Thu, Jun 29, 12:30pm – 1:30pmFree
A riveting artist in the midst of reinventing herself, Eritrean singer-songwriter ASTU left her life as a minister and found her calling in sensuous music. The Oakland-based R&B/soul singer identifies as a queer, gender-expansive artist and her music is a sleek vehicle for expressing her sexuality, identity and life experience. With her candid, often raw lyrics set to synth-filled rhythms and soulful melodies, she gained considerable attention with her 2018 debut EP, Patterns. Combining retro soul, ‘90s R&B pastiche and new wave-inspired synth-pop, ASTU’s music refuses to pledge allegiance to a single vibe. Hailed as an important new voice by outlets like Afropunk, Earmilk and KQED Arts, she’s demonstrated a gift for finding an irresistible groove and turning it into an unhurried banger. From silky, slow jams to trip-hop-esque grooves, ASTU keeps audiences on their toes, anticipating the next tantalizing tale. She’s joined by keyboardist Rob Finucane, bassist Will Dias, drummer Tommy Lee Smith III and background vocalist Sunday Simon.