Today, Fantastic Negrito shares “Rolling Through California,” a blues-funk rallying cry that calls for solidarity and collective action in the wake of drought, water management challenges, accelerating climate change, and the growing calamity of California’s annual fire season. Recorded at Fantastic Negrito’s own Storefront Records studio in Oakland, the track features a powerful backing vocal performance from fellow Bay-Area artist Miko Marks, who herself has earned recent praise from the New York Times, NPR, Rolling Stone and more.
“I remember waking up to an apocalyptic sky,” says Fantastic Negrito. “The sky was orange, the sun looked bloodshot and people's anxiety levels were very high. It felt and looked like doomsday. It really made me think about climate change and the environment - how our actions impact where we live and the choices we make.”
Alongside the new single, Fantastic Negrito has also shared the new music video for “Rolling Through California.” Set on a ranch, the video follows a dejected and exhausted young firefighter seeking refuge on a ranch run by the Oakland Black Cowboy Association. “The little fireman feels so alone because he's looking at a fast changing world of climate change, displaced people and a California fire season that makes the air more toxic to breathe every year,” Fantastic Negrito explains. “He finds his home in a group that is historically marginalized, overlooked and that's the Black Cowboys of America who are at home on their farm.”
Fantastic Negrito has partnered with Defy:Disaster so that a portion of the song proceeds will go to support firefighters, first responders, and communities impacted by wildfires throughout North America. To donate and find out more information, please visit: https://bit.ly/donatefirefund
Stream and watch “Rolling Through California” HERE
Fantastic Negrito broke onto the national radar by winning the inaugural NPR Tiny Desk Contest in 2015. Since then, Negrito has gone on to win the Best Contemporary Blues Album Grammy-Award for each of the three albums he has released: The Last Days of Oakland (2017), Please Don’t Be Dead (2019), and Have You Lost Your Mind Yet? (2020), which includes features from fellow Tiny Desk winner Tank and the Bangas and Bay Area legend E-40.
Fantastic Negrito has a truly enthralling story rooted in struggle and strife: from the highs of a million-dollar record deal to the lows of a near fatal car accident that left him in a coma and changed his entire outlook on life. Outside of music, Negrito puts his socially progressive lyrics into action. His Storefront Market, a monthly marketplace free of charge to the public, features vendors representing the community of West Oakland and surrounding neighborhoods. He also runs his own farm on his Oakland property called Revolution Plantation where he teaches the surrounding community to garden — an effort to pass on practices that can sustain local neighborhoods and our planet alike.
Fantastic Negrito will share more new music in the coming months.