SAN FRANCISCO—On Sunday, February 12, the Grammys introduced a new face to audiences who met Fantastic Negrito. The Oakland musician took home a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album. A first time for the songwriter.
Fantastic Negrito’s real name is Xavier Dphrepaulezz. He is an African American musician who won the award with his album “The Last Days of Oakland.” The album tackles a variety of subjects including politics, society, race and changes that comes together to form a powerfull message.
In an intervivew with CBS SF Bay Area, Xavier was born in Massachusetts and raised in a conservative Muslim household. He later moved to Oakland with his family. Tragedy struck the family with the death of his brother.
In his 20s, he landed a multi-million dollar recording contract, but album sales faltered and the musician lost his contract and stop composing music. A few years later a car accident left him in a coma for nearly a month.
Fantastic Negrito, a blues singer and guitarist grew to fame when he defeated more than seven thousand musicians to win the Tiny Desk Concert Contest in 2015.
Two years later he became an internet sensation and landed multiple music festival appearances such as SXSW in Austin.