The Washington Projects, brother/sister duo Jekob Washington and Rachael (Washington) Messini, merge insightful hip-hop, scintillating soul, rippling R&B, old-school funk and purebred pop. The pair previously comprised two thirds of the Word/Warner Brothers recording group SoulJahz, who took the industry by storm in the early 2000s with a spread of radio singles, press acclaim, and prominent appearances.
Jekob and Rachael have performed alongside No Doubt, Nelly, Counting Crows, Ja Rule, Ashanti, Garbage, Boyz II Men, and Erykah Badu in support of their major label debut The Fault Is History. That project also set a streak of precedents, including Rachael becoming the youngest composer/producer/songwriter in the history of Warner Brothers Records (she was 17, beating out Prince at 19). The project's first single, "All Around the World," became the fastest chart topper in the history of the CHR format.
They’ve been featured on CNN Headline News, E!, Billboard, The WB, plus a slot on Sessions@AOL beside Christina Aguilera, 50 Cent, Shania Twain, Faith Hill, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. But even with the tremendous amount of buzz and overwhelming fanfare, record label red tape soon wrapped itself around the burgeoning band, putting an extreme delay on what would’ve been its sophomore CD and the band went indie for a few years. Eventually the group was allowed to exit its deal, but at the expense of leaving the SoulJahz moniker in the label’s hands.
"SoulJahz has a certain amount of recognition as a brand, but The Washington Projects is a name that’s even closer to our hearts because no one can ever take it away from us,” Jekob said.
The Washington Projects hit the studio for its debut in this format, Commanders Of The Resistance, an enthralling soundtrack of hope covering just as many relevant themes as it does sonic spectrums. Both videos released to support the record quickly jumped to #1 on the Gospel Music Channel. The group toured extensively including an overseas tour of Europe supporting the troops alongside groups like The Nappy Roots and more.
Their 2009 follow-up project was the 11-song album Light Up The Dark, which encompassed the true heart of the group's vision and goal with songs like “My Dream,” “Light Up The Dark,” “You Are Beautiful,” “Work,” and “Justus.” Their most recent album, 2012's Space Time Continuum, was produced by Flatline Remix (Lecrae, Trip Lee, Newsboys). It contains club-knocking, hard-hitting remixes of some favorite Washington Projects songs from both their Commanders Of The Resistance and Light Up The Dark albums. It’s an inventive merger that’s given them instant accessibility with street credibility, while breaking down boundaries as an eclectic genre troupe.