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Meet Dexter Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dexter Story.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I feel lucky to have been born and raised in Los Angeles during the 1970s and 1980s. From picking two-note chords in local Baptist church bands to conducting a Summer 2018 kick-off concert in tribute to Sly and The Family Stone last year, my personal journey has taken me around the world and back. I have certainly come a long way since getting teased on the way to piano lessons in grade school in South Central.

I moved around a bit in my late teens and twenties. I relocated to the San Francisco / Bay Area for college and to New York directly after graduation. I lived in Brooklyn as a starving musician during the complex but fun early nineties. Then I started a family and went from being a full-time musician to behind-the-scenes in the music industry. I needed work but didn’t want to leave the game. I worked at BMI as an intern, R&B Live (a popular 1990s music showcase) as a production assistant, a BET-owned record label, Priority Records, Def Jam, Temple Bar (an early 2000s Santa Monica music venue) as a booker before finally coming full circle back to creating music.

Currently, I am not only enjoying composing original songs and film score, and collaborating with incredible musicians, but as evidenced by my last record Wondem, I fell head over heels for East African music and am pursuing related graduate studies in the field of Ethnomusicology. The range of indigenous music of Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan and Somalia speaks to me. I have a new album release on March 15 on Soundway Records entitled Bahir and am looking forward to having my recordings and live performances converge with my field research and publications.

Please tell us about your art.
My heart is in making music. I make music that speaks to my aspirations, my personal development, equality and transformation, global themes, mysticism, making the world a better place.

What do you think about conditions for artists today? Has life become easier or harder for artists in recent years? What can cities like ours do to encourage and help art and artists thrive?
Artistry is becoming more and more DIY in the 2020s. The makers of art are, by necessity, leveraging the internet, the fast-paced tools of technology, the available information, and insights, etc. to diversify, tell stories, build networks, attract like-minded partners, engage audiences, and monetize their craft. I think the conditions are welcoming to this creativity and ingenuity, but it takes hard work and resilience. The more funding, legislative support, and tax breaks that musicians, arts presenters, venues, promoters, and agents receive, the better. We are experiencing a diminishing of the government-sanctioned artistic resources in our country, but art is still not going away.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
My website is dexterstory.com and gives people a sense of what I am up to.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Farah Sosa

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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