.

Q#5: Anything else you’d like to share? a joke/quote? CB: yeah, I was listening to spoken word artist, Kamau Daaood, and he was talking about the artist as a healer and an agent for change.. he talked about our responsibility to the sound (or idea as inspiration) and it reminded me of what the producer IronMonk once said concerning the human voice, in regards to speaking and the recorded word. He said the individual human voice is the one thing we all have that is original-it sounds like no other-so we should develop that, so striving to be a healer and an agent for change with regards to being original, as an artist, that is key. Bless up, and one love.

Mariafatima Urbi: Visual Artist

Q#1: Are you a Bay Area Native? and if not, how long have you lived in the Bay? Mariafatima: I emigrated to US when I was 10, moved around alot but I grew up in SF.

Q#2: When did you start on the creative path you are currently on? Mariafatima: I’ve been drawing most of my life, but professionally pursued it about 10 years ago.

Q#3: Where do you find your inspiration? Mariafatima: I’m very visual person so I like to people watch…creativity and innovation drives to inspire me, as well as traveling.

Q#4: What was the first piece of vinyl you ever purchased? Mariafatima: Beastie Boys “license to ill” album.

Q#5: Anything else you’d like to share? a joke/quote? Mariafatima: I love this quote by Audre Lorde and it sums up who I am… “if i didn’t define myself for myself i would be crunched into other people’s fantasies of me and eaten alive…”