Tag Archives: Radio Venice S05.E10

Mr. Motes

Taking his name from the main character of Flannery O’Connor’s Wise Blood, Mr. Motes creates musical landscapes that aim to challenge norms. Landscapes that are unquestionably Christ-haunted. He is Ohio-born, Nashville-raised, and currently resides in Los Angeles, California. His songs are about divorce, parenthood, corporate jobs, student debt, and just what-the-fuck this is all supposed to mean for someone who’s only 28 years old.

Mr. Motes is heavily influenced by Radiohead, Grizzly Bear, and Jeff Buckley. He weaves odd time signatures with Biblical and mythological imagery but does so with a certain amount of grace and sincerity that makes it all relatable. At the end of the day, if you’re dancing while also questioning your perceived reality, then Mr. Motes is happy.

Mr. Motes on Radio Venice

Radio Venice S09.E02 – September 16, 2018
Radio Venice S06.E05 – July 23, 2017
Radio Venice S05.E10 – May 14, 2017

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DLEE

With no formal music education, DLee’s innate musical talent manifested itself, from a young age, as he began singing in the church choir. A love for bass playing ensued, aged ten, which organically led to creating tunes and writing lyrics.

Born in Beaumont, Texas, and with strong familial roots in the deep south, his exposure to the world of music was intense, from Gospel and high school jazz band to a home life filled with musical culture, encouraged by his family. DLee was able to hone his musical gifts for melody and lyrics, influenced by such greats as Otis Redding, Al Green, Stevie Wonder, Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield.

Self-taught in various instruments, he continually developed his own unique sound, while concurrently excelling in basketball at Loyola Marymount University, which took him professionally to Europe. There, a major modeling agency also scouted his look, and launched a successful modeling career, appearing in over hundred national commercials, affording him time to further hone his craft, in his first love, music. Guitar in hand, along the way, his prolific flair for singing/songwriting became recognized by the industry.

Dedicated and passionate, DLee was able to establish himself as a fulltime musician/producer, working with the likes of Macy Gray, Kim Hill, Monk, Medusa, Keaton Simons. DLee has also collaborated with Leon Ware ( Marvin Gaye ‘I want you’) and James Gadson, written lyrics and shared vocals with Adrian Younge and Will Hart of The Delfonics, and composed music for film and TV commercials. Screen work has included musical supervision and composition for Cassidy Way, The Road to Redemption, A Scanner Darkly and The Making of 300 the movie.

Together with actor/singer Gary Dourdan as Sugar Free the Band, DLee has toured the US, the West Indies, France, Morocco and Dubai, including a number of charity performances. The album ‘Soul Revival’ was DLee’s first episode as a solo artist, featuring ten songs that are a pure expression of his heart and soul. Currently, DLee is putting the finishing touches on his follow-up album – release date to be advised.

DLEE on Radio Venice

Radio Venice S07.E02 – November 19, 2017
Radio Venice S05.E10 – May 14, 2017

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Main photo by Ana Pettus

Keenan Webster

Founder of SankofaAfrica, Keenan was born in Nashville, Tennessee. His love of music deepened as a teenager in Los Angeles, California, where he began his music studies with Master Teachers from Africa and Cuba. Surrounded by a highly spiritual family, he has spent his life focused on studies of music, religion and history.

He is influenced by music giants John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Taj Mahal, El Hadj Kouyate, Toumani Diabate, Robert Johnson, Slip James, Johnny Shines, Habib, Koite and Keltigue Diabate. The music traditions of Latin America, Sumatra and India also infiltrate his style.

Keenan performs the 21 string kora (11 played by the left hand and 10 by the right), a large calabash cut in half and covered with cow skin with a long, hardwood neck. Strings were traditionally made from thin strips of hide, for example, antelope skin – now most strings are made from harp strings or nylon fishing line.

It doesn’t fit into any one category of musical instruments and is classified as a “double-bridge-harp-lute”. He also performs on the balaphone (from West Africa), West African drums from the Mandingo or Mende people, the flute and saxophone.

Keenan Webster on Radio Venice

Radio Venice S05.E11 – May 21, 2017
Radio Venice S05.E10 – May 14, 2017

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