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Ivy Sole reflects on mothers, daughters, and generational trauma in new “Lovely Fiction” video

Ivy Sole | still from video

Philly rapper Ivy Sole got intensely personal on last year’s Overgrown LP, reflecting on heartbreak, personal trauma, and the deep sort of introspective thoughts you feel in early adulthood. Ivy was 25 when she wrote the opening track “Lovely Fiction,” and it is about her appreciation of mothers and motherhood, but also her anxiety about one day becoming a mother herself — as she put it in a press release, it’s about “the fears of raising a Black child in America and finding love despite that.” Continue reading →

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The never-ending creative story of Kam DeLa

Kam DeLa | photo by Myles Cream | courtesy of the artist

“Never Stop Creating” is more than just a phrase that influenced merchandise made by Kam DeLa. It’s what keeps the 25 year old Cherry Hill producer/singer happy.

Jam sessions with his family when he was a kid geared him into making music, and the production of his happiness is something that has caught the ears of upcoming artist like Mir Fontane, Ivy Sole, Franky Hill and Nightchild. We recently were able to sit and talk with him about his early beginnings and how his creative vision has taken root in projects such as East, User and Overgrown. Continue reading →

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Ivy Sole’s “Taken” video explores distance and longing in Cape Coast, Ghana

Ivy Sole | still from video

In search of a setting that represented the themes of distance and longing in her song “Taken,” Ivy Sole traveled to Africa to film her new music video. It proved a personal journey as well as a creative one for the Philly-based rapper-singer, who describes her first trip to her ancestral homeland a “pilgrimage of sorts.” Continue reading →

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The musical rehabilitation of Franky Hill’s User

Franky Hill | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

The first time I saw Franky Hill, I didn’t know what to expect from him. The show was last month at MilkBoy, and Hill was opening for one of the dopest hip hop artist in the city, Ivy Sole. But the moment he got on stage and touched the mic, I felt like I was watching someone going to pulpit and share their testimony with the congregation. The music was amazing, his energy was very contagious, and you could sense that every song Franky performed felt like a wounded spirit had been healed, and was spreading his newfound joy all throughout  the crowd.

From writing battle raps aimed at no one to writing poems to cope with the loss of his beloved mother, to creating his debut album Blurred Lines to his recent project User, it seems as though Franky Hill was destined to use music as a weapon to battle demons, whether they belong to him or others. I recently got a chance to sit with the 24 year old Camden MC to talk about his early beginnings and how User found its way into the world. Continue reading →

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Go behind the scenes of Ivy Sole’s life and music in new video doc

Ivy Sole at SXSW | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | racheldelsordophotography.com

Philly rapper Ivy Sole has been in the national spotlight lately after releasing her latest LP, Overgrown, and joining in on Coors Light Music’s initiative to promote local artists in various cities.

The latest feature in the project is a short video that gives us a behind-the-scenes look at Ivy Sole’s life and music. She talks about her first foray into music as a kid, violin lessons that “didn’t go so well,” and how she approaches her songwriting and performance style today. Continue reading →

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Ivy Sole tells a queer love story in “How High”

Ivy Sole | still from video

Philly-made rapper Ivy Sole has released a video for “How High,” off her debut album Overgrown. Directed by Sole in collaboration with Ethan Boye-Do, the video was shot in Venice Beach and shows Sole wandering the shore in the early morning, hand-in-hand with actress Andria Langston. The song captures that stomach-flipping rush of being in the proximity of someone you love. Continue reading →

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Watch Ivy Sole and Anyee Wright ride around in “Backwoods” music video

Ivy Sole | photo by Matthew Shaver for WXPN | brightloud.com

Part time crooner, part time rapper Ivy Sole is back with new music today, the latest track from her just-announced debut studio album. “Backwoods” follows up the previously released “Rollercoaster” from June, both tracks set to appear on her debut album OVERGROWN, out September 18th on Les Fleurs Records. On the track, Ivy Sole teams up with local artist Anyee Wright who delivers a fire guest verse, both artists rapping over the smooth beat care of producers CRO and Corey Smith-West. Continue reading →

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Ivy Sole will take you for a ride on “Rollercoaster,” the new single from her upcoming EP OVERGROWN

Ivy Sole | photo courtesy of the artist
Ivy Sole | photo courtesy of the artist

The last time we heard from Ivy Sole, was when she released her duo EPs West and East last year. Early this week, the Philly rapper released the lead track off of her upcoming EP OVERGROWN titled “Rollercoaster”, which is set to drop in the fall via her new Les Fleurs Records. Produced by CRO, Kam DeLa, and Ethan Tomas, the single has a nice bounce that will get you boppin’ in your seat. What gives you that rollercoaster effect is Ivy’s lyrical work. It dives deep into feelings of being mistreated and ignored — “You gon hate me til you love me again / You gon hate me til I’m at your doorstep / Hate me til I’m getting undressed / Love me when you hear that door lock” — and her vocals are so smooth on top of that laid-back melodic rhythm. Continue reading →

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Harmony Woods, Joshua Howard, Killiam Shakespeare and Ivy Sole will play Spruce Street Harbor Park Waterfront Sessions in June

Harmony Woods | still from video
Harmony Woods | still from video

Summer calls for live music outdoors, and lucky for us, Spruce Street Harbor Park delivers. The popular park along the Delaware River draws crowds all season long, but perhaps one of its best kept secrets is the Waterfront Sessions series, which showcases performances by local musicians every Thursday night throughout the summer. Better yet, all shows are free. Continue reading →

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The Key’s Year-End Mania: 2017’s ten best Philly artist portraits

Cayetana | photos by Mary Ferrigno | courtesy of the artist

Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2017 incredible. Today, Sarah Hojsak takes a look at some of the best artist portraits of 2017.

During last year’s end-of-the-year rush, The Key took a brief step away from music itself and instead started digging through the images surrounding it. The result was 2016’s ten best Philly artist portraits — a collection of some of the most visually stunning, ridiculously outlandish or otherwise eye-catching promotional photos from our beloved local musicians.

As you well know, we have no shortage of great music happening here in Philly, and lucky for us so, so many of our favorite artists released new music this year. With those new tunes came a whole new batch of images to take in — they range from the standard artsy but professional press photo to the quirky personality pic and everything in between, and they come from some of music’s best photographers. The best ones, regardless of the forms they take or the themes they use, caught our attention and didn’t let go. Here’s a far from thorough but nonetheless delightful selection of some of 2017’s standouts. Continue reading →