The Beatdown

"My music is for both the mind and the body," says Osunlade, "but even more for the spirit." And why shouldn't it be? After all, the acclaimed House performer/producer is an ordained priest in the traditional African religion of Ifa. Speaking from Greece, and just a few days from the start of an American tour that brings him to Dallas on Saturday, Osunlade talks about his sophomore release, Aquarian Moon, with a unique, spiritual outlook.

"This project was a gift from the universe," Osunlade says. "This one taught me how to love in a different way and to understand how to balance myself and clear things in my path." Pretty lofty shit for music best accompanied by the designer drug of your choice while trying to remember if the club in question is the after- or after-after-party. But Osunlade's innovative mix of jazz, Afro Beat and electro just about justifies his excessively solemn tone.

"My music has always been about connecting and building a bridge for those who understand," he says with a conviction that borders on fanatical. Like a New Age hip-hop guru who sees inherent spirituality in the music of Prince, King Sunny Ade and even Moby, Osunlade sees no incongruity between the saintly and the sensual. It's not often that a sweaty dance club proves the setting for a religious experience, but Osunlade is bent on exactly that. "Some DJs have ruined the spirit of music, but with me, there is only creation for the spirit."


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