Musician, DJ, producer, orchestral arranger/conductor– each of these words describe Pirahnahead. From the age of two, music played a major role in his life. At that young age he learned to play piano from his mother, and shortly thereafter, to play guitar, being highly inﬂuenced by Jimi Hendrix, Eddie Hazel, and legendary Detroit guitar gurus. Also at that very early stage, Pirahnahead selected and played records on the family record player, and later played at neighborhood parties. Rock and roll, blues, jazz, classical, and R&B heavily inﬂuenced Pirahnaheadʼs life then, and continues to inﬂuence his musical style now. In the words of 5 Magazine’s May 2012 issue: “Pirahnahead is not so much a Producer, DJ or Musician as he is a Force Of Nature.” But many ask, why the weird name? Who is Pirahnahead?
PIRAHNAHEAD – The DJ
As a child growing up in the 1970s, as Soul and Disco grew in popularity, Pirahnahead developed a love for the upbeat and soulful music when his sisters took him into the DJ booth at local skating rinks and clubs so he could be tended to while they partied. As he grew up, Pirahnahead met and was mentored by the legendary DJ Ken Collier, Derrick May, and John Collins. He experienced Detroitʼs legendary clubs Club Heaven and The Music Institute, and a visit to NYCʼs Paradise Garage and Club Shelter played a signiﬁcant part in inspiring Pirahnahead as a DJ. He has became a sought-after resident at various nightclubs and parties in Detroit, and since the Summer of 2005, during the Mahogani Music 2005 Europe/Japan tour, Pirahnahead has played at some of the top festivals and clubs worldwide:
• Italy: Moxa, Roots, 19.84, and Disco Volante
• Tokyo, Japan: Liquid, The Room, and Ageha ,
• London/UK: The Jazz Cafe, The Lodge, Corsica Studios, Mint Lounge, SubClub
• Rex Club (Paris), LUX (Lisbon, Portugal), and Watergate (Berlin, Germany)
PIRAHNAHEAD – The Musician
If you listen to any of Pirahnahead’s productions, he is usually the band. He has played guitar and toured with groups like Les Nubians, Charm Farm, Los Hermanos and various incarnations of the P-Funk All-Stars, like Enemy Squad, Bernie Worrell and the Woo-Warriors, Amp Fiddler, and Bad Brains. He has opened for legends such as Morris Day and The Time, Fishbone, Buddy Miles, Isaac Hayes as well as many others. He also performed at Woodstock in 1998, and has been a musical director countless times for various bands at Movement:DEMF. During Mahogani Music’s 2005 tour of Europe and Japan, he sang, played keys and guitar with Moodymann at mega festivals such as the Montreux Jazz Festival and the North Sea Jazz Festival. During the festivals he performed selections from his CD “SOLID: A Moment in the Mind of Pirahnahead” (Mahogani Music) which was released as a Japan exclusive in 2005, and in Europe and the US in 2006. He was also a featured act, along with Diviniti, at the Tokyo Crossover Jazz Festival of 2007 and 2008, and he toured Italy and Japan with Gerald Mitchell as Los Hermanos.
PIRAHNAHEAD – String Arranger/Conductor
Yes, it’s true. Formally educated as a music major at Wayne State University under the instruction of Motown legends such as Matt Michaels, Paul Riser, McKinley Jackson, and Johnny Allen, his education has given him the means to explore a different medium, which he brings to the modern day industry: classical orchestration. His love for string instruments and enriched harmonies make him a sought-after musical director and producer. He has written and conducted string parts for Quentin Harris’ “Give It 2 U (ft. Ultra Nate)” (which won an IDMA award), as well as for DJ Spinna and both of Shuya Okinoʼs ʻUnited Legendsʼ albums ʻIf It Is Loveʼ with Clara Hill, and his extended remix for the DJ Kawasaki/Diviniti collaboration “Shine” (which Shuya compiled into an ep entitled “Pirahnahead Works”). He’s also written and conducted strings for Tom Glide & the Luv All-Stars (alongside the EWF/phoenix horns, Larry Dunn, and many other notable musicians), and with Gaela Brown / Jessie J via Patrick Smadja’s ‘Can U Feel It’ Label.
PIRAHNAHEAD – The Producer/Remixer
As a Producer, Pirahnahead has a distinct sound which covers all bases of his inﬂuences in EDM from various styles of House and Techno to Hip-hop, Funk, Jazz and World Music. In 2004, Pirahnahead produced a song for Diviniti and since has been off and running. That song, “Find A Way” became an instant classic and was revered by DJs such as Theo Parrish, Louie Vega, and Danny Krivit (who edited and re-released it on King Street in 2004, and became a Body & Soul/718 Sessions staple). Pirahnahead has also produced 4 songs for Les Nubians on the album “Nu Revolution,” for which he had the pleasure of updating the legendary Manu Dubango’s timeless track “Soul Makossa” into the version called “Nu Soul Makossa,” feauturing Manu Dubango himself. He has also remixed songs for Terry Hunter, Lex Empress, Tortured Soul, Delano Smith, Charles Webster, Duce Martinez, and Kerri Chandler, among many others. In 2006, he launched Whasdat Music which, since its ﬁrst release, has gained the respect of many DJs and tastemakers, and has been licensed to compilations like Southport Weekender, Defected, and King Street/Grand Gallery, and has been featured on top download sites such as Traxsource, iTunes and Beatport.