“Music has power and those who have the grace and gift to produce music should understand the big responsibility