Candice Anitra & Mustafa Effortless are
The Love Machine Project. Equal parts left-of-soul songstress and consciousness-raising emcee, this dynamic duo bridged the east and west coasts to birth their brand of ephemeral Tina-Turner-meets-Guru-mannered alien pop. Now they follow up the first single with the release of the video for “Earth,” which blends an even funkier and more ephemeral groove with a rhythm that compels active head-nodding. The track was conceived as a genuflection to the elements and planet, with imagery birthed from a meditation of visualizing oneself embracing the planet while sending loving-kindness to all sentient beings. The recording and video attempt to personify the planet, giving her a name and a face, so the listener hears the story of Earth personified. At a time when humanity and mother nature are too often conceptualized separately, The Love Machine Project conveys Earth as a lover, a mother, a significant other to bring the ills she’s experiencing into sharper focus. Mustafa spits lyrics like:
“When I think Earth I think Ampersand
All in together Ma need a mamagram
She taking a beating we all watching
Men-need to-pause over heated for profits
Pock marks up and down her thighs
Mining for her soul is damaging the sky
Trying to discover another before she dies
Flying into space while sucking her dry”
Musical planetary alignment is rare but with technology on their side The Love Machine volleyed new material back and forth across country non-stop for weeks in the fall of 2012. Upon composing each of the love letters to love featured on their debut Love Machine EP in her Brooklyn love nest, singer-songwriter-producer-alchemist Candice Anitra knew they were incomplete without the touch of Los Angeles-based, Uptown-raised, actor, musician, director, poet and fellow warrior of light Mustafa Shakir (aka Mustafa Effortless, or M*E), whom she had known for more than a decade after performing together in Kamal Sinclair’s Off-Broadway The Beat, called “Hip-Hop’s theatrical revolution.” After adding his deep and witty verses to Anitra’s tracks, Candice and Mustafa teamed with super producer-engineer Joel Hamilton (Pretty Lights, Black Keys, Matisyahu, Dub Trio), bassist Brady Watt (Talib Kweli, Res, Curren$y), guitarist Wes Mingus (Wu-Tang Clan, The Revelations), and drummer Jason Mills (Stomp, Beetroot) to fill out the recordings’ sound at Studio G in Brooklyn. The songs in this collection embrace, honor, and extol the full spectrum of what it means to be human, embrace the alien, and spread love along the way.
In our hypersexualized culture, the immediate connotation of a love machine is sex, but “Love Machine” takes listeners beyond notions of sexual intimacy with another person and into the realm of spiritual intimacy with the planet and self. Anitra opens, “I am a love machine / Cellular circuitry show your parts / we’ve all got hearts under construction / take down the caution tape / Be yourself to thank love for it’s many devotions.” And M*E raps, “Love Machine pure energy transport / Spiritual frequencies wide band one thought / One mind one soul / One time unfold / Look inside see my shine gold.” We are spiritual beings with swag and “Love Machine” reflects the intersection of human evolution and musical alchemy, an EP that combines the sonic magnetism of party music with the depth of philosophical poetry.
About Candice Anitra:
“Candice Anitra has a pure and beautiful instrument. Producer aside, players aside, Candice’s voice wins every time.” ~Meshell Ndegeocello
In her solo career, Philly-raised and Brooklyn-based Candice Anitra explores the fine lines between genders, self-love and loathing, and the polarities that exist in us all. She is one part soul singer, and equal parts rabble-rouser and philosopher, with her edgy, electro-rock-infused, sultry songs. Anitra’s full-length debut, Bark Then Bite, dropped in 2010 and Big Tree, in 2012, gaining further acclaim from Yahoo! Music who says,”funk-laden dance tracks that evokes more hope than despair.” The album was a mellifluous yet audacious blend of all the delicious oft overlooked spaced between the genres, which also led Candice to perform up and down the east coast, including venues such as the Blue Note, Apollo Music Café, NJPAC, the Brooklyn Museum, and Brooklyn Academy of Music. In her music, Candice looks within to take the emotional bumps in the road and combine euphonic bits of this and that to master a sacred pastiche art that magnetizes audiences.
About Mustafa “Effortless” Shakir:
“Mustafa Effortless is holistically sound hip hop.” ~Rolling Stone
Mustafa “Effortless” Shakir has his hands in everything from acting to writing to directing. As an emcee, Mustafa bridges the gap between conscious rap and ear-to-the-street swagger; his first bid was the 2006 full-length album Holy War, with production from Goldrocc, Ayatollah (Mos Def), and Leggo, in response to which URB Magazine proclaimed, “Effortless is sure to impress.” He came back with his sophomore effort Chameleon in 2010, which ignited the underground hip hop scene with production from Dirrty Brahms (Rhye) and garnered praise from Rolling Stone and XXL. Mustafa and Brahms then followed a year later with their ode to hip hop, DIEMIND: god the carbon copy, a brilliant sonic exploration of the pitfalls of evolving while still in the trenches of the hood mind state. Between solo albums and mix tapes, M*E has kept it fresh by touring with daKAH Hip Hop Orchestra, the LA-based 74-piece musical cornucopia headed by Geoff “Double G” Gallegos. Overall, M*E’ combines lyrical prowess and provocative content to create effortless flows sure to keep listeners on their toes.