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Moor Mother

Moor Mother

Camae Ayewa (Moor Mother) is a national and international touring musician, poet, visual artist, and workshop facilitator. She is a vocalist in three collaborative performance groups: Irreversible Entanglements, MoorJewelry and 700bliss.

As Moor Mother, she released her debut album Fetish Bones on Don Giovanni records to critical acclaim in 2016. Fetish Bones was named the third best album of the year by The Wire, called “one of the most innovative and important records of 2016” by Jazz Right Now, and appeared on numerous end-of-the-year lists from Pitchfork, Noisy, Rolling Stone, and Spin. She was named one of Rolling Stone’s “10 New Artists You Need To Know” in October 2016, as well as one of Bandcamp’s 2016 artists of the year. (Camae’s debut book of poetry, also called Fetish Bones, was released by The AfroFuturist Affair.)

She has released multiple albums every year since Fetish Bones. In 2017, CTM X Vinyl Factory commissioned her album The Motionless Present; this was followed by Crime Waves, a collaboration with fellow Philly producer Mental Jewelry, and Clepsydra, “a collection of sounds for writers.”

In 2020, she launched a series of releases with Swedish musician Olof Melander. Titled Anthologia, the projects are designed to raise funds for disability justice. She worked again with Melander and Mental Jewelry on Forever Industries, a 2020 release which features two jazz-tinged experimental hip-hop singles that speak of making space, outer space, and industry. Most recently, Ayewa put out BRASS, a collaboration with the rapper billy woods. She has previously worked with woods on his critically acclaimed 2020 album Shrines and on the song “Furies,” which was featured on the Adult Swim single series.

As Moor Mother, she has performed at Berhaign, Borealis, CTM Festival, Le Guess Who, Unsound, Flow and Donau Festival, Rewire, Boiler Room and MOMA PS1. She has been highlighted in magazines including Quietus, Interview Magazine, The Guardian, Crack, and Pitchfork.

In fall 2020, Ayewa presented Circuit City, a futuristic theatrical exploration of public/private ownership. As a soundscape and visual artist, Camae’s work has been featured at Baltic Biennale, Samek Art Museum, Vox Populi, Pearlman Gallery, Metropolitan Museum of Art Chicago, ICA Philadelphia, Bergan Kunstall, Hirshorn Gallery, and The Kitchen NYC. Camae has been commissioned as a durational performance artist by Moog Festival, Vox Populi Gallery, and the Icebox Gallery. Her collective, Black Quantum Futurism (BQF), has been featured in exhibitions at the Schomburg Center, Rebuild Foundation, Temple Contemporary at Tyler School of Art, and the Serpentine Gallery.

Ayewa is a Pew Fellow (2017), a The Kitchen Inaugural Emerging Artist Awardee (2017), a Leeway Transformation Awardee, a Blade of Grass Fellow as part of Black Quantum Futurism (2016), and Rad Girls Philly Artist of the Year (2017). She has been an Artist-in-Residence at West Philadelphia Neighborhood Time Exchange and WORM! Rotterdam residency, and featured with Black Quantum Futurism at Transmediale Festival in Berlin 2017. In 2021, Black Quantum Futurism was awarded the Knight Foundation’s new art and technology fellowship.

She has facilitated workshops at Cornell University, MOFO Festival, Moogfest, Black Dot Gallery and others. She has worked as a mentor at NYU and Arts Institute of Chicago. She is co-founder and curator of Rockers! Philly, an event series and festival focused on marginalized musicians and artists spanning multiple genres.

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