BY JORDAN HICKS TEXASUPDATED 9:53 PM CT MAY. 13, 2021 PUBLISHED 11:26 AM CT MAY. 12, 2021
TEXAS — After over a decade of music, childhood friends Chinasa Broxton and Dashawn Daniels may as well be family.
"Mess with the Tribe, get the Mafia," Broxton said, describing the duo's moniker.
The "Tribe" describes the family units of the duo's diverse cultural backgrounds: Broxton's Nigerian roots and Daniels' indigenous roots. Their journey has led to them forming a tribe of their own, becoming brothers in music. That journey began on the playground.
"Eighth grade? Ninth grade? We met at the basketball court," Broxton said. "I had to cross him up right quick..."
"He ain't cross me up..." Daniels quickly interjected.
The competitiveness they'd show each other on the court years ago is the same drive that makes up the "Mafia" aspect of the group. For them, the mafia means business. After years of cycling through different groups, members and sounds, the two came out as a unit that can focus on that business. "People who's with us right now obviously are part of the tribe," Broxton said. "We help the business grow, they help us grow. So it's a family ting'."
The music of Tribe Mafia has grown over the years. Experimenting with genres to keep their sound unpredictable has always remained a constant. The two shine on the usual club bangers you'd come to expect like their song "Triple Double." But finding inspiration from different moods, life events and artists help them stay innovative, leading to the dance hall vibes of songs like "Hurt" or "Tempted to Touch." They say being good for that variety is important to them, and has been since their early days.
"Even before we got a professional studio it was like that," Daniels said. "When we were recording in the bathroom. A cellphone app in the bathroom!"
"You ain't got no studio set up, just go to the restroom," Broxton said. "That's your EQ, that's your treble, that's everything you need!"
Tribe Mafia has come a long way from recording in the bathroom. Years of work has led to an international tour with Akon and their very own studio album. They're huge milestones for the group, that have motivated them to push for more.
"We want to be known everywhere," Daniels said. "How else is everybody going to know our music?" "I've got a lot of inspiration from Michael Jackson. Just seeing when he walks on stage you already got girls and guys just fainting," Broxton said. "If we ain't got that kind of standing ovation yet, than we've got to keep working harder."