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The Atlanta Hawks Organist Scored the Gig Through Craigslist

Sir Foster now gets to play in front of 20 000 screaming fans each night

Don’t ask me why but I always assumed that NBA teams employed elderly people on pipe organs to breezily play the charge anthem as the home team brought the ball up court.

But during a recent Atlanta Hawks game at the Philips Arena, the camera cut to a guy going crazy on the keyboards with a crowd around him dancing and getting wild. I had to find out more.

It turns out Sir Foster has one of the best jobs on the planet. As the Hawks official organist he gets full creative freedom to jam out Wiz Khalifa’s “Black and Yellow” and I Love Makonnen’s “Tuesday” in front of 18,000 screaming fans, in a city well-known for it’s innovative music.


I hit Sir Foster up on Twitter and in the midst of a strong Hawks playoff run we had a chat about game day action and his debut solo album.

Noisey: It seems that you are are good at embracing the essence of Atlanta and bringing it to the games.
Sir Foster: Absolutely, I like to make sure with my organ playing is that the games feel like what the city is really like. We had 2 Chainz, T.I, we even had Ludacris at the playoff game we just had. I think it’s a big thing to feature Atlanta artists and give them that stage.

You have a reputation for being on point with Atlanta music. Something will be brand new in the clubs and the next day you’ll be playing it at a game.
I consider that to be part of my homework if you will, to stay on top of things. I’m always practicing. I’m always listening to new music. I’ve always got my ears to the streets. When I get the chance to go out, I listen to what people are hearing and feeling.

I read that you applied for the job through a Craigslist ad. Did it seem to good to be true?
No. At that point in my life, I’d moved to Atlanta with no job and I’d found everything through Craigslist. I was living in a house found on Craigslist, I was working at two jobs found through Craigslist, so it was only fitting that that’s how I found the job.

Any time a camera goes on you it looks like you have the most fun job on the planet.
I definitely believe in making sure I’m having fun first of all. When I’m enjoying myself, I feel like the people are really enjoying themselves. I’m really blessed because I feel like I’m where I’m supposed to be, so the happiness is authentic and I think it translates on camera as well. I’ve kind of found my place in the sun, so to speak.


It’s an amazing feeling, I’m a musician and I get to play in front of almost 20,000 people every night. And we’re playing at a pro basketball game! You could have a dunk from the freethrow line at any time, this is crazy. I’ve always been a huge sports fan and music fan and I get to combine those two. The excitement that you see is real.

Do you ever want to just jam out on parts that you’ve had to play 1000 times already?
I used to. The first couple of years I just wanted to come in and be the jukebox and play the entire game. I had to learn how to really score the game, the music has to be timely. Now I have a grasp of placing music in the places where it’s most effect.

The way that I like to think of it, is like the scoring of a broadway play. I’m scoring the play except it happens to be a basketball game and we don’t know what’s going to happen next.

You’ve also put out an album Future World Record Holder. What was the inspiration behind it?
I’m an artist and I love to create. I just wanted to paint a picture. I’ve always been into art, I love buying art from local artists. I don’t create with a paintbrush though, I’m really proud of it, It works for the car, the office, the home, if you’re trying to get hyped up, if you’re trying to relax, it works everywhere.

East Coast hip hop was centered on the Walkman, West Coast Hip Hop was more suited for the car, but the South has always struck a really good balance.
I think that speaks to what Atlanta is, we’re a party city, there’s a lot of riding, but wherever you park, you’ll have to walk as well.

Sir Foster's 'Future World Record Holder' is available from pretty much anywhere that sells or streams music.

Follow Benjamin Thomson on the 'Gram.