The Grand Alliance is making music with a message and taking listeners on a spiritual voyage through the sound of Afrofuturism.
“We’re trying to take people out on this journey that we’re on and take them out into a whole new world,” said group member and captain CRL CRRLL.
Members of this Denver-based musical group say they are helping lead the future of funk
“We’re ready to help change the system,” said signer Sur Ellz who is also known as the group’s magician. “It’s a blend of something old, something new and we definitely are here to just funk people up!”
Their sound moves the soul by combining science-fiction with social justice.
“A few of the main things we want to do is inspire and to heal,” said Kayla Marque, the guardian of the group. “We got a lot of work to do and we got a lot of love to spread.”
While Afrofuturism has been around for decades, it normally receives most of its attention during Black History Month, a time frame The Grand Alliance says is not nearly enough.
“The community that we are trying to foster is much more than just a month of time,” Marque said. “It’s light-years outside of virtual Earth.”
Music experts say Afrofuturism can help project a different future than what might be assumed from the past.
“When you think about something like Barrack Obama, there were people that dreamed about that well before it happened,” said Eric Holt, J.D., a professor of music business at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee.
Holt says this sound can have positive effects on the African American community in the United States while also having a global influence.
“When I see young people taking on an Afrofuturistic standpoint musically,” Holt said, “I get excited because it's typically positive and it’s a self-articulation of their existence and the possibilities of where they can go in the future.”
For The Grand Alliance, this sound is about breaking down barriers but and also inspiring the next generation of artists.
“For people that look like myself,” Marque said, “peace and harmony is something that this world desperately needs.”
The Grand Alliance believes they can help others achieve that by respecting the pioneers of the past while also leading the future of funk.
“I’m just encouraging the youth and the future of tomorrow to take up space, be yourself and be proud of who you are,” Marque said.