is official, Stone Mecca has been signed to Wu Music
Group reads a message on Stone Mecca's myspace
webpage. A new addition to the Wu-tang clan family
tree, trust the Wu fans to find out things within a
twinkle of an eye, just that morning of posting the
news on the main page, emails starts pouring in,
Who are Stonemecca? how many are they? are they
hip-hop or R&B? enquiries about the group, this and that, that and
Thank God for the internet, with communication made
easier online, Wu-International managed to get hold
of Stone Mecca members Traé, and Salakida for an
exclusive interview in midst of their already busy
So what's behind the name?
Based on my recent interest and studies, a quick assumption
to the name Stone Mecca, was that the group probably adopted
their name from "The Black Stone Of Mecca". For those
who don't know, The Black Stone of Kaaba or Mecca is called,
in Arabic, Al-hajar Al-aswad. The word Kaaba - Ka'ba
- Ka'bah - means Cube and this represents a metaphor for In
the Box - Qabbalah - the Tree of Life - Creation -
Consciousness now evolving out of the box in the alchemy of
time when matter [white] and antimatter [black, void] meet
at Zero Point. As a cornerstone - we go to masons - free
masons and reality as a masonic [mother/sound] program.
There are also various
opinions as to what the Black Stone actually is, but my
assumptions were definitely wrong about the meaning behind
the name, without wasting too much time on the name of the
group, I sampled some of their music from their website and
was very impressed, leading to a general search about the
group as from the quality of songs heard, it is quite
obvious Stone Mecca were not rookies or new to the game as
per say but have been in works and doing thier own
individual thing for a hot minute now, infact it was in one
of their shows that RZA spotted them, recognised their
talent and took an interest in them that finally lead to
signing them to his new label Wu Music Group.
The lead singer Salakida,
is a multitalented singer, songwriter and
entertainer who released a self titled album
in 2005 independently, introducing the world to her soulful
hybrid of R&B, hip hop, alternative and pop that she calls "Blippie
Funk" or Black Hippie Funk. This distinctive sound has
awarded her the tremendous opportunity to share the stage
with talents like D'wayne Wiggins (Tony, Toni, Tone,
Destiny's Child), Kenny Lattimore, Allen Anthony, (Roc-a-fella
Records), Blackalicious, Tre Hardsen of the Pharcyde and
Jaguar Wright, to name just a few.
Traé on the
other hand is the magic behind the boards, whose influences
musically comes from greats such as Bob Marley, Marvin Gaye,
Jimi Hendrix, Prince and more, Trae's aim is to bring the
apple from the juice, now do the knowledge on that.
Without much a-do, Why don't
we cut the assumptions and actually hear from the horse's
get the chance to know more about the group that is
about to add richness to everyone's heart and soul, Enjoy the
first contact interview.
Thanks first and foremost for
taking the time to answer these interviews and I would like to
add on that nothing will be altered, edited or changed
when this is published online.
Question: Hello Stone Mecca, How are you? Not so many
people know much about you, including myself, so could you
please introduce yourselves to us, how many of you are in
the group, names, your parts in the group e.g. vocalist, and
where you are from/location?
Salakida: Hi, I'm
Salakida, pronounced Sah-lah-kee-dah. I'm the female singer
of the group, I write and play some guitar too. I'm
originally from Oakland, CA.
Traé: Hi, I'm Traé James
and I produced the album and performed on it as well...
Question: Please give us a history of how the group
came about and how long it has been in existence?
Salakida: I was working
as a writer with Dwayne (Wiggins, Tony Toni Tone) back in
2001 at his production company Grassroots, and I was looking
for a producer to collaborate on my own stuff with. A friend
introduced me to Traé who at the time was in the Bay Area
doing production with (hip hop producer) Ant Banks. We
worked on a few songs together, and found we had a
chemistry, so even after Traé moved back home (Los Angeles)
we stayed in contact. I had always talked about us starting
a group, and Traé had come up with the name Stone Mecca.
After a while of getting together and working on songs, we
had all this material that no one had heard yet, and we were
feeling good about it, so we decided to try doing a show to
see how people would receive us. We got good feedback, so we
just kept going after that, with me commuting in from
Oakland, and later, Atlanta, to do shows and record.
Question: On hearing the name Stone Mecca, my initial
thoughts was a name based on the Black Stone of Mecca,
Please tell us why you are called Stone Mecca?
(It means) A solid
place to exist. A solid center or core. Ironically I had
never heard of the Stone of Mecca when this came to me.
