It wasn’t so long ago that Fantastic Negrito (Xavier Dphrepaulezz) was eking out an existence as a struggling musician, busking on street corners to earn a few dollars. Now, he’s a three-time Grammy (!) winner and one of the Bay Area’s most beloved and cherished artists.
So if he has his mind set on starting a new record label, I’m certainly not betting against him.
Last week, Dphrepaulezz launched a new GoFundMe campaign with the aim of securing $100,000 to help with the creation of Storefront Records, his burgeoning new boutique label based out of his hometown of Oakland.
Fresh off winning his third consecutive Grammy for Best Contemporary Blues Album, awarded for his stellar 2020 release Have You Lost Your Mind Yet?, Dphrepaulezz is shifting his focus to creating his own independent record label.
In his video on the GoFundMe page for Storefront Records, Dphrepaulezz namechecks local legends like MC Hammer, Sly Stone, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and Green Day as inspirations, but his label will focus on lifting up unknown artists who don’t “fit into the repressed fantasy of corporate America’s fantasy of corporate America.”
“This record label is a home for people that want to do excellent things,” Dphrepaulezz says in the GoFundMe video, before cautioning that “if you want to be famous, this is the wrong place.”
The artists on his potential label may not be looking for fame, but based on Dphrepaulezz’s recent trajectory, they might find that level of recognition regardless.
Right now, Dphrepaulezz is unstoppable, and any artist who attaches themself to West Oakland’s favorite son seems destined for success.
To donate to the Storefront Records GoFundMe campaign, click here.
Will Reisman is a contributing writer. Twitter @wreisman