Here’s a familiar rock & roll legend: a young African-American man struggles through the trials of a tough childhood & is inspired by hip-hop music to begin a career as an artist himself. While newcomer Asante Phenix fits this model, he adds a few nifty twists to the story. He is a first-generation African-American – his parents are from Ghana – and this cultural heritage plays strongly into his art. And his musical exposure is hardly limited to admitted rap favorites like Lauryn Hill & Drake; in fact, it was the variety of music heard in his diverse Maryland neighborhood as a teen, ranging from Radiohead to Rage Against the Machine, that started him on his music-making path.
Now based in NYC, Phenix has a new EP, Chamber, due on Oct 16, featuring the track, “Ava,” which we are proud to be premiering. The hip-hop influence is obvious, but there is plenty else going on in the track as well, from a catchy percolating keyboard melody, solid song-shaped production, and Phenix’s own compelling singing voice. It’s the start of something significant from a new artist who just might start a legend of his own.
ERIC J. LAWRENCE