PEACE AND BLESSINGS everyone, your resident EP for THE TBV is back for Episode 12. Now for this next guest I gave him pretty hype intro on the episode but I do want to say that this is one of the coolest people I have had the pleasure of interviewing. A South Charlotte legend and all around showmen, I got to sit down with the one and only Tony P a.k.a PHAZE GAWD.
Making Basements feel like Stadiums
PHAZE and I got the convo started by connecting on our Charlotte routes. Tony recalled how diverse south charlotte was and being able to have a melting pot of connections, which came in handy as he built a music career around doing indie shows. In addition, the emcee spoke about always being around music, especially around his father, a musician as well. Tony's love for music also helped him define himself - "an entertainer" most of all in his words. After making sure we got his shoutouts in, we dove deeper on what defined him.
We fast forward to high school where PHAZE and his boys were deep in the MySpace era playing show after show. Here is where PHAZE recalls the rush of performing while so young and meeting so many people. So much, that PHAZE attributes doing shows one of his defining traits as an artist. He loves that aspect so much simply because it is his shows serve as a conduit for good vibes and high energy. During our talk he recalled a special show where he performed in a basement in Virginia, (yeah I made a face too lol):
"I mean it was this big basement in this city in VA...it was PACKED. I was recording some from the stage as well it was crazy...After the show someone hit me up and said you made this basement feel like a stadium.." noted Tony.
RISE TO PHAZE
Another defining aspect of his career that he resonates with is the networking. He tells me he has had the opportunity to meet and interact with so many people, share stories with them, and even create with them. He is such a people person that him picking music as his walk of life only made so much sense. The South Charlotte showman even recalled meeting Hip-Hop legend, Freedom Williams of C&C Music Factory. If you don't know who or what that is recall this little tune.
Something else that resonated with PHAZE was learning what it took to make a living from music, and the unavoidable business aspect of it all. Since about 2015 (when PHAZE dropped his first solo project), he has been all in and he had to realize that despite his loving nature, business is business.
"You know one of the most important things I learned is that you cannot take everyone with you and that was hard for me since I am such a people person." - PHAZE GAWD
Despite learning that lesson he still connects people in ways you would not imagine. We even talked about having a friend in common, Austin (Owner of Belligerent Apparel). Where I used to help merchandise hats for Austin in my retail days, PHAZE just performed at his recent 616 Day that the brand throw every year. A small world indeed.
Lastly, make sure you check out AyoPhazoGo!, PHAZE's latest album. We spoke on the production behind it, its amazing cover (shout out to the oni inspired art!), and some of the tracks that will blow your mind. We go on to chat on the production, the art, his favorite tracks to work on like "Motorola" and "Glaciers," and how his fans enjoyed "BullyGang Gang" (my favorite!)
This project meant a-lot to PHAZE as it was his first solo project in almost four years, trying to make sure he could flex. His goal? Making sure he bundled great beats, bars, and can sound amazing live. Tony wanted to to encompass a full experience vibe no matter how the project is consumed.
"This project was my stomp, telling people I am HERE...and if I could describe it? It is perfectly controlled and maintained energy" - PHAZE
I can't thank PHAZE enough for stopping by! Listen to our full talk on 8/28 at theblackvibrations.com or wherever you listen to podcasts!
PEACE AND BLESSINGS!