This post marks the inaugural edition of 206UP.COM’s THE SIX, a new interview feature on the blog where we focus on a single Town artist who has a recent project (album, single, video, etc.) either upcoming or already in the bag. The format is simple: Six questions are asked by 206UP.COM, six questions are answered by the subject. (Can you guess how we came up with the title?)
We’re incredibly pleased to feature Gabriel Teodros in the first edition. Yesterday, the Ethiopian-American MC dropped his new full-length, Colored People’s Time Machine, a world-wise collection of tracks that highlight his expansive roots and influences from various locations across the globe. Check for the record, here. Read on for more insight into the project.
1. What is the origin of the album title, Colored People’s Time Machine?
It came from a few places, one was this Ethiopian guy I met in DC who told a group of us it wasn’t until he moved to the US that time became a commodity, something that you can lose, something we count, and something we always chase. He said “Here time moves, but back home i move through time,” and it just made sense to me. Another origin is over 10 years ago the homie Orko Elohiem told another group of us he only believes there are two kinds of music in the world: Music that is timeless, and music for the time. Also, the term “CPT” has always has had a negative stigma, it implies people of color are always late. I wanted to take that term and completely flip it. All music is based on time and people of color are responsible for every musical movement this country has ever produced. With music you can travel to the future and let voices from the origins of this universe come up through you. So in short, music is our time machine. We’re not late, the way we move through time is just different. The concept of Colored People’s Time Machine embraces all of this.
2. The idea of one’s home is a dominant theme on CPTM. Is your definition of “home” that of a specific physicality, or is the concept more ambiguous than that?
Definitely a central theme, it’s said so many ways on the album, but “home” has come to mean a lot [of] places, and no place at all. Earlier this year my extended family in Toronto came up with the concept of “pieces of home” because we all seem to have pieces scattered all over the planet. This last year felt like I was constantly leaving home to go home no matter where I went. A lot of what home means is just the people we love. And as far as home as a place… I feel like every “place” that ever felt like home, at some point got jacked, and will never be the same.
3. What’s your favorite city or town other than Seattle?
Brooklyn/NYC, Addis Ababa, Toronto, the Bay Area, DC… These are the places I spent most of my time the last 12 months.
4. What was the last great book you read?
Octavia Butler’s Parable Of The Sower. and before that Nnedi Okorafor’s Who Fears Death. I HIGHLY recommend both.
5. Did you participate in any of the Occupy movements?
I didn’t. I did watch it in awe… And had loved ones on both coasts who were heavily involved.
6. Is there another Abyssinian Creole album on the horizon?
We’ve had an EP (produced by DJ Ian Head) recorded for a while now. How and when we’ll release it is a mystery to me! After Colored People’s Time Machine I have a group project with Meklit Hadero & Burntface entitled CopperWire Earthbound coming out on Porto Franco Records. I also have another solo project recorded with a producer from DC/Addis named AirME, and collaborative projects in the works with Suntonio Bandanaz & Thirdeyebling, and producer agentCB from Seattle. Khingz recently released a solo project called Liberation Of The Monster with producer Rel!g!on out of Vancouver, and the new Hi-Life Soundsystem album dropped earlier this month too! Khingz has a huge year coming up with two more solo projects, one produced by BeanOne and another by Vitamin D, as well as a group project called OTOW Gang. There’s so much to look for from both of us! And we do feature each other on our projects all the time.