Live at the Archway: META AND THE CORNERSTONES
Art Exhibit by Zeph Farmby
Born in Senegal, West Africa, lead singer of Meta and The Cornerstones, Meta Dia, discovered his love for music and desire to be a musician at a very young age. When he was 14 years old he performed on the streets and stages of his hometown Dakar. In 2000, Meta’s first band YALLA SUUREN (God Bless) was nominated for Best Hip-Hop Group by the French Cultural Center. After relocating to the United States a year later, he finally formed his visionary band, Meta and The Cornerstones. Meta and The Cornerstones’ sound is a melting pot rooted in diversity, strength and unity as they combine their creative differences from Africa, Asia, the Middle East and the Caribbean. Meta and The Cornerstones channel roots reggae while simultaneously breathing new life into the genre, thus creating what critics have called a “soul-pounding spiritual experience” during their live performances.
Raised on Chicago’s south side, Zeph Farmby started writing graffiti as a teenager in the early 1990s. While attending Percy L. Julian High School, he took four years of advanced art classes, cramming in as much art exposure and education as he could. During his high school years, Zeph entered countless art competitions, always winning the top award. Zeph started his freelance art career long before he knew it was his true calling. At 16, he was creating logos and murals for small local businesses and had picked up some independent studies at the Art Institute of Chicago. During his studies at the American Academy of Art, Zeph enhanced his knowledge by deepening his understanding of art history and adding to his skill set with acrylic and oil paintings, graphic design, and Illustration. However, Zeph never turned his back on his original love for Hip-Hop and continued to practice his graffiti skills in more formal art environments. Prior to graduating from The American Academy of Art in Chicago, Zeph was commissioned for large scale projects for companies in the area. He would continue to create illustrations for local magazines and graphic designs for t-shirts and other promotional materials.
Live at the Archway is an annual series of free concerts and interactive visual arts programming in the unique setting of the Dumbo Archway, one of the only covered outdoor spaces in New York City. Founded in 2015, the series reflects the neighborhood’s diversity and commitment to the arts, and showcases a broad variety of music, dance and visual art styles. Programming consists of a headlining act on stage at 6:00pm including music and dance in a diversity of genres, and a Dumbo-based visual artist’s solo show in a pop-up Gallery, also in the Archway.