Ashanti Floyd, “The Mad Violinist”
Ashanti Floyd is a talented artist who enjoys performing, composing, and producing many music genre including hip-hop, jazz, fusion rock, gospel, bluegrass, country, and classical. Trained from an early age in strings and percussion, and having a mastery of music theory, he is considered a “melodic, rhythmic genius.”
Playing music was a required growing up. Ashanti’s older sister, twin brother, and younger sister all play the violin in addition to other instruments. He made his debut on the violin at the age of three. As a young teen he had the pleasure of attending music camps at Suwannee, Tennessee, Interlochen, Michigan, Luzerne in New York, and the Credenza in London, England. Under his mother’s tutelage he practiced and performed on his primary instrument, the viola, and his secondary instrument the violin. His studies with former concert master and violinist of the White House Quartet, Eliot Chapo, strengthened his skills as a violist. At a time when string improvisation was not as popular as it is today, he accompanied church musicians on the violin, viola, piano, and organ and when younger occasionally accompanying his father who is a church musician.
Many stories have been told of male youths who forsake their musical talents because of peer pressure or other pursuits. Ashanti has never swayed from his musical talents. While attending public schools in Tallahassee he was frequently encouraged by his classmates, teachers and school administrators to perform facets of his repertoire; particularly classical, gospel and Hip Hop. He played percussion in his high and middle school bands, accompanied his high school chorus on the strings, and on occasion served as conductor of the band. Further encouraged by his classmates and high school band director Ashanti arranged much of the music and dance movement for the James S. Rickards High School Band during his senior year.
Ashanti has since gained invaluable experience through formal and informal studies. Ashanti knew where he wanted to attend college and only applied to one school, the Berklee College of Music where he developed his stage name “The Mad Violinist,” due to audience response to his live performances. At Berklee, his feet was barely wet he recorded and performed original compositions with a rock band, assisted with the arranging and recording of Hip-Hop music for other artists, and performed all of the string parts for a movie production. He performed with a Boston College quartet and as principal violist for the Berklee College Orchestra.
Few are so fortunate to determine a career path early in life and be able to pursue it. Ashanti honed his skills as a master class clinician as a regular instructor at the Summer Stars Camp formerly known as the Britney Spears Camp for the Performing Arts, in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Artist-in-Resident at the Javacya Arts Conservatory in North Augusta, South Carolina, and the public schools of Tallahassee and Atlanta. As a very young producer and artist, his credits are already notable around the world. Also known as “The Mad Violinist”, is one of the top violinists, string arrangers, composers and performers in the country and abroad. He picked up his first violin at the age of three with strong inspiration from his mother. Floyd is now musically accomplished in over thirty instruments. He has performed live with B.B. King.
When possible, Floyd also tours with Lupe Fiasco. Floyd has performed at the BET Awards, MTV Video Music Awards, and on BET’s 106 & Park, and been nominated for 5 Grammy Awards as a producer. He is most known for his violin solo “The Show Goes On” which went platinum with Fiasco. Thanks to T-Pain, his professional writing debut was on Pain’s “I’m In Love With A Stripper” album writing the song, I’m High on the double platinum album.
Ashanti Floyd is also the founder, lead arranger and lead soloist of the internationally acclaimed Symphony Crack Orchestra. They have been featured on stages in Germany, France, Australia, Singapore, and beloved in so many other places. Their credits are too numerous to mention but can be found at symphonycrack.com.
Ashanti enjoys a close knit family of siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, a nephew, and of course, his parents. In his spare time he provides motivational speeches, attends sports events, breeds dogs, attends church, and reads.