An artist’s greatest superpower is freedom. Liberation is both the modus operandi and main ingredient of the fearless five-man band Phony Ppl. Comprised of the cream of Brooklyn’s young musician crop, each classically trained member is a product of musical parents who gifted their children exceptional DNA, exposure to the greats, and most importantly, wings for exploration and self-discovery. The result is a collective that’s as limitless as its music; one that has received praise from the likes of Tyler The Creator and Childish Gambino, performed with Erykah Badu, Jill Scott and The Roots, and killed festivals, late night television and their own residency at New York City’s legendary Blue Note.
The warmth of lyrics are mainly credited to lead vocalist Elbee Thrie, a former Manhattan School of Music student whose vocals possess a disarming charm and lyrics glow by advanced perspective and retrospection. Trained composer, Aja Grant provides co-writing, the keys and much of the band’s arrangements. Strings are manned by guitarist Elijah Rawk and Bari Bass, Phony Ppl’s visual artist and bass player. The crew’s heartbeat is percussionist and former Music Conservatory student Matthew Byas (whose father is DJ Jazzy Jay of the legendary Zulu Nation).
After several jam sessions throughout high school, different iterations of the band, and honing in on their sonic cornucopia – the band has taken pride in their genre-less sound. Throughout the years, their music offerings have dabbled in experimental splashes of jazz, hip-hop, R&B, reggae, soul, rock and many more sub-genres. Their first official full-length offering Yesterday’s Tomorrow (2015) which houses discography gem “Why iii Love The Moon”, received critical acclaim from The New York Times, NPR, Rolling Stone and
more. Their next album titled mō’zā-ik (Mozaik) would be released in 2019 via 300 Entertainment. The album earned its name because each of its songs is a singular piece of art possessing shapes and colors separate from the others, while adjoining to make symmetrical magic. Songs like “Way Too Far” and “Before You Get A Boyfriend” represent the dynamic nature of the album and solidify it as a body of work that transcends classification and time.