The man behind Berdmajik, Donnie Felton, is best known for his work with psych-surf-indie cult favorites Grubby Little Hands. Berdmajik’s debut album, SPELLS, sounds like a distant relative to his previous outfit - a psychedelic second cousin, twice removed. Felton’s airy pop instincts merge with melancholy vocals in a sweet/savory axis. Utilizing the same soul-steeped pop songwriting that has always been simmering just beneath the surface of Felton’s earlier efforts, as Berdmajik those undertones come frothing over.
Berdmajik mesmerizes audiences with soulful incantations cloaked in boom-bap, head-nodding rhythms and rich, electro-pop textures. The songs that comprise SPELLS are beat-centric electro-pop, well-suited to your spring/summer party playlists, though allusions to a painful romance stirs below the caramel surface.
Born and raised in Winston-Salem, NC, a town the artist describes as an “overlooked treasure trove of talent”, Donnie Felton grew up playing in church wind ensembles and frequenting jazz and blues jam sessions. Most pop music was forbidden in his home, so his early influences came in the form of old jazz records and a meticulously filtered collection of classic rock. When a friend gave him his first rap cassettes- BDP’s Criminal Minded, Geto Boys’ Uncut Dope, and A Tribe Called Quest’s Midnight Marauders- Felton’s obsession with boom-bap was born.
Years later in college, studying music composition alongside Brian Hall, he discovered his penchant for pop songwriting. Spending nearly a decade in Philadelphia, contributing to the Grubby Little Hands catalogue, Felton has rediscovered his musical origins with a return to hip-hop influenced production and soul-tinged harmonies. Hints of R&B innovators Prince and D’Angelo are easily recognized within more contemporary pop influences like the Avalanches, Toro y Moi and Bibio.