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Gonjasufi in Budapest, Hungary (2011).
Background information
Birth name Sumach Ecks
Also known as Gonjasufi
Sumach Valentine
Randy Johnson[1]
Origin San Diego, California, United States
Genres Experimental, lo-fi, alternative hip hop, psychedelic rock, trip hop, dub
Years active 1990s–present
Labels Warp
Associated acts Flying Lotus
The Gaslamp Killer
Website www.sufisays.com

Gonjasufi (born Sumach Ecks in 1978)[2] is an American musician, disc jockey, actor and yoga teacher.[3]


Ecks was born in 1978 to a Mexican mother and an American-Ethiopian father.[2] He spent his formative years in Chula Vista, California.[3]

Ecks got involved early on in the arts, playing Helios the Sun God in the opera Persephone.[4]

In the early 1990s, he began releasing music within the San Diego hip hop scene; notably with the Masters of the Universe crew.[5][6] Touring under the stage names Sumach Valentine and Randy Johnson,[1] his first band was called Plant Lyphe.[4]

Ecks gained notice from Warp Records in 2008 after an appearance on Californian musician Flying Lotus' album Los Angeles, on which he sings on the track "Testament".[6] His Warp debut album, A Sufi and a Killer, was released on March 8, 2010.[7]

In 2013, Ecks was also featured on Jay-Z's album Magna Carta Holy Grail.

Ecks' voice has been described by Pitchfork Media as "a scraggly, scary, smoked-out croak that creeps like the spiritual offspring of George Clinton and Lead Belly."[6] He attributes his singing style to his day job teaching yoga, where he was forced to learn how to "project from [his] stomach more".[6]

Ecks currently lives in Las Vegas, Nevada.[5]




  • "Holidays"/"Candylane" (2009)
  • "Kowboyz&Indians"/"My Only Friend" (2010), Warp
  • "Kobwebz"/"Speaketh" (2010)
  • "Nickles and Dimes" (2010)
  • "Ninth Inning" (2011)
  • "The Blame" (2012)


  1. ^ a b Allmusic - Gonjasufi
  2. ^ a b Meer, Malik (2010) "Gonjasufi – the electro Hendrix", The Guardian, 6 March 2010, retrieved 2010-07-04
  3. ^ a b SDR - Gonjasufi Extended Interview
  4. ^ a b Gimme5 Interview: Gonjasufi
  5. ^ a b Lymangrover, Jason. "Gonjasufi Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-03-08. 
  6. ^ a b c d Dombal, Ryan. "Rising: Gonjasufi". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 2010-03-06. 
  7. ^ "A Sufi And A Killer". Warp Records. Retrieved 2010-03-06. 

External links[edit]