A few months ago I was hanging out at Rooky’s at the right time of day. A man with dreadlocks and a bag full of records walked in and asked Dick if he wanted to sell a few at the shop. He was distributing a jazz/hip hop 45 from his collective.
I have always been an underground hip hop fan thanks mostly to my upbringing in Philly and my man Foxx Boogie who really turned me on to the genre. And that day, I wanted to support and check out some new music. So I ended up buying a signed copy, that I immediately put on the shop’s main turntable. I kicked back to finish up my relaxing day at Rooky’s, sipped my ice cold lemonade, and I nodded my head to the dope tracks.
A few weeks later, I was biking home from work using a route that I almost never take and I bumped into the dreadlocked man once again. I jumped off the bike and re-introduced myself. And because he was walking down Haight street and popping into each record shop on the way, I thought I might as well walk with him. I had a great conversation with him about his work, his record, and his collective and I asked him if he’d be willing to participate in an interview for #45Fridays.
The 45 Brains: Tell me a little about yourself, where are you from?
Henry Quester: My name is Henry Quester, traveling artist (MC, Art Peddler). I’m originally from Cuba, grew up in Harlem, reside in New Jersey and throughout the four corners of the Earth.
The 45 Brains: What are you doing in San Francisco?
Henry Quester: I was in the Bay Area on the One Way Ticket Tour promoting the limited edition first pressing of Sessions @ The P.M. “Those who believe will know” as well as becoming more familiar with the culture in the area.
The 45 Brains: Tell me more about your collective.
Henry Quester: Sessions @ The P.M. is an entity fulfilling the course of its birth right by contributing to the musical force of life. [It] is a Universal Collective. There is not a specific amount of people that amount to the collective but rather a whole stream of artists who contribute to this way of life. The inspiration for Sessions is the realization that the integrity of an artist lies within the preservation of its art form which is often disregarded due to the impersonal perception of the digital world. Sessions @ The P.M. was conceived by my older brother, myself and my younger sister. We are all individual artists that often collaborate but who more than often venture out and work on solo projects.
The 45 Brains: What made you decide to release a 45?
Henry Quester: We decided to press 45’s because they were easy to package and lighter to carry.
The 45 Brains: Sounds practical enough. What are your plans for the future?
Henry Quester: To top the Blue Note Record Estate (hahah). In all honesty, yes we would like to continue to add on to the preservation of vinyl and by adding on it can only be assumed that progression will be a result from that. For instance when Madlib digged into the Blue Note vault and began reissuing and remixing those classics I feel it was a huge motivation and big step for Jazz in general because as we all know the fundamentals of Hip Hop are deeply rooted in improvisation and bebop. This made the digger visible and empowered a new & independent generation of record producers and added to the increase in record sales over the last few years. It also allows us to keep the grass low and weed out those that are out for a free ride. Although we don’t disregard the purchasing of CDs or tapes we just personally feel that every artist should get a taste of the phonograph. Sessions @ The P.M. recently opened up an Educational Space & Resource Center to facilitate and educate the brilliant minds of the future. This Space is centered on the idea of exercising each individual’s freedom of creative expression by uniting and providing the merging of resources. In other words our true progress comes from the growth and development of all human beings with creativity at the forefront as the needle to the record. Be on the lookout for the expansion of our facility as well as the next pressing for Sessions @ The P.M. The Native Sons & Daughters Series.
The 45 Brains: Thanks a lot Henry. I hope to see more of your work in the near future. Any shoutouts?
Henry Quester: Thank you to Sama (www.45brains.com) & DJ Delgado (www.aztlanroots.com) for putting Sessions @ The P.M. Those Who believe Will Know on 45Fridays and for giving us our first interview, The Hip Hop Thrift Shop, Bleeker Bobs, Other Music, Musics Inn, Tunes, A&S Comics, Soundstation Records, DJ 4 A.M., Rooky Ricardo’s Records, Recycle Records, Black Pancake Records, Groove Merchant, Amoeba Records, Clockwise Records, Street Soul Crew out in Geneva, Switzerland, our traveling Sessions Dealers & all the brothers and sisters who stopped and supported Sessions while we were out there slanging them 45’s. To learn more about Sessions @ The P.M. or to submit any music, art, or literary work send us an email at Sessionsatthepm@gmail.com. Those Who Believe Shall Know, Peace be onto you.
And here’s a track from the EP and some pictures graciously provided by HQ.