Chuck Stewart’s photography provided by Fireball Entertainment Group, courtesy of Chuck Stewart Photographs of John Coltrane, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Dasan Ahanu is an award-winning artist, community organizer, and educator born and raised between a ditch and a pecan tree in Raleigh, North Carolina. He is a proud member of the Black Jedi Zulus and an alumnus of the Nasir Jones Fellowship at Harvard’s Hip-hop Archive and Research Institute.
A Points South essay from the North Carolina Music Issue.
The first person I saw when I walked into Bright Lady Studios in Raleigh on a Monday evening this past July was a young man sitting at a desk, his eyes locked on a laptop screen, his hands hovering over a Maschine controller. Vohn Beatz, son of legendary producer S1, nodded as I passed, then immediately returned to the music he was working on. I entered the studio lounge and there sat rapper Reuben Vincent, a young protégé of Jamla Records who dropped his debut album, Myers Park (named after his Charlotte high school), in 2017. I heard voices down the hall and followed them into the recording room, where I found Soul Council producer Kash talking with Tia Watlington, Jamla’s director of product management, and songstress Heather Victoria about Heather’s new single “Japan.” I knew that this was just a taste of what any given day is like at Bright Lady—young artists honing their craft, label mates planning the next release, or your favorite artist in town looking for that signature sound for their new project. Anything is possible at the business and recording home of Grammy-winning producer and Jamla label head 9th Wonder.