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Watch local rapper Joie Kathos take over The Foundry at Fillmore for a powerful set

Joie Kathos | Photo by John Vettese for WXPN

The Boiler Room recently stopped by The Foundry at The Fillmore for an all-local lineup, and footage has recently surfaced of local rapper Joie Kathos‘ extremely energetic set. Her flamboyant style brings a mix of choreography, clever lyricism and solid flow, making Kathos a force to be reckoned with in the scene. All she wants to do is share her thoughts with the world, and the world should seriously listen. Continue reading →

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Watch Philly rapper Joie Kathos pay tribute to Queen Bey with R&B crew Good Girl

Joie Kathos
Joie Kathos | Photo by Josh Runs | joshruns.us | courtesy of the artist

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 →

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Vita and the Woolf, Lil Dicky, Joie Kathos, DJ Jazzy Jeff and more to play an #AmplifyPhilly SXSW showcase

Lil Dicky | Photo by Morgan Smith for WXPN | phobymo.com

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 →

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Escape the waking world in Joie Kathos’ new “Dreaming” video

Joie Kathos | Photo by Josh Runs | joshruns.us | courtesy of the artist
Joie Kathos | Photo by Josh Runs | joshruns.us | courtesy of the artist

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 →

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The Key’s Year-End Mania: Bruce Warren’s Best of Philly Music 2015

Queen of Jeans
Queen of Jeans | photo by Kelly Kurteson

Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2015 incredible. Today, WXPN program director Bruce Warren shares five musicians she found on Spotify in 2015.

This past Thanksgiving The Key’s John Vettese wrote about the 15 Philly songs we’re thankful for. The songs were just a small snapshot of by Philly’s vibrant music scene, represented by the likes of Hop Along, Jazmine Sullivan, Kurt Vile, Agudos Clef, Hemming, Hezekiah Jones, Lithuania, Lushlife, Jill Scott, and others. What stood out to me in Vettese’s article then, and what’s stood out to all of us at The Key for the last several years is how wonderfully diverse, and prolific, the music scene in Philly continues to be. Continue reading →

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The Key’s Year-End Mania: John Vettese’s Top 5 Philly music discoveries of 2015

Chelsea Sue Allen | via chelseasueallen.bandcamp.com
Chelsea Sue Allen | photo by Jason Stewart | photo courtesy of the artist

Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2015 incredible. To kick off the series, Key editor John Vettese recaps five of his favorite Philadelphia music discoveries from the past 12 months.

You know it’s been a solid year of Philly music when squeezing it into a list of five feels like an injustice. True, I review the scene every year at the start of our #YearEndMania series, and yes, it’s almost always an “incomplete” list. But this year in particular, it could have handily been fifteen or twenty discoveries instead of merely five, and reeling the number in today was totally a challenge.

Some general observations: Philadelphia had a higher-profile musical year than ever before. A slate of solid releases emerged from the 215, from the amazing Painted Shut from Hop Along, which topped our critics’ poll yesterday, to Kurt Vile’s dreamy latest b’lieve i’m goin’ down; heavy rock and roll by The Districts and an ace live album from Dr. Dog; a hotly anticipated return from Meek Mill (hopefully that Drake beef didn’t do too much damage to his rep); timeless offerings from Jazmine Sullivan and Jill Scott; and so much more. Then there was the amount of attention Philly recieved from the outside world, including Stereogum’s scene report in June – it got a mixed reception in musician circles, but it was nonetheless cool to see those guys watching us from afar. We also saw increased coverage of Philly musicians in Impose, Noisey and Brooklyn Vegan, all the way up to Rolling Stone (which freakin’ loves them some Alex G.).

It’s all exciting stuff, but those artists I mentioned are doubtless very familiar to our regular readers at this point. With this in mind, I set my sights back to January to remember the names and faces that were pretty much new to me over the course of the year, or new-ish but making a big impression. Looking over the five, my listening habits were clearly eclectic but notably on the downbeat side. But don’t cast this crop of emerging musicians as mellowed-out, maaan – they may be quiet on the surface, but each works on a very nuanced level, delivering intoxicating tones and intricate textures that teeter on the verge of exploding. In many cases, that’s what they ultimately do, in a sonic sense, and next year I’m hoping to see some of these artists explode in that other cool kinda musical way: their profile. Let’s dig in. Continue reading →

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Fun, Free and Awesome: NoLibs Fall Fest features Joie Kathos, RoseMary Fiki, Ill Fated Natives and more

Joie Kathos | photo via facebook.com/JoieKathos
Joie Kathos | photo via facebook.com/JoieKathos

Beyond the world of pumpkin spiced everything, October means The Fire‘s annual Northern Liberties Fall Festival, which is set to happen this Saturday from noon to 8:30. Yes, you’ll find pumpkin carving and food there, but it will also feature incredible music from Philly’s rock, punk and soul communities.

Among the talented performers playing the free concert is local rapper, MH the Verb who will be celebrating the release of his new record alongside Philly blues rockers Ill Fated Natives, the funky RoseMary Fiki, and DJ Sylo headlining the night. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Joie Kathos at Kung Fu Necktie, Autechre at Union Transfer and more

Joie Kathos | photo via facebook.com/JoieKathos
Joie Kathos | photo via facebook.com/JoieKathos

Just last week Philly hip-hop and R&B singer Joie Kathos stopped WXPN to play a handful of songs for us as a part of the Key Studio Sessions, and it was, well, awesome. We highly suggest you give the recordings a listen and if you like what you hear — which we are pretty confident you will — then you can check Kathos tonight at Kung Fu Necktie when she opens for Philly-area vocalist James. For more information on the show head over to the XPN Concert Calendar.  Continue reading →

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The Key Studio Sessions: Joie Kathos and Armani White

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Joie Kathos and DJ Bear One | Photo by John Vettese

Like I said the other day: one thing Philly music industry startup RECphilly is amazing at is inspiring artists to collaborate. We saw that happen the first time we worked with them on a live audience Key Studio Session this summer; we saw it happen in a bigger way the second time around, which we present to you today.

Featuring an intimate crowd of about 50 fans and two rising stars of the Philly hip-hop scene, Joie Kathos and Armani White (plus a set from Milton and his band, which we’ll release a little later this fall), it was a hugely positive night of charismatic performance and impressive skill. And that’s before the improv cypher even began. Continue reading →

Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head