African-American composer and teacher Carlos Simon was born in Washington DC in 1986, the son of a preacher, and grew up in Atlanta in a house where listening to anything other than gospel music was forbidden, so of course this had an influence on his compositional style. He studied at Morehouse College, Georgia State University and the University of Michigan.
His music, also influenced by the formal elements of composers such as Beethoven and Brahms, frequently incorporates activist themes, due to his interest in issues of social justice. This is particularly noticeable in his Requiem for the Enslaved, which combines African-American spirituals, hip hop and the Latin mass.
Since 2019 he has been an assistant professor at Georgetown University's Performing Arts department.