Stephen Aza Allsop
AZA is a multi-instrumentalist who is intimately familiar with a wide range of music but is deeply rooted in the African American musical tradition. He grew up listening to gospel, reggae, soca, blues, soul, and jazz and all of these genres have had a profound influence on the development of his musical style.
He was fortunate to not only develop a unique ear for mixing elements of different genres together, but to also have a firm foundation in music theory as well as formal studies of gospel and jazz music in college. He has played as a professional musician for over 10 years and has performed at venues such as Jazz at the Lincoln Center, Arts at the Armory, Regattabar, and The Middle East. After teaming up with NtheLAB’s founder and lead producer T.wav$ in early 2017, they began to make music that inspired him to launch his career as an independent artist. He wants to make music that is relevant for the culture but will take the people to a higher place of consciousness, action, and peace.
AZA is a student in the MD/PhD program at Harvard Medical School. He finished his PhD in Neuroscience at MIT in 2016 and is currently finishing his MD. He received his B.S. in Biology from North Carolina Central University where he also received a minor in Jazz studies for piano and vocal performance.
Being poised for a level of success my grandparents could literally only dream of, within a system designed for me to fail, I have had to wrestle with issues of race and identity, ancestry, purpose, spirituality and while I don’t claim to have answers, I have gained insights and I share alot of myself, which includes these lessons, in my music. Being a medical student and having a PhD in neuroscience gives me a pretty unique perspective when it comes to how I approach music and life in general. The way I approach and evaluate my art is very much informed by the scientific process. I’m always experimenting and trying to define the boundaries and intersections within music. My experiences as a first generation American who experienced HBCU life and Ivy League life and who has been a truth seeker my whole life, gives rise to a perspective that I think some will find valuable for their own journeys in trying to maximize their impact on earth. That is alot of my motivation for doing music at this time in my life. I write music for people who have goals and dreams and are trying to figure out how to make it happen and how to balance that with family and relationships, and spirituality. In my music, they’ll find something encouraging, uplifting, motivating, smart, and informational. At the same time, it is super relevant musically and has a great vibe to it. That’s the type of music I want to listen to, so its the type of music I want to create.