An Interview with Messiah’el Bey

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Popularly known by his pseudonym and trademark Warlock Asylum, Messiah’el Bey is an author, composer, musician, DJ, filmmaker, music producer and poet from Hempstead, Long Island. After getting involved with music at an early age, the talented and multi-faceted artist has become a fixture in the music world, developing musically and delivering critically acclaimed albums like ‘Kiss of the Immortal’ and the seminal ‘There In American’ EP while working with Steve Berson as the Warlock Asylum band.

Most recently, Messiah’el Bey released ‘The Nuyorican Jazz Experience’, his finest solo work to date. A landmark album, it expresses the cultural experience of New York’s Afro-Latino, African-American, Caribbean, Latino, Moorish-American, and Puerto Rican populations, but extends its gnosis to the musical contributions of these ethnicities from which Jazz music emerged.

Recently, we were able to spend some time with Messiah’el Bey, as he shared details of his life in music and his highly anticipated third studio album.

It’s so great to be able to catch up with you, thanks for taking the time to answer some of our questions. Let’s dig right into things, when did you first start making music?

“I started making music as a child. Later, in my teenage years, I was offered a recording contract. After graduating high school, my pursuit to gain a musical career intensified as the years passed.”

Have there been any key inspirations or influences that have defined your music over the years?

“The Beatles, Kishore Kumar, Dr. Buzzard Savannah Band, La Lupe, Mongo Santamaria, Marvin Gaye, Gregory Porter, Phillip Glass, and a few others. But the list is too long."

How would you describe your sound?

“My sound is drawn from various elements and genres. However, I believe that acid jazz, salsa and soul music describe my musical prowess best.”

After your last release, everyone has been excited to see what is coming next. Can you tell us a bit more about what you’re working on?

“I am excited to announce the release of my third solo project. The title is ‘Jazz Can Heal America’s Soul.’ The new work will feature the vocal expertise of Argentinian songstress Rocio Del Pozo. She is an amazing artist and brought an entirely new dimension and sound to the upcoming album’s landscape.”

"Rocio brings a vibrant edge to the music. Her voice has a unique texture that is reminiscent of Nina Simone, Alicia Keys, and Celia Cruz rolled up into one. Her sonic contributions to the album are many and have aptly made the production the best work that I have released. This is certainly monumental for the jazz world but also the music world at large.”

Messiah’el Bey released his second solo album titled ‘Jazz Spells Fame’ in 2022. A collaborative project, it features the musical expertise of the Russian brass musician Ilya Veletsky. The album arrived after the success of his 2021 dance track ‘Love Kiss Dance’, which peaked at number #6 on iTunes South Africa. Messiah’el met Ilya Veletsky in 2019 while completing his first solo album titled The Nuyorican Jazz Experience. Ilya was able to contribute to the album’s brass arrangements that gave his debut effort so much warmth.

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