Textures_CD_imageTEXTURES The new recording by Nicholas Payton | Available June 17, 2016 on Paytone Records™

All great art has a rhythm. Movement. A Pulse.

Painting, Music, Dance, Martial Arts, Architecture, Sports. They all have, at their core, a rhythmic undertow.

The strokes of a paint brush have a rhythm. They create patterns, lines, curves, shapes, forms, and ultimately a rhythmic flow. They create movement. Their movement create a feeling. Colors also create a rhythm. They make your eyes move from one component to another. They allow your mind to travel. To think. Ultimately a story is told. A feeling is created. A visual beat penetrates one’s mind and soul.

What happens when master artist Nicholas Payton is a part of the artistic process of painter Anastasia Pelias? Textures is born. As Nicholas told me, “They are off the cuff tracks done in real time with an artist who paints.”  Nicholas takes the strokes of Anastasia’s brush and mirrors them with a beat. The visual beat becomes an aural beat. A pulse. A movement. The colors become harmonies. The strokes become rhythmic shifts. The two become synonymous with each other.

As a listener, you find your own meaning. Every time you listen, a new layer of the story is unveiled. You start to get lost in the music. Have you ever just sat and watched the ocean? At first you see the sand, beach, and waves. Then, as your mind drifts, you start to see beyond the ocean.  You think about the depth of the ocean and its beauty. As the waves crash, one also begins to think of the past, present and future. No wave crashes the same place, or way, twice, yet each is perfect. Each has been here before, but returns in a whole new way.  It is brought to shore as it should. It flows perfectly, yet is never quite predictable. Each wave has its own direction, and its own identity. Textures does the same. You look out into the horizon and see where the sky meets the water. You begin to reflect on the beauty in the world. This is Textures. Movement of a rhythmic undertow (ocean/waves), with harmony and colors on top (the sky and world).

Textures is a master work of art. Created by a master artist. In this case Nicholas Payton uses an instrument he has yet to use on record. As he told me “I set up my keyboard and laptop and Anastasia has a blank canvas and we create a new work in real time.” Nicholas’ instrument here may appear to be a keyboard and laptop at first. But ultimately, his instrument is his mind and soul. Textures flows with perfect clarity, yet takes direction in ways one would not expect. The harmonies take shape in only the way Nicholas’ mind can.  The three basic elements of the mind — intellect, feeling, and will — are displayed as Nicholas searches from within, and let’s the music pour out of his body, and into our ears.  But once it hits our ears, we too, need to let it penetrate our hearts and soul, so that we can find ourselves. We can create our own work of art in our own mind.

Textures exudes compassion. It is radiating with boundless light and compassion. It makes you reflect within to find peace and love.

Begin to let the music enter your body. It is music to relax and think to, music to reflect on, and music to dance to.

Textures, like an any great art, is drenched with rhythm. It has movement. A Pulse. Listen, as I did, over and over again. Find new meaning each time you listen. Find your own rhythm.

All instruments performed by Nicholas Payton

Mixed by: Jehan Buhari and Tom Soares

Mastered by: Michael Fossenkemper

Artwork by: Anastasia Pelias

Cover by: Tom Seltzer, Seltzer Studios

Album Notes by: Alex Silverbook

Artwork for Textures — by Anastasia Pelias

Wassup, y’all:

As many of you know, each tune from my most recent release, “Textures” has a corresponding visual to go with it. So, here for the first time, I will present the collaboration in its entirety. Track numbers and titles will appear under the piece. Anastasia’s titles will be after the em dash…

Artwork by Anastasia Pelias:

1_Do (what you do).jpg

1.) Smooth — Do (what you do)



2_Friday Afternoon, 4-7.jpg

2.) Sticky — Friday Afternoon, 4-7



3a_Blue be Cool 1.jpg

3b_Blue be Cool 2.jpg

3.) Silky — Blue be Cool I & II



4_Everything beautiful goes away.jpg

4.) Fuzzy — Everything beautiful goes away



5_The Struggle is Real.jpg

5.) Hard — The Struggle Is Real



6_Reckless Daughter copy

6.) Wet — Reckless Daughter



7_Night and Day (December).jpg

7.) Rough — Night and Day



8_Not Mortal.jpg

8.) Greasy — Not Mortal



9a_Watusi (I).jpg

9b_Watusi (II)

9.) Soft — Watusi I & II



Both the artwork and the album are for sale.


CD Baby


“Ibbity, ibbity, ibbity… That’s all folks…”


— Nicholas Payton aka The Savior of Archaic Pop






Selections from “Textures”

2_Friday afternoon, 4-7

I’m posting, as an offering, the healing power of music. This playlist is comprised of three of nine selections which will appear on an upcoming album of mine called “Textures.”

The genesis of this project was a collaboration with a visual artist from my hometown of New Orleans, Anastasia Pelias. We set up in her studio (her with a blank canvas, me with a laptop and a midi keyboard) and co-composed a new work in real time.

Each session yielded a new work.

All instruments played by yours truly.

Mixed by Jehan Buhari and Tom Soares.

Mastered by Michael Fossenkemper.


— Nicholas Payton aka The Savior of Archaic Pop



I’m a Nigga, and maybe a dumb Nigga at that. Let’s just get that out of the way. That said, I refuse to capitulate to White standards of anything. Oscars, Grammys, politics — it’s all the same to me.

You see, Niggas’ problem is we buy in to this White Supremacy shit. I don’t allow someone’s whose main objective is to marginalize and oppress me to take precedent over what I know to be true as a Black man in America.

No President of the United States is going to free Black people, regardless of what color they are. We must do that ourselves. Our freedom is not in this country’s best interests, so don’t expect it to be handed to you from the State.

I can’t shed any tears over a show being cancelled because the host refuses to celebrate the very construct that serves to destroy them. I shed no tears because a film on a Black genius can’t get funded unless they distort said genius’ image through the lens of a fictitious White character. I shed no tears because the Oscars refuses to acknowledge Black excellence. Nor can I shed any tears because the Grammys continues to marginalize Black music — the very foundation of its existence. And because sometimes they get it right, doesn’t mean there’s any hope to be found there.

These institutions were created to perpetuate the myth that Black people are not good enough, and that White people are better than us. So don’t ever expect them to change their minds. No amount of boycotts will ever reverse that fundamental premise.

Black people don’t own MSNBC. We don’t own NARAS. And we don’t control SAG-AFTRA. That’s the bottom line. And until we erect and respect Black institutions in the same way we appear to respect these institutions that aren’t for us, we’ll never get further than we are.

What doesn’t help is we have ignorant people within our race who think by having the BET Awards we’re equally as racist. First off, no one Black can be racist against anyone else except someone Black. We can only serve White Supremacy, at best. They allow us a seat at the table only to persecute our own.

This is not a war of policy. This is a war of self-recognition. Do we know who the fuck we are? I don’t think we do, because if we did, we wouldn’t be trying to prove to anyone else that our lives matter. Black Americans get trolled daily by the media and we fall for it constantly — hook, line, and sinker.

I refuse to get caught up in the quagmire. You can’t play me without my permission. I can’t be bought and I don’t come with instructions.

Back in the day Louis Armstrong was told by an elder of his, Black Benny, “Always have a White Man (who like you) and can + will put his Hand on your shoulder and say — ‘This is My Nigger, and Can’t Nobody Harm Ya.’” Well, all due respect to Pops, but I refuse to abide by that edict. Even though it is as true today as it was when Black Benny told that to Satchmo some 100-odd-years ago. I refuse, which makes me a dumb Nigga. To my detriment, I will not allow myself to play that game. My theory is: kats like Pops did so I wouldn’t have to.


Photo via Chuck D

Louis bowed and scraped so Miles could turn his back.

I worked too hard to get off of the plantation to circle back now. You got cats out here doing Kickstarters to be on major record labels and giving their albums away for a pittance. I guess there’s a reason why they call the recordings, “masters.” Massa’s.

Black people need to understand their value and stop looking to White people to validate them with Oscars, Grammy, candidacies, record or movie deals. We must recognize who the fuck we were before we became Black or a part of anyone else’s race game.

Let White shit be what it is. Don’t get mad at how they choose to celebrate their heroes. Don’t hate their monuments. Let’s honor our ancestors and erect out own statues — not to compete with others’ — but to restore what was taken away from us time and time again. Remember: We built the first monuments or first shit that existed, ever.

And to all the moguls out there who build great Black businesses and sell them back into their opposing forces, you do more harm than good. You can only be but so rich. Strive to think about someone other than yourself for a change.


— Nicholas Payton aka The Savior of Archaic Pop