Afro DZ ak – Talented, Driven, Gifted
Afro DZ ak (aka Pete Shungu) is Multi. Multiracial and multilingual, he also possesses multiple artistic talents. As an MC, spoken word poet, and trumpet and piano player, he tackles societal issues through words and music in a unique style blending hip hop, jazz, and more.
Afro DZ ak has been playing trumpet and piano for over 15 years and writing and performing rhymes & poetry for about 10. He has performed at numerous venues in Boston including The Middle East, Harpers Ferry, The Roxy, The Paradise Lounge, Lizard Lounge, many area colleges, and at out of state venues such as Nuyorican Café and The Knitting Factory in NYC, and Black Lily and Grape Street in Philly.
His debut solo hip hop album “Elevation” was released in September 2008 through Gnawledge Records and features his talents through rhymes, poetry, trumpet, and beats as well. He makes beats under the alias ‘DJ Wembi.’ Wembi is his Congolese name given at birth and means ‘musician’ in Otetela.
Afro DZ ak is not just an MC, but a self-described part-time musician, full-time advocate for positive social change. He has done presentations on hip hop, creative expression, social justice, and making good choices at many area schools and youth organizations. In addition to this, he has been a frequent performer at the monthly socially-conscious open mic Critical Breakdown in Boston, was selected to perform at the event ‘Hip Hop & Politics’ at The Blue Wave Cafe.
Afro DZ ak, l was born to an African immigrant father (from the Democratic Republic of Congo/formerly Zaire), and a white mother from Kansas. He attended Lawrence Township Public Schools through high school, then left to attend college at Tufts University. After graduation, he served as an Americorps*VISTA for a year at a college in Worcester, MA, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS), through the Americorps program Massachusetts Campus Compact aka MACC. Upon completion of his year of service, he continued living and working in Worcester as MCPHS’s first Community Outreach Coordinator. In fall 2006, he left this position to move to Somerville, MA and work with high school seniors in the Boston Public Schools as a Financial Aid Advisor with the Boston-based non-profit organization ACCESS. In Fall 2009 he left ACCESS to return to school and get a Master of Arts in Teaching degree from Tufts University and become a high school high history teacher, while continuing to make music in most of his “free” time.
Afro DZ ak is featured on albums with his two fomer bands, The Eclectic Collective (Time Flies, The Flux) and Soul Movement (Get Away, Universal) in addition to cameos on producer Willie Green’s mixtape “The Proof“, Project: Think Different’s ‘Empowerment’ CD, and an instrumental CD entitled “Inthrumental” produced/released by good friend/former roommate Gnotes. Afro D is featured on trumpet and/or rhymes on albums with numerous other artists/groups, including Gnawledge Records labelmates Gnotes and Elemental Zazen, as well as Adam Payne, Reel Carter, Iyeoka, Blitz, The Orange Ocean, Benedict Arnold, Bigshot Humble, and more.
While in college, Afro D recorded his first hip hop tracks, collaborations with his younger brother and best friend Nick aka “Mooks”. The two have collaborated on numerous tracks, despite geographical limitations (Nick was all the way down in North Carolina, going to school at Duke, then in Ethiopia working for the non-profit organization Save Lives, and is currently in Med School at UPenn in Philly). Two of these fraternal collaborations were featured on the CDs “Jumbo Audio Project” vols. 1 & 2, compilations of music by recording artists at Tufts University. You can catch Mooks on “Elevation“, the title track on Afro D’s current album, as well.