Born in Fulton County, in the border state of Kentucky but raised in the Midwest-Michigan City, IN; Gary, IN; Chicago, IL and Milwaukee, WI. Raphael Ashanti, a songwriter and vocalist received his anointing in music through the black Pentecostal church. His early development years centered on listening and performing in live bands which nurtured his love for music and entertainment.
Raphael Ashanti is a singer-songwriter residing in Pensacola, Florida, USA. Hes a soulful gemstone who has been on the independent scene for about 15 years. His latest single released to radio and going for adds My Mother (Annas Song) is a beautiful touching personal tribute to his deceased mom but very universal in content and appeal. He has been described by Grammy nominated producer Steve Allen as one of the best independent artist Ive ever worked with. Raphael says I love leafy greens and my abs of steel always set off the metal detectors at airports.
In 2009, Raphael began writing songs for his solo project Stronger than Yesterday with creative input from friend, music producer and former Priest Prophet Poet member Rodney Doc C Goldsmith aka The Poet. This new project took a turn toward Neo-Soul/R&B. This direction had its influence in early childhood exposure to artists such as Curtis Mayfield, Donny Hathaway, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Peabo Bryson, and Bobby Womack and others; the music of the seventies and eighties. What the adults of that era typically referred to as grown-folks-music. Unfortunate circumstances that often comes with the independent artist music business caused the Stronger than Yesterday project to be shelved. Although in 2012 Raphael was able to release a single, a scorching love ballad Inside My Tears to a regional audience. It would be three years before Raphael would began writing again and producing his first full solo album release which took a different turn and landed a different title Love & Life which wouldnt be completed and released for an additional two years, officially releasing to national radio airplay on Monday, August 25, 2014. The first single from the very diverse project Hollywood Bound garnered considerable airplay and impressive rankings on four national charts. National Airplay Top 200 Chart - 11/8/2014 - No. 109; National Airplay Top 50 Pop Chart - 10/25/2014 - No. 45; National Airplay Top 50 Independent Chart 10/25/2014 No. 7; and spent three consecutive weeks at No. 11 on the National Airplay Top 50 R&B/Hip-Hop Chart 10/25/2014 11/8/2014.
I'm not currently playing live, but primarily upon requests and to promote new projects.
They are many and a mixture of old and new school: Donny Hathaway, Curtis Mayfield, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, George Benson, Jeffrey Osborne, Jonathan Butler, Al Jarreau, Bobby Womack, Peabo Bryson, Gladys Knight, Chaka Khan, Nina Simone, Bob Marley, Sly & the Family Stone, Whitney Houston Brain McKnight, Rachelle Ferrell, Anthony Hamilton, Joe Thomas, Jaheim, John Legend, Tyrese, Tank, R. Kelly, Aloe Blacc, Mali Music, John Mayer, Charlie Wilson, Maxwell, Slum Village, Tupac Shakur, Nas, Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Gemstones, Big Krit, Lupe Fiasco and Deadprez. I love old school groups like Earth, Wind & Fire; The Isley Brothers; LTD; and Frankie Beverly & Maze. I was also influenced by groups of the 90s like Blackstreet; Jodeci; Boyz II Men; and Mint Condition who are still around today. I love artists who write songs that are evergreens, timeless, and relevant material.
I get by on just 7 basic pieces of equipment for my home studio:
1.) My Computer: 15-inch MacBook Pro/2.5GHz Processor/512 GB Storage/Turbo Boost up to 3.7GHz/16GB 1600MHz memory.
2.) Focusrite Saffire Pro 24 digital audio interface high-quality processor.
3.) Studio Monitors: Started out with Alesis but I've upgraded to the Neumann KH 310.
4.) My Headphones: are Sennheiser HD 630VB Full Size. Also Beats Pro Full Size Headphones with Mic.
5.) I use the industry standard: Shure SM57
6.) A Few Cables
7.) One Mic Stand
My two additions are A.) Yamaha Clavinova CVP-409gp / and B.) Korg Triton Studio 88 key music workstation
Raphaels single MY MOTHER (ANNAs SONG) was selected for the Independent No.1's Vol.6 and is being globally promoted-This is the 6th Edition of the main stream compilation of independent number ones featuring some of the best indie artists from around the world.
His music will get commercial radio, top end media coverage across destinations like Dubai, Goa, London, New York, Ibiza, Thailand and includes venues like the hard rock cafe chains, troubadour, major malls and colleges etc. This will be promoted via national advertising in India and Dubai on Vh1/MTV and the Annual WOA International Music Festival in association with Vh1 (now in its 9th year).