How and when did you get started creating music?
I started creating music at a young age. At 7 years old I had 2 tape players in the house. I would record Boyz II Men off of the radio on one tape player and record my “extra lead” parts on another. That was my first studio.
Name 3 of your greatest musical inspirations.
Easy. Micheal Jackson, Prince and James Brown.
For someone who has not heard your music, what would you tell them to expect?
Anytime you hear me, you’ll be sure to hear some gospel, R&B and soul blended together. On rare occasion you might hear some country tunes. I think I’d be a wild trap country artist.
You bridge music and comedy together in a way that is seamless. Do you enjoy one more than the other or is music and comedy synonymous?
I wouldn’t say that I enjoy one more than the other. I’m usually singing by default because I have a few singers in my family. One being my dad. Even as a kid, while hating my after school chores I would sing “Living in the house of heeellll” like a negro spiritual…until I got caught by my dad. Lol.
What have you been up to during the shutdown?
I’ve been working on my alter ego; 90s R&B superstar K Relly, the King of Comedy R&B. It started off initially as a joke but has really taken a life of its own with a creative, 90s sounding body of work created right here in Houston by myself, Ira Dean, Nic Humes, Freddie Fontaine, Madicin and Eric King. Its’ release date is August 14th so if you like 90s RnB and laughing, K Relly is your guy.
Has it been more difficult or easier for you to create during the quarantine?
Honestly, it was a struggle at first because I had to adjust my creative process and at the same time maintain the energy for our records from a distance. Eventually, I got my feet under me and developed a plan with my partners that ended up working pretty seamlessly. There’s always a way to get it done at all costs if you’re willing to change your perspective on the problems you face.
What is your creative process like?
It varies. But I usually have spurts of lyrics that come out to me at random times so I always have to be ready to remember or record my thoughts. Lol. It’s all about the energy of the moment or the music for me. I can have a creative moment anywhere and at any time if I’m allowing myself to be inspired in such a way.
Who would you most like to collaborate with?
I would really like to have a jam session with Bobby McFerrin, Erykah Badu and Lauryn Hill.
If you could open a show for any artist, who would it be?
Today? It would probably be PJ Morton. Oh! And BJ the Chicago Kid. I really love their energy on live stages.
What is the most useless talent that you have?
My thumb is double jointed, so I can make my hand look crazy like something off of Tales of the Crypt. Lol.
Do you feel social media has helped or hindered your musical career?
It’s really helped! When I found joy in what I do best and focused on putting out quality content, I began to organically grow the following and engagement with people who cared about what I do.
There is a stigma that an artist must “leave” Houston to become successful. Do you agree or disagree with that statement?
No I don’t agree with that statement. So many options are limitless within our community. You have to be available and willing to connect. However, I realize some people are mentally exhausted with their immediate options so moving to another city may sometimes be the literal breath of fresh air they needed to jumpstart their journey.
What’s next for you?
The sky is the limit. I’ve had fun with shows at House of Blues and doing stand-up at the Improv, but I am having the most fun with this K Relly project, producing music and creating some memorable art. I’m excited to see where he will take me.
What are ways that our readers could support you?
Please call502-735-1784 or go to standwithbre.com to help convict the police officers who killed Breanna Taylor. I realize that even through my entertaining and the promoting of myself that I can still be selfless and remind people of national issues that need to be addressed. I feel like it’s my responsibility as an influencer.
Where can we follow you and hear more?
Follow me at @mrphillwade on Instagram for music and video content.