I Am Your Spirit celebrates the 10th Black Arts Lab release and my 45 years as an openly gay artist! In 1977, I forged a career in the arts committed to an uncompromising artistic vision. After a most-promising start, I quickly realized I could never compromise my freedom of expression or artistic integrity. Fame and fortune were never my desire. My goal has always been to create art.
Throughout the years, I enjoyed working in record stores, DJ/VJing, being a Billboard Magazine club charts reporter, and my 10-year tenure (1983-1993) as the music & video director and public relations manager of the internationally acclaimed 9:30 Club in Washington, DC. That job also included my skill as a talent scout. But, after a decade of being in constant search of 'the next big thing' aka being an influencer, I realized I had put my music career on the back burner for much too long. Much time had passed. Music trends had changed, and so had I.
When I set out to make music again - through techno and electronica, electronic music was experiencing a resurgence in popularity. In 1997 with a Roland MC-303 Groovebox, Linn Drum machine, Korg MS10, and a Korg MS50, I produced a new set of music that I sent to a longtime music colleague, Michael Fotiadis, VP of Mute Records US. I wasn't seeking a record contract. He was simply someone in the music industry whose opinion I respected. His response was brief but emphatic, commenting, "Only Lamont Prince could create this music. Bravo!" Michael's astute critique made me realize that those past years of experience had greatly contributed to the musician I had become and the one I am today. But, for too many years, even longtime friends only knew me as a DJ.
Moving to Berlin, Germany, and creating Black Arts Lab was an affirming return to producing music to establish my legacy as a dynamic live performer, musician, and music producer. The release of - I Am Your Spirit - solidifies that goal.
I Am Your Spirit is a celebration of the past, present, and future of Black Arts Lab. I felt it was time to venture into unexplored musical territories and push myself to a more expressive musicality. Video visualizers for select tracks feature footage of an exuberant and sensuous dancer, as dance perfectly evokes the joy of the spirit and freedom of the soul. The grayscale motifs of the videos and juxtaposed images represent the duality of the spirit, the yin, and yang, positive, negative, free, and oppressed. The album's title also conjures the deeper concept that I am Your Spirit - You are My Spirit - We Are Spirit!
With my heart overflowing with gratitude, I dedicate this album to You, My Family, Dear Friends, Fans, Patrons, Associates, and Foes! Yes, this one's even for the disbelievers who should have known better than to bet against a Capricorn whose journey up the mountain is slow and steady, with every step meticulously calculated! A special thanks to my patrons, whose generosity has enabled me to keep making music. Lots of love to my friends and fans who purchase and promote my music. I ask that you take some time and look back at the eclectic output of Black Arts Lab. With certainty, NO record label on this planet would have ever allowed me to express myself so freely. With your support, I've established my legacy as an artist with much more to come. Next year, my alter ego, UNKL FNKY will release his debut album, which will also mark a return to live performances.
"Let's take it to the stage!"
Last but certainly not least, we thank everyone for the compassion they showed concerning the loss of our beloved, Siggi, and a special thanks to the following for their generosity! Be Bop, David Brightman, Brian Tate, Beth Wakefield, Matt Linden, Rik Savering, Joy Lowry, Michael Barron, Cathrin Padovani, John Paige, Liz Gutekunst, Jeff Ellis, Gary Gordon, Lewis Francis, & “goodtobefree”
Lamont Prince aka Black Arts Lab aka UNKL FNKY
released November 4, 2022
Written by Black Arts Lab & UNKL FNKY
Produced & Arranged by UNKL FNKY
Vocals: The Lost Tribe of Benin Mass Choir
Black Arts Laboratory - Berlin, Germany
Audio Mastering: Philip Stevenson
nightworldrecords AT gmail dot com