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WINSTON NUNLEY aka WINDAFIRE, 16

Winston Nunley aka Windafire is an interdisciplinary healing artist whose primary medium is songwriting. Windafire received the majority of his vocal training as a member of the Afro-American Music Institute’s Boys Choir. As an artivist and deeply spiritual person, Windafire is dedicated to bringing about harmony and unity through ancestral healing. For the past two years, he has been a member of Dreams Of Hope, a LGBTQ+ youth theater group whose creative contributions educate audiences, build awareness, and increase acceptance. Windafire collaborates with rest doula & artist Onika Reigns on their project Black Dream Escape which offers nap/meditative sessions. These sessions use original music and texts which teach our Black, Indigenous, and queer communities about the power of rest.

Windafire is home-educated and often finds himself involved with his mother’s projects. Recently, he wrote the soundtrack for her short film, Given the Circumstances which was produced as part of Alisha Wormsley’s AfroNauta Project. Windafire is a regular feature at local icon Phat Mandee’s Tune It Tuesdays. He has worked on recording his original music with Liz Berlin of Rusted Root. This year, he will record an EP, The Pool Of Time with Berline at Mr. Smalls Theatre, Recording and Mastering Studio. In 2011, Windafire’s sound piece was used for a short experimental film by Natasha Marin for her Red Lineage Project. The film went to several international film festivals.

In 2013, Windafire was a co-collaborator for “Unlisted: Second Steel”, an international performance art collaboration about place, on a vacant lot in Pittsburgh’s Hill District. He created the character Prosper, a rememory of a child displaced by gentrification in Pittsburgh’s Hill District. Windafire and dancer Juan Aldape developed a father-son story around Prosper. Edwin Lee Gibson, an actor, was so inspired, he chose to play Prosper as an adult returning to face his rememory.

Windafire is pursuing his full initiation as an olorisha and contemplating the right college. He plans on releasing his first full EP and offering the Black Dream Escape on a regular basis, funded by The Pittsburgh Foundation’s Social Justice Fund

 

Olokun’s Song

by Windafire

Oh water divine, with your current on my mind

Let me find my way, to my island’s bay

Help me find the home, to the people of my own

Let me break the bind of the pool of time

Free, like mangroves in the breeze

Sweet, like mangos on the trees

In peace, like dancing on the beach

Me, to love in harmony

At midnight a girl walks down a crooked street

to the salty shore where sea turtles come

to kiss her toes and guide her feet

onto the velvet laced sea floor,

she walks to the flabbergasted cephalopod

who tips his coconut hat and leads

her to a bed of sea grass

still she’s yearning to be

Free

A woman dressed in the gifts of the waves reclines,

the mother of the sea,

the gush of spring.

Girl treads carefully not to wake her before it’s time

Omio Yemaya

the girl whispers yearning to be

Free, like mangroves in the breeze

Sweet, like mangos on the trees

In peace, like dancing on the beach

Me, to love in harmony

The woman rolls over in her sleep

and calls upon her companion of the deep

He arrives with 30 viperfish in his fleet

She gasps and bows deep

Maferefun Olokun she squeaks.

Only he can reunite her with who she seeks.

Then maybe she’ll finally be

Free

He guides her past the ship wrecks with rum and gold doubloons

With seahorses partying in tiger shark saloons

And the creepy men who hide during the dark of the moon

Right when she is half past hope your Bibi’s up ahead he croons

She’s finally

Free, like mangroves in the breeze

Sweet, like mangos on the trees

In peace, like dancing on the beach

Me, to love in harmony


With my roots braided up and my salt colored leaves

My soul is swaying like mangroves in the breeze

The bones of my ancestors are filled with glee.

When they catch us dancing below the sea.