Musician, String Arranger / Orchestrator, Producer / Engineer – Real talk; not just modern day music business hype. More commonly stated, Pirahnahead is one of Detroit’s true ambassadors of music; No matter what genre, Pirahnahead is found somewhere in the fabric of Detroit’s Funk, Rock, Blues, Jazz, Classical, EDM and R&B genres. From the age of two, music became his life’s mission. At that young age he learned piano (from his mother), and shortly thereafter guitar, highly influenced by Jimi Hendrix, Eddie Hazel, and learned hands on from legendary guitar gurus. Being that musician led pirahnahead to studios as a session musician, and began to form a young producer from his observations in those sessions. Multi-faceted experiences heavily influenced Pirahnahead’s life then and continue to influence his musical style now. But many ask, why the weird name? Who is Pirahnahead?
If you listen to any of his productions, he’s usually the band; although he is a multi-instrumental maven, he has played guitar and toured with Les Nubians, Los Hermanos and various incarnations of the P-Funk All-Stars, like Enemy Squad, which toured with Bernie Worrell, Amp Fiddler, and Bad Brains, opened for legends such as Morris Day and The Time, Fishbone, Buddy Miles, Isaac Hayes and performed at Woodstock in 1998. He has performed as a featured act at Montreux Jazz Festival, North Sea Jazz Festival, and Tokyo Crossover Jazz Festival (with Diviniti), and has served as musical director and bandleader to various groups, playing alongside some of Detroit’s elite musicians, such as Allee Willis, and Kern Brantley (musical director for Lady Gaga, Beyonce, etc). Currently, Pirahnahead works at DIME (Detroit’s Institute Of Music Education) as an instructor, passing along the valuable knowledge he has gained as a musician in the trenches.
Yes, it’s true. That means real musicians, and real sheet music. Live orchestra and pure lushness, no keyboards or programs. Formally educated as a music major at Wayne State University under Matt Michaels, and the direct mentorship of Motown Legend Paul Riser, as well as McKinley Jackson, Johnny Allen, and P-Funk’s Bernie Worrell, this education has given him an edge which he brings to the modern day industry; classical orchestration. His love for the enriched harmonies of orchestral instruments make him a sought after musical director and producer. This can be heard on R&B/Soul duo The Foreign Exchange’s “Love In Flying Colors” (which climbed three of billboard’s charts), Tom Glide & the Luv All-Stars (alongside the EWF/Phenix Horns, Larry Dunn, and a host of notable musicians), many EDM projects for Shuya Okino, Quentin Harris, DJ Spinna, Clara Hill. Notable R&B producer Brandon Williams’ “XII” project, Shaun Martin and Carmen Rodgers. As of recently Pirahnahead arranged and conducted strings for Hip-Hop royalty De La Soul’s long awaited album ‘And The Anonymous Nobody’, where he accompaniesJill Scott, on ‘Genesis’ and ‘Memory of… (Us)’ with Estelle and Pete Rock,‘Pain’ which features Snoop Dogg, and close the album as well with ‘Exodus’. Upon its release it launched into the number one spot for Billboards ‘Rap Albums’, ‘Vinyl Albums’ and number three on Hip-Hop/R&B albums, and as of recently has been GRAMMY®Nominated for Best Rap Album. Needless to say, Pirahnahead and the Soulchestra family are so very grateful to be chosen to take part in such an amazing project.
With over 15 years under his belt as a Producer and 20 years as an Engineer, pirahnahead has distinct sound which cover all bases in music from various styles of House and Techno to Funk and Hip-Hop, Jazz and World Music, Pirahnahead can be identified at first listen. Having studied at the Recording Institute of Detroit in 1990, and becoming a ‘runner’ at The Disc Ltd., Loading tape machines and setting up microphones taught Pirahnahead what it meant to make music happen. In 1992 He and some partners opened Studio 707 in Lansing, MI – leading the tri-state area in Analog/Digital hybrid recording back when sound tools and BIAS Deck was introduced. Pirahnahead was one of the engineers who helped the resurgence of the legendary United Sound Systems Recording Studios, and helped to carry on the sound of great engineers such as Jim Vitti, Carl Robinson, and the late Steve King.
In 2004, Pirahnahead produced a song for Diviniti and it took off and is still running. The latin jazz flavored, “Find A Way” became an instant classic and was even sampled by The Foreign Exchange in ‘Asking For a Friend’ (Tales of the Land Of Milk & Honey, 2015). Highly revered by Djs such as Theo Parrish, Louie Vega, and Danny Krivit, Pirahnahead also produced 4 songs for Les Nubians on the album ‘Nu Revolution’, which he had the pleasure of updating the legendary Manu Dubango’s timeless track ‘Soul Makossa’ into the version ‘Nu Soul Makossa’ which features Manu Dubango himself. As well as remixing for Kem, Mary Mary, Terry Hunter, Lex Empress, Tortured Soul, Delano Smith, Charles Webster, Kerri Chandler, among many, he launched his own imprint Whasdat Music., Since it’s first release, has gained the respect of many tastemakers and has been licensed by Southport Weekender, Defected, and King Street/Grand Gallery, and has been featured on top download sites such as Traxsource, iTunes and Beatport. In 2014, he co-wrote the release “Everlasting Love” with Diviniti and Louie Vega which will be featured on Louie’s upcoming album project on Vega Records.