To me it means
the perfect balance between being earth bound, but also
spiritually connected, which is the human condition, and
which is what we are trying to create with our sound, music
that everybody can relate to, and hopefully speaks to your
Question: It is common these days to have aliases in
addition to a name, does the group have any other name they
Question: You are the latest addition to the
Wu-Tang Clan ever expanding family, how do you feel
Like slipping your hand
into a proper fitting glove. We and the RZA seem to
share very similar Philosophies on life...
Questions: Who and how were you discovered that
lead to the group getting signed to Wu Music Group?
RZA was moved by the c.d. a while ago, so he went to
one of the live performances and got at us right
away. He said he was going to get back to his label
after wrapping up his movie projects last year and
when he did he wanted to holla at us.... He offered
us a deal at the top of the year (2006)...
Question: I hear you are currently in NY
working with the RZA on your debut album, what is it
like working with RZA?
I'm actually in the mixing process now and there's
nothing like having ears like the RZA's around to
make sure I'm keepin it crackin...
Question: Do you have a name for the album
Stone Mecca First Contact
Question: What will be the first single?
Ya'll tell us....(Like Heaven)
Question: Has any date been set for the album
Soon after the release of the Raekwon album (Cuban
linxs part II)
Question: Any featured guest on the album?
There's been talk that Inspectah Deck may spit a
verse on a song called Beautiful that's on our
Question: What names are responsible for the
production on the album?
I did all of the music production on the album.
Question: What types of concepts, issues or
topics will be covered on the
Love, Society, Awareness…
We cover a lot of ground on this album. Even in our
songs that on the surface appear to be about love or
relationships,the messages can be applied to other
things in life. For instance, one of our songs,
'Gettin' Wit' U" is about giving all of yourself to
someone, because you know that what you put out,
you'll get back in return, which is universal law,
not just in love; creatively, in your job, whatever
you want out of life, you get what you give. We have
a song called 'He Say, She Say" about how doubters
will try to get in your head and keep you down, if
you let them, and how you can only look to yourself
to get you where you wanna go. We're dealing with
the things people go through in real life, everyday.
Question: I might be wrong in saying this, but I don't
think there have been any major album release from any Wu-FAM
in the Soul/R&B section, even though the fans know of acts
like Tekitha, Blue Raspberry & so on, therefore Stone Mecca is
probably the first, What would you say SM brings to the
Wu-tang chamber that is different from others out there?
Well, Stone Mecca was already in existence when RZA
approached us, so we're different from other Wu soul acts,
in that our sound and style was created outside of the Wu
Family, and then we were invited in.
" I feel that
anything that stirs the soul is soul music, RZA
calls us hip hop soul...."
Question: It is a common trend for artists to
release Mixtapes these days right before or after an
album, will Stone Mecca be following suit?
something to ponder.
Well I am currently looking forward to the
album, should be
refreshing, currently my favourite track from what I
have heard so far is " In Love", do any of you have
any current favourites from the album?
It's hard to pick a favourite child! (lol) But I'd
have to say 'In Love" is my favourite too…
Question: On Stone Mecca Myspace page, the
group has been put into Soul, Funk, and R&B
categories, how would you best describe your
I feel that anything that stirs the soul is soul
music, RZA calls us hip hop soul....
Yeah, I feel that's accurate, if we must have
labels, because soul is definitely the foundation of
our music. I was exposed to a lot of soul and jazz
through my parents, especially my dad, my mom
listened to a lot of hip hop too when I was young,
so all of that has shaped what we're doing today.
Question: Who/what would you are your
A lot of the classic soul artists from back
Life, love, sadness, joy…the usual suspects, Joni,
Chaka, Sly, Jimi, Gangstarr, Dr. Dre, Quincy Jones,
Caron Wheeler, the list goes on and on…
Question: Are they any groups out there you
are currently feeling or would like to work with now
or in future?
would like to produce an album for Rakim, Method Man
I'd definitely like to write for other people.
Question: Any future side projects in the mix
(e.g. movies, commercial, tours etc)?
tour is being scheduled..
Question: What do you get up to when not
I'm in Atlanta right now, where there's a really
strong underground and live music scene, so I check
out other artists whenever I get a chance. I pretty
much keep myself surrounded with music. Question:
Question: What's it like in L.A. compared to
colder and people walk everywhere here.
I like walking everywhere! (lol) New York reminds of
a bigger San Francisco, so I feel comfortable there,
both L.A. and New York have this wired feeling, like
something big could happen at anytime.
Question: Well, that's about it for now,
anything else you would like to add on that we
missed, final words, shout outs etc??
Thanks for listening and will get over there soon to
holla at ya'll......
Catch up with Stone Mecca at
their official website
www.stonemecca.com or visit them on myspace at
stay tuned for more updates.
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