FRESH TAKE FRIDAY IS A BI-MONTHLY SERIES SPOTLIGHTING CREATIVES OF COLOR AND THEIR PERSPECTIVES ON CREATIVITY, POSITIVITY AND GETTING SH*T DONE.
I'M EXCITED TO PRESENT TO SOME AND INTRODUCE TO OTHER ARTISTS AND MUSICIAN PHILL MY SOUL.
As a musician, I'm sure you're in a constant state of creation from writing song lyrics to figuring out how to bring that story to life visually. Take me back to when you first discovered your talent for songwriting and performing, and when was the moment that you knew this was exactly what you wanted to do with your life? How has growing up in Virginia and moving cross country to pursue your dream of bringing your creativity to life?
PHILL: Man, music has always been a very important aspect of my life. When I was five years old, my parents bought me a drum set. By the time I was seven, they took it from me because I made too much noise around the house. Even though the instrument was taken from me, I still knew that the ability to create sounds/art was in me. I did spoken word as a teenager and always had people come tell me how powerful it was to hear the words that I wrote and at that moment, I knew that touching people through my music and songwriting was truly what made me happy.
Being a military brat, I was actually born in England and lived all over the world before settling in Virginia in high school. Once I graduated college, I knew that I had to make a decision to follow my dreams of being able to create for a living. I knew didn't feel like I had the adequate resources in Virginia, so I made the move to Atlanta in 2012 and never looked back. Living in Atlanta truly helped me evolve and find myself both as a person and as an artist to the point where I know exactly what I'm doing and how I want to do it unapologetically. Once I felt this way I knew that my ceiling was limitless with anything that I create and I'm able to truly showcase to the masses.
Your newest project "Face In The Crowd" dropped on July 11th, and the visual for the leading single "Ride2Die" is not only strikingly beautiful but it also tells a compelling story of spending so much time running away from who we are that we lose our own identities and life's purpose. What was the inspiration behind this song, and how can we as millennials avoid missing out on what life truly has to offer us in our unique journeys?
PHILL: I truly appreciate that. The inspiration behind ‘Ride2Die’ was something I went through a few years ago. I was sort of struggling to find myself because I truly did not know who I was. I felt like I spent my whole life trying to appeal to how I thought people saw me, and not to how I truly felt who I was deep inside. I remember waking up one day saying to myself, "There is only one me, and nobody can do me better than me" -- so why not live a life being who I was meant to be? As millennials, to avoid missing out on what life truly has to offer us in our journeys, we must to chase happiness. In essence, that's all I'm chasing in the video is happiness. The end result is coming through the tunnel finding that being my true self is what truly makes me happy. As long as we follow our hearts and what truly makes us feel fulfilled in life then we can't go wrong.
In a 'perfect' world, what does a day of productivity look like to you? What tools are you using to get sh*t done, and what are major distractions you do you best to avoid?
PHILL: In a perfect world, a day of productivity for me requires very minimal tools. I feel like we are so distracted by technology and social media these days, so I would not need my phone or laptop. I would simply wake up starting with meditation. Our minds have so much going on in them that we forget to take a breather at times when we are not sleep. It would be followed by reading and writing in my journal and a form of wellness or working out. I'm a firm believer in feeling good inside and out. Productivity is of the mind just as much as it is of the body, so I would not feel pressured to necessarily accomplish anything specific. To me, the goal of productivity is just to get a step closer to the end result daily.
When you find yourself in a rut, (emotionally or creatively) what are some things that you do change your mood? Who (or what) do you turn to for encouragement, and how do you persevere, even when you may want to remain stuck in your feelings?
PHILL: This is tough. Being quite the introvert I've always been my own crutch. I've always been that friend that people run to for advice, so I would have all of these answers for everyone but myself. I'm a religious/spiritual person and I take time out to pray for answers and patience when I'm in a rut. Growing up, my mother would stress to me to never worry about the things that are out of my control. I turn to life for encouragement. The cool thing about life and God is that things always come to light for you. The universe’s energy doesn't lie.
How would you describe your 'fresh take' on creativity? What keeps you inspired to develop new ideas and collaborate with other creatives?
PHILL: My fresh take on creativity is all about freedom. As a creative, I think people forget that creativity is all about making something that starts as an idea. The freedom to do so without limits is the icing on the cake. What keeps me inspired to develop ideas is that freedom to see my thoughts come to life in a way that only I can express them. No one can display my thought process but me. The fact that I can create and make a positive impact is truly what inspires me the most. Bringing those ideas to like minded people who share similar opinions but from a different perspective is truly where the magic happens when creating with other creatives. I think selflessness is key to collaborating because none of us knows everything nor do we have the "sauce" to turn everything we create to magic. Having other creative hands in the pot is truly a work of art when done effectively.