Welcome to Ase, L O Kari's first album is a meditation on the intersection of movement and Self Care. Ase is a philosophical concept of affirming change. The term Ase is used as a way to give honor to the creator while acknowledging all living beings both past and present. Ase has also been used in circle conversations as a means of saying "it is well," "I hear you," or in the spiritual sense of "amen".
Elgin Bokari T. Smith aka L O Kari is a Chicago based DJ, Activist, Visual and Performing Artist from St. Louis, Missouri. Born in 1987, L O Kari was heavily influenced by the soulful sounds of RnB, Jazz, Hip Hop, Gospel, and Alternative Rock. While attending Central Visual and Performing Arts High School in St. Louis, Elgin discovered that he had an ear for music and began creating music on piano and guitar while adding his unique flavor. Now known as L O Kari, Elgin has performed domestically and abroad - ranging from New York, St. Louis, Ohio, Seattle, South Korea, Japan, and all over the Chicago land area. He has shared stages with the likes of Bone Thugs and Harmony, Ruby Ibarra, The Terra Godz, Saba, Da Brat, Clark Airlines, Mega Ran, Bop Alloy, No Name Gypsy, DJ Esco, Young Chop, Lil Crazed, Rebel Diaz, Twista, and Chingy… just to name a few.
While working on his first instrumental album, Elgin's car was vandalized and original files of that project was lost. The very next day, he met up with friends, Sayon Yoeun and Khala Tolliver, to work on the song titled “Self Care.” Through the process of making that song and another series of events, he realized just how important life is and taking time for oneself; thus, the creation of this project.
L O Kari’s style is very smooth and transformative. Blending mixes of Hip hop, RnB, Electronic, Trap and EDM. Some of his influences include, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Nujabes, Linkin Park, Joe Hisaishi, LORN, and Prince. What is most notable about his style is his ability to adapt to the vibe of the audience he's serving. Elgin also gives back to his community as a Teaching Artist, and President of the activist and artist collective, Elephant Rebellion.
Elephant Rebellion is a collective of artists and activists dedicated to empowering communities through the power of arts and education. They began organizing in 2012 after their friend and fellow artist/activist John Vietnam Nguyen passed away. He left behind a legacy of inspiring change in oneself and one’s community through positive action and self determination. Since their inception, they have become an organization that has been giving back to the community through music, dance, poetry, educational workshops and much more. Elephant Rebellion dropped their first album, " One Love" in 2015.