The Progressive Underground Show 146

We explore the outer reaches of electronica through techno, deep house, future soul, nu-jazz, b-sides and rare groove.

Whasdat Music

On tonight’s The Progressive Underground, we interview the super production duo of Pirahnahead & Diviniti along with spotlighting choice cuts from their discography both as a duo and as solo acts.  We also bump cuts from Flabaire ,Pascal Viscardi, Miles Davis, The Roots, Sister Sledge, Kona Triangle, St. Germain, Brandon Williams, Jrod Indigo, The Dangerfeel Newbies and many more!  

We go from 8-11 pm EST on 101.9 WDET and  


As a child growing up in the 1970s, as Soul and Disco grew in popularity, Pirahnahead developed a love for the upbeat and soulful music when his sisters took him into the DJ booth at local skating rinks and clubs so he could be tended to while they partied. As he grew up, Pirahnahead met and was mentored by the legendary DJ Ken Collier, Derrick May, and John Collins. He experienced Detroitʼs legendary clubs Club Heaven and The Music Institute, and a visit to NYCʼs Paradise Garage and Club Shelter played a significant part in inspiring Pirahnahead as a DJ. He has became a sought-after resident at various nightclubs and parties in Detroit as well as internationally as was evidenced by his stint as part of the Mahogani Music European/Japan tour. Musician, DJ, producer, orchestral arranger/conductor – each of these words describe Pirahnahead. Real Talk- not just modern day music business hype. From the age of two, music played a major role in his life. At that young age he learned to play piano from his mother, and shortly thereafter, to play guitar, being highly influenced by Jimi Hendrix, Eddie Hazel, and legendary Detroit guitar gurus. Also at that very early stage, Pirahnahead selected and played records on the family record player, and later played at neighborhood parties. Rock and roll, blues, jazz, classical, and R&B heavily influenced Pirahnaheadʼs life then, and continues to influence his musical style now. In the words of 5 Magazine’s May 2012 issue: “Pirahnahead is not so much a Producer, DJ or Musician as he is a Force Of…
PIRAHNAHEAD – The Musician 
If you listen to any of Pirahnahead’s productions, he is usually the band. He has played guitar and toured with groups like Les Nubians, Charm Farm, Los Hermanos and various incarnations of the P-Funk All-Stars, like Enemy Squad, Bernie Worrell and the Woo-Warriors, Amp Fiddler, and Bad Brains. He has opened for legends such as Morris Day and The Time, Fishbone, Buddy Miles, Isaac Hayes as well as many others. He also performed at Woodstock in 1998, and has been a musical director countless times for various bands at Movement:DEMF. During Mahogani Music’s 2005 tour of Europe and Japan, he sang, played keys and guitar with Moodymann at mega festivals such as the Montreux Jazz Festival and the North Sea Jazz Festival. During the festivals he performed selections from his CD “SOLID: A Moment in the Mind of Pirahnahead” (Mahogani Music) which was released as a Japan exclusive in 2005, and in Europe and the US in 2006. He was also a featured act, along with Diviniti, at the Tokyo Crossover Jazz Festival of 2007 and 2008, and he toured Italy and Japan with Gerald Mitchell as Los Hermanos.

PIRAHNAHEAD – String Arranger/Conductor 
Yes, it’s true. Formally educated as a music major at Wayne State University under the instruction of Motown legends such as Matt Michaels, Paul Riser, McKinley Jackson, and Johnny Allen, his education has given him the means to explore a different medium, which he brings to the modern day industry: classical orchestration. His love for string instruments and enriched harmonies make him a sought-after musical director and producer. He has written and conducted string parts for Quentin Harris’ “Give It 2 U (ft. Ultra Nate)” (which won an IDMA award), as well as for DJ Spinna and both of Shuya Okinoʼs ʻUnited Legendsʼ albums ʻIf It Is Loveʼ with Clara Hill, and his extended remix for the DJ Kawasaki/Diviniti collaboration “Shine” (which Shuya compiled into an ep entitled “Pirahnahead Works”). He’s also written and conducted strings for Tom Glide & the Luv All-Stars (alongside the EWF/phoenix horns, Larry Dunn, and many other notable musicians), and with Gaela Brown / Jessie J via Patrick Smadja’s ‘Can U Feel It’ Label.  His string work on other various projects/acts such as Les Nubians and The Foreign Exchange has garnered critical acclaim.

PIRAHNAHEAD – The Producer/Remixer 
As a Producer, Pirahnahead has a distinct sound which covers all bases of his influences in EDM from various styles of House and Techno to Hip-hop, Funk, Jazz and World Music. In 2004, Pirahnahead produced a song for Diviniti and since has been off and running. That song, “Find A Way” became an instant classic and was revered by DJs such as Theo Parrish, Louie Vega, and Danny Krivit (who edited and re-released it on King Street in 2004, and became a Body & Soul/718 Sessions staple). Pirahnahead has also produced 4 songs for Les Nubians on the album “Nu Revolution,” for which he had the pleasure of updating the legendary Manu Dubango’s timeless track “Soul Makossa” into the version called “Nu Soul Makossa,” feauturing Manu Dubango himself. He has also remixed songs for Terry Hunter, Lex Empress, Tortured Soul, Delano Smith, Charles Webster, Duce Martinez, and Kerri Chandler, among many others. In 2006, he launched Whasdat Music which, since its first release, has gained the respect of many DJs and tastemakers, and has been licensed to compilations like Southport Weekender, Defected, and King Street/Grand Gallery, and has been featured on top download sites such as Traxsource, iTunes and Beatport.

Writes Pirahnahead, “Ok, Describing it is really not that easy – I’m NOT that computer saavy, I’m into music – not specifically with a genre, or sub-genre. I’m into MUSIC. John Coltrane and Moodymann are two totally different areas… dig – One is and influence to two people, two people are friends to both, dig? DETROIT is an attitude, not just a city on the map. It’s the attitude that when U R on W. Grand blvd., U know where the music business really began..Shorty Long, Smokey Robinson, Norman Whitfield, Paul Riser, James Jameson… Real Shit! Deep as it gets….Dope as it wants to be right now… But Laptops are NOT for DJing… RECORDS ARE!”



There are few extremely talented singer-songwriters in world of house music, and Diviniti is certainly one of them. A true lady of Detroit house, Diviniti writes uplifting songs and has a distinctive vocal style, which incorporates eloquent wordplay and an angelic grace. Diviniti cites numerous influences including songwriters and vocalists in classic rock, jazz, R&B, and soul music circles. Diviniti made a name for herself alongside close collaborators Pirahnahead and DJ Minx and she has gone from strength to strength since her early releases.

Growing up on the West Side of Detroit, Diviniti, the youngest of six children, developed a passion for music at an early age. She studied classical violin and was a founding member of a gospel choir in her high school. It was around this time that Diviniti began to write songs and discover a love for house music. During this period she gained her first studio experience, which included a recording session with famous local DJ/producer Terrence Parker. Although the material they recorded was never released, this work provided a glimpse into her future.

In February 2003, Diviniti met Pirahnahead and the pair started a fruitful partnership, which has seen them create a number of dancefloor staples. Pirahnahead introduced Diviniti to DJ Minx, who chose to release a number of these collaborations, namely Find A Way, Love Will Stay, Live For The Night and Can’t Explain on her renowned Women on Wax label. The Live For The Night 12” included a remix by DJ Spinna. DJ Minx and Diviniti worked together under the name A Taste of the Honeys on The Essential EP, which was also released on Women on Wax. In 2008 the title track of their EP was remixed by noted producers Mr. V (NYC) and Nick Holder (Toronto).

Diviniti’s music has been released on a number of other record labels. Find A Way was licensed to the NY based King Street Sounds imprint, where it was re-released with an edit from Disco don Danny Krivit. Poem for a Lost One saw the light of day on Mike Grant’s Moods and Grooves imprint, as remixed by Mr. G and Black Music aka Solid Gold Playaz. Cult Detroit house figurehead Moodymann edited and then released Love (a duet between Pirahnahead and Diviniti) on his Mahogani Music imprint. Later this year, the well known UK based Soul Heaven is set to release Just Like a Dream- another powerful collaboration produced by Pirahnahead.

In 2006, Diviniti participated in Shuya Okino of Kyoto Jazz Massive’s United Legends project, which brought together a number of celebrated producers and vocalists. She wrote a song for United Legends called Shine, which was produced by DJ Kawasaki. Shine proved to the most successful track of the project and it spent several weeks at the top of the iTunes Japan jazz, dance, and J-pop charts. Shine was subsequently remixed by Mood II Swing and Pirahnahead, and ‘replayed’ by Japanese jazz dons Sleep Walker for further 12” releases on Especial Distribution. Her recent collaborations with The Rurals front man Andy Compton, In Love, Again and In Time have received acclaim and airplay across the globe.

Diviniti’s music has been selected for compilations put together by renowned DJs such as Joe Claussell, Moodymann, Rainer Trüby, Phil Asher, Joey Negro, Blaze, Yashudi Ide and Louie Vega. Her music has been licensed to labels such as Defected and suSU in the UK, King Street Sounds and Mahogani Music in the USA, Especial and Grand Gallery in Japan and Sheer House and CCP Record Company in South Africa. Additionally, “Diviniti Sings”, a collection of some of her best work compiled by DJ Kawasaki, was released in mid 2009 exclusively in Japan.

Although Diviniti is best known for her studio recordings, she has also made in-roads as a songwriter for other artists. She has songwriting credits for Carolyn Victorian’s Sunshine, Pirahnahead’s Music, and 2getherness by Eric King – all released on Pirahnahead’s own Whasdat Music imprint. Diviniti also co-wrote Pirahnahead feat. Yaminah Brock’s I Do Love U, a song that appeared on Detroit Beatdown EP Vol. 2 on Third Ear Records. There are other songwriting projects in the pipeline from this talented individual.

On stage, Diviniti is an excellent live performer. She performed live at Detroit’s Movement Festival in 2005 with a 10-piece band and in 2006 alongside DJ Minx. She has also performed at the Winter Music Conference in Miami, FL numerous times, and at various clubs in Detroit and New York. Her international appeal has been reinforced by her live performances as well as record releases. She has performed in Italy, Switzerland, and in Japan, at the 2006 and 2007 Tokyo Crossover Jazz Festivals.

Diviniti is an established songwriter and vocalist with an impressive body of work. She is set to build on the successes that she has already achieved in house music and other circles in the future. Her first solo album, entitled Divine Intervention, will be released by Women on Wax. The release of the LP will mark the dawn of another chapter in her career.