Black Folks Don’t Swim? is a musical collective that uses their life experiences to inspire and share the stories of Black Queer Folk and their contributions to the culture. Their highly anticipated debut album For the Source “cultivates radical presence and explores narratives of joy.”
We celebrate their contribution to music and invite you to listen to the inspiration from the origins of genres that transcend the present.
Black Folks Don’t Swim? has maintained a strong presence in the DC Metro area and globally since their founding in early 2018. Led by a core ensemble of Black Gender-Variant folks, their music is a soulful blend of Jazz, Funk, Quiet Storm, R&B, and more.
Bandleader, Sweet Corey-Bey began both composing the songs on the project and organizing the folks who would make up the many iterations of the group in 2017. Sweet aligned first with DeZ “Qisum” McNeil l who came up with the collective name, connected the group continually to recording studios, and contributed drums and keys on the album. Kailasa Aqeel joined as lead vocalist, co-writing the tracks “By Now” and “Starships”. Nithin Venkatraman, contributed many experimental layers of guitar and fx to interpret the cosmic themes of the album for listeners, supporting the production.
“For the Source” also features performances from Themba Sipho, Sequoia “REDWOOD” Snyder, Melanie Brown, Daniel J. Campos, and Drew Kid.
The album was mixed by audio engineer Carolyn Malachi and Mastered by Piper Payne of InfraSonic Sound. Over 100 hours of remote mixing and recording went into the finished work.
The group commented on For the Source “This record honors our origins. Our work, like the Black music makers before us, forges the culture that supports and celebrates us presently. This record is made in the image of Black Queerness and is a record to make memories to. For the Source is a singular, introductory ripple across the surface of the multiverse that is Black Folks Don’t Swim? Come float with us and take up your place amongst the stars!”
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Written by: Sweet Corey-Bey
Diversity Editor: Guitar Gabby