OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - Fresh off his second Grammy win, Oakland's Fantastic Negrito on Thursday gave KTVU a one-on-one tour of his recording studio in West Oakland inside a building that was once a liquor store.
The artist embraces its ambience. It's not a traditional recording studio, but one that fits his music.
"Im presenting this black roots music in way that feels fresh and new to people," says Fantastic Negrito.
It's music that resonates with fans and the Recording Academy which is known for its Grammy Awards, a prestigious music award because it's peer-voted.
On Sunday, the artist's "Please Don't Be Dead" won for Best Contemporary Blues Album.
It was his second Grammy Award.
At the award ceremony, Fantastic Negrito wore a red outfit made with old, discarded material by a local designer.
This son of Oakland says his win is a part of the journey he shares with his fans. In his acceptance speech, the artist gave a shout-out onstage to Oakland and the Bay Area. His first win was last year.
Both times, he won in the category for Best Contemporary Blues.
Each song tells a personal story.
"The baseline on 'Bad Guy Necessity' was all the dope dealers I knew growing up, the way they used to walk," says Fantastic Negrito.
The 51-year-old says he's lost a brother and other relatives to gun violence in Oakland and Berkeley.
He says he sold drugs growing up. At 19, it was a turning point.
"I was robbed at gunpoint, I thought I was going to be killed execution style in West Oaklnd," says the artist.
He says his survival is a testament to the many people who helped raise him, including teachers and community activists.
His music is a nod to his African-American ancestors.
"Our tradition was one of survival. Having nothing, we were given the worst food in a slave cabin and we turned it into soul food," says Fantastic Negrito.
He expresses gratitude to his supporters, including ones who tipped him at BART stations where he performed.
The artist says he's already working on his next album.
He plans to meet and greet fans at Macy's Union Square Saturday to celebrate Black History Month.
He will be speaking and performing at the event which is scheduled to start at 2 p.m. inside the store.
It is free and open to the public
His next concert is scheduled for March 9 at the Ritz in San Jose. After that, he goes on a world tour.