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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
Occupation(s) musician, disc jockey, actor and yoga teacher
Years active 1990s–present
Labels Warp
Associated acts Flying Lotus
The Gaslamp Killer
Website www.sufisays.com

Sumach Ecks (born 1978),[2] better known by his stage name Gonjasufi, is an American musician, disc jockey, actor and yoga teacher.[3]

Life and career[edit]

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]

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]


Studio albums[edit]

Remix albums[edit]

  • The Caliph's Tea Party (2010, Warp Records)


  • The Ninth Inning EP (2011, A.I.R.)
  • MU.ZZ.LE (2012, Warp Records)


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

Guest appearances[edit]

  • The Gaslamp Killer - "I’m in Awe" from Death Gate (2010)
  • Humansuit - "Lawnmower Man" from Humansuit (2012)
  • The Gaslamp Killer - "Veins" and "Apparitions" from Breakthrough (2012)
  • Perera Elsewhere - "Giddy" from Everlast (2013)
  • Awol One & Gel Roc - "Flight" from The Cloaks (2014)
  • Dag Savage - "Bad Trip" from E & J (2014)


  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]