The emotion and thrill of taking home my first Grammy award

Photo — Courtesy of The Recording Academy®– 2017 ©

2017 Winner: Best Contemporary Blues Album

~ The Last Days of Oakland ~

What it means to me:

I was surprised and excited. It has been a very long road — three lifetimes. I don’t do this seeking outside validation; I do it to connect with people. But it was great to have the work recognized on the biggest stage, and it means a lot to represent Oakland and the Bay Area.

Reflecting on my journey:

The journey was long, and it continues. The journey towards truth, and the liberation of the human spirit of expression, which is essential to our existence. This is the burden and the beauty of being an artist in the human family.

Grammy week in LA:

Grammy week was all about preparation. Mostly wardrobe. I worked with a local Bay Area designer Al’s Attire. The only thing I didn’t prepare was a speech!

The event:

The event was a good experience. I enjoyed the performances and appreciate the amount of work that must go into such an event.

Hearing my name called:

Winning the Grammy felt great. Very satisfying. I really feel like the win was for all the underdogs. The win was for every person and every artist that ever suffered or felt underappreciated. This was our win. Never give up on something you believe in. Never!

photo by Davey D Cook

The Last Days of Oakland:

I don’t think about hit songs or awards while creating music. That is the worst thing in the world for me. I just wanted… and always aspire to create something authentic and honest. The studio is a very real place, and when it ceases to be, I won’t do it anymore.

Touring with Chris Cornell and Temple of the Dog in 2016:

I love Chris Cornell, he is a great artist and human being. I learned so much from him touring. He is a force. Touring with him was like earning a doctorate.

~Fantastic Negrito

Photo — Courtesy of The Recording Academy®– 2017 ©


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~Feature in collaboration with/produced by: Jeff Gorra

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