Mustafa Akbar is known across the globe as one of the best funk and modern soul singers and he possesses an amazing ability to deliver music from the heart. We first heard Trust featuring members of Akbar’s band Nappy Riddem playing over a tiny smartphone speaker after wrapping up a party at the ESL mansion in Washington D.C. Once Nutritious & Commodore produced a moody, storming vocal house remix and dub, B.C. beat-chef JPOD delivered a signature bass bending break mix and reprise.
Mustafa Akbar debuted in 2001 on the Thunderball album Scorpio Rising singing on ‘Heart Of The Hustler’ released by Thievery Corporation’s record label ESL Music. Since, Akbar’s been featured across numerous house, break, soul and funk records. In 2003, Akbar released his first solo music with the album Natural High. In 2006, Thunderball featured Akbar again, twice, on the album Cinescope (‘Return Of The Panther’ and ‘Elevated States’) released by ESL. In 2008, Fort Knox Five debuted their first album Radio Free DC featuring Akbar on four tracks, ‘The Spirit Of 75,’ ‘How To Start A Band,’ ‘Uptown Tricks’ and the successful ‘Funk 4 Peace.’ By 2009, Akbar released his second solo work, a soulful album titled That Day out on Kizum Music.
In 2011, Akbar debuted his reggae band Nappy Riddem with the release One World Sovereignty on Fort Knox Recordings. Then, in 2013, Akbar forged a relationship with Europe’s Basement Freaks, singing on three tracks on the album Funk From The Trunk (‘Gimme More,’ ‘Bedroom Stories,’ and ‘Dancin’) out on Jalapeño Records. In 2015, Fort Knox Five released the album Pressurize The Cabin with Akbar taking center stage on both ‘Whatcha Gonna Do’ and ‘Keep It Poppin,’ including a set of remixes by Worthy, DJ Dan, Mike Balance, and Wes Smith of the latter. In 2016, Akbar performed again with the Basement Freaks on the album Time Machine (‘Move Your Body’ and ‘Little Red Afro’)–’Little Red Afro,’ a tribute to the late Jon H, a long time friend and founding member of the Fort Knox Five.
This project is years in the making and we look forward to highlighting Akbar’s musical prowess on SpinSpinNYC.