Speaking in a 1994 interview about the struggle for black equality, hip-hop icon Tupac Shakur used a particularly striking image of singing for food: “Every day, I’m standing outside trying to sing my way in: ‘We are hungry, please let us in.’ … After a year you’re just like, ‘I’m picking the lock, coming through the door blasting!'”
The last part of that quote struck a chord with Philly rapper Joie Kathos, who based her new single “Rounds Off” around a sample of the interview. Continue reading →
“High Key” is a series of profiles conceived with the intent to tell the story of Philly’s diverse musical legacy by spotlighting individual artists in portrait photography, as well as with an interview focusing on the artist’s experience living, creating, and performing in this city. “High Key” will be featured in biweekly installments, as the series seeks to spotlight artists both individually and within the context of his or her respective group or artistic collective.
Philly’s Joie Kathos has had a busy year. In June, she performed at Delaware’s Firefly Festival; back in March she was showcased on both the iStandard Beat Battle and in Washington DC’s SheROCKS event. She’s got her hands in several ongoing projects, having released singles for Comin Home With Me (CHWM) on iTunes late last year. And come September, she’ll open up at the Electric Factory for Young M.A.
The Philly native’s star is on the rise, but her head seems to be planted squarely right here at home, in a city that’s imbued her with a deep cultural tradition going back to her parents’ love for arts and music. In this interview, she recalls childhood memories attending local concerts with her father, and all of the music that continues to fuel her own creative energy. She’s inspired and informed by hip hop touchstones like The Roots and KRS-One, and one of her personal heroes, Bahamadia, invited the young rapper to perform at her #KOLLAGE tribute show at Johnny Brenda’s last year. “We sat in the studio and talked and she was droppin’ jewels,” Kathos reminisces about the collaboration. “I’m grateful for her.”
As she describes CHWM, she evokes more cherished memories of ‘90s music media culture. “Remember back in like the ‘90s when they used to release singles on CD, and then there would be like the ‘radio edit,’ and three different house mixes.. I just wanna keep it true to that.” You’ll be quickly laughed off and contradicted, though, should you try to point that she couldn’t possibly “remember the ‘90s” because she’s only 25: “I’ve always been into music. My start in music was way back when, when I was a baby! My mom sang, and she danced, and my uncle sang, and I was just around it. So I’m a little bit ahead of my time, a little bit old-school too.” Continue reading →
This Saturday, a handful of Philadelphia artists will take part in All Access, a nationwide series of events — concerts, poetry readings and discussion panels — centered around women’s reproductive rights.
The big event hits the stage of the Electric Factory on Saturday night: local punk duo Pinkwash joins rapper Joie Kathos and the famed DJ Diamond Kuts for a concert beginning at 6 p.m. Also on the bill is Bay Area rapper Rocky Rivera, Detroit singer-songwriter Tunde Olaniran and Baltimore MC Rye Rye. The all-ages event is free, but RSVP is required — you can do that here. Continue reading →
Talk about a killer collaboration: after a few weeks of teasing it, Philly hip-hop dynamo Joie Kathos today unveiled her new single and electrifying music video made possible with a huge assist from R&B four-piece Good Girl.
The song is called “Slay,” a term that’s has become a huge part of our global lexicon this year thanks to Beyonce. True to that lineage, the Good Girl ladies incorporate the hook from “Formation” into this song, with a drum line and visual cues in the Josh Runs-directed video also drawing inspiration from Queen Bey. Continue reading →
Now she’s back with a brand new video for “Training Season.” The self-produced video gives us a new song that brings a confident series of rhymes backed by slick beats — just what you’d expect from Joie Kathos. Take a look for yourself below. Continue reading →
Are you ready to party? We’re ready to party. The opening night of our second-ever KEY FEST is upon us and we’re elated to once again program a weekend of gigs celebrating the spectrum of incredible music and artistry that thrives in Philadelphia and its surrounding region.
As we did last year, we’re bringing you daily lineup rundowns to get you primed for the show, and I can’t imagine a more energetic roster of artists to kick this party into high gear. Dig in below. Continue reading →
The folks at RECPhilly are once again packing up and heading to Austin for the SXSW music festival, and they’re bringing a roundup of artists to rep the Philly music scene along with them.
The SXSW Philadelphia showcase takes place on Tuesday, March 15th at 8 p.m. at The Main, a venue at 610 E. 6th Street in downtown Austin. The lineup features the piano driven-soul pop of Vita and the Woolf and the fierce flow of rapper Joie Kathos, along with the charismatic Lil Dicky, local legend DJ Jazzy Jeff spinning a two-hour set. Continue reading →
Philly rapper Joie Kathos is always one to think about her work in layers and levels. In the new video for “Dreaming,” a track from last year’s Floaters, we get a glimpse into the unlikely morning routine of a charismatic rapper – rolling out of a comforter, stretching, chugging mouthwash – except for Kathos, her walk down a flight of stairs takes her to a super chill neon / technicolor house party that I would love to wake up to on a daily basis.
Lyrically, the Shocker G-produced song is all motivation from a goal-oriented individual – “All my dreams are just realities that haven’t happened yet” – but visually, the setting seems to illustrate the distractions that might get in your way, and the subsequent waking up to the consequences of your actions. Continue reading →
A little later on today, we’ll bring you our first Key Studio Session of 2016, and it’s an exciting one – but before we get there, let’s pause and recap an awesome fall season with the release of The Key Studio Sessions Volume 15, our latest free compilation of live performances from regional bands recorded at WXPN studio. Continue reading →