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BIOGRAPHY


The Original African IndianZ (The OAI) is the Child of
Anthony Hatcher Johnson (Ant Hatcher for short).


ARTIST: Ant Hatcher
TITLE: The O.A.I.
RELEASE DATE: tba
LABEL:
Hampstead Digital Records
TRACK LISTING: Yo Conscience, Bounce, Happy Thang, Can U Hear?,
Chicken Scratch, 'I', Harmonic pastures (part 1 & 2),
Truth 'Scarecrow Fool'


HARLEM, THE MARINES AND MESCALINE

In 1993, Ant Hatcher was as down and out as he had ever been. A four year stint in the US Marines had served to remove him from the violence and poverty of his Harlem neighborhood - his goal at the time - and taken him around the world. But its austerity had also dampened his spirit. After all, Hatcher was practically Harlem nobility - the grandson of the legendary gangster and culture hero Bumpy Johnson, Hatcher's extended Harlem family included Cab Calloway and a plethora of African/Native American Cherokee warriors. It was a proud family, one that definitely did not do things by the book - anathema to the US Marines.

'At that point I got somewhat overweight playing and recording with my group 'I' in Brooklyn and working at a call center in downtown NYC. I was actively trying to be everything the Marines trained me not to be and yet i had no clue where I was. That's when I took a life-saving dose of mescaline!"

As a US Marine , Hatcher had become increasingly more interested in the psychotropic native ceremonies that he encountered since childhood.

"I would take my paid leave and hit the jungles, beaches & villages of wherever we were currently stationed and hang with the native islanders. I felt closer to the people than i did to fellow Americans.

So when a small vial of mescaline accidentally ended up at Hatcher's home, it tickled a dormant interest. And opened a door...

"I kept the mescaline in my lap for about two hours trying to decided what to do before setting out to start answering calls like a good boy. Then I decided!"

In the grips of one of the most profound hallucinogenic experiences of his life, Hatcher exited the call center and left New York City that evening. Still in the throws of the mescaline realm, he contacted a Marine friend, rounded up an 18 wheeler rig and later two motorcycles and headed across the country to later wind up in San Francisco, staying at Indian reservations and National parks on the way. He partook in sweat lodges and rekindled his Native American identity, which is not to say he was ready for what awaited him on the "left coast."

"San Francisco just blew my mind. I felt immediately at home - i was weary of the extreme liberalism because mostly i was still a Harlem street kid and US military veteran and didn't know how to process the hippie parties and intense beauty. But i'd brought Amber Forest Green my shakuhachi, the flute I crafted, and began to make my way through the myriad of public drum circles that were seemingly in every public park in that city, especially Golden Gate Park."



No stranger to instruments, Hatcher had been playing drums, flutes, guitar and piano since he was a toddler. He had always, unlike his Harlem neighbors, loved Heavy Metal and tight, well-crafted songs. But drifting around San Francisco, he began to focus intently on the silver classical flute, soon mastering rapid fire 32nd and 64th notes.

"I noticed in these public jam sessions that when i'd stepped out to take a flute solo or sing - well, it really connected with everything and everyone. That built my confidence. the public jam sessions in San Francisco - well that whole city is about Open Source isn't it? I liked the feel of those sessions - they were from the heart, and as that was where it was for me, i wondered if i couldn't put that feeling into some tight songs. And so i started assembling a band"

Within a year, Hatcher had assembled the first incarnation of the OAI - the Original African Indianz in Holland- a nomadic [extended] family of musicians that began to bring the roof down at raves that were starting to be held in in Germany and the Netherlands.

Now, In [TITLE], the first official issue of OAI, Hatcher and the loose knit African Indianz achieve their goal - an elegant assortment of crafted songs and blistering hallucinogenic jams that thread elements of Metal and Hip Hop and Blues together with the intimacy of a San Francisco drum circle.

"We've been playing these songs at festivals around the world for a [15 years] and they are worked out and loose at the same time. I'm very pleased with this release -

it captures our playing and our beliefs and, above all, this music gives you a clear message - that it's all possible! "

Time and space - inspiration gathered from a plethora of sources, streams of experience. spirit -


The O.A.I. 'is out [date] on [label].


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