Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad make up the group The Midnight Hour, and they’re bringing their 10-piece band to Charlotte on Sept. 18 for a night of “sophisticated hip-hop jazz.”
You may recognize the pair as the team who scored music for Netflix’s “Luke Cage” series. Ali Shaheed Muhammad is best known as a member of the legendary hip-hop group, A Tribe Called Quest. The men formed The Midnight Hour in 2013 and released their self-titled debut album last summer.
Now, they’re touring the country to give fans an unforgettable live experience with opening performances from vocalists Loren Oden, Angela Muñoz and guitarist Jack Waterson. Oden, a premier background vocalist, first worked with Younge on his “Black Dynamite” soundtrack. Muñoz, with her silky smooth vocals, accompanied The Midnight Hour on their first tour.
“When we play a show, we will give it our all,” Younge explained. “We will leave something special for each show and city.”
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The band’s leaders initially connected in 2013 when Younge was a guest on NPR’s “Microphone Check” podcast, which Muhammad co-hosted.
“We found out we had mutual professional admiration for each other’s work,” Muhammad explained. “That was when I moved to Los Angeles to do some work with Adrian on the Sons of Mischief’s [“There Is Only Now”] album.”
The musical masterminds formed The Midnight Hour and began working on their debut album that year, but put the project aside to work on “Luke Cage.” Younge already had scoring experience with the “Black Dynamite” movie, but it was a first-time experience for Muhammad.
“The score tells the audience how they should be feeling at a certain moment. As an artist, you use internal inspiration and have to convey musically what you are seeing on the screen,” he explained. “I learned so much from scoring. You have to check your ego at the door, and remember you are one member of a larger team.”
Muhammad compared his “Luke Cage” experience to a music boot camp, as it taught him to produce music on a strict timeline.
“Each episode, and the score, I considered an album,” he said. “Music is part of our lives. It enhances a scene, brings energy to a scene and heightens your senses and emotions.”
Expect these experiences to translate into a complete aural experience when they hit the Queen City.
The Midnight Hour
Date: Wednesday, Sept. 18
Time: 8 p.m.
Location: Amos’ Southend, 1423 S. Tryon St.
Cost: $25 – $40, get tickets
Born and raised in the DMV, the Carolinas are now home for Ryan Fleming. Family, music and writing are his passions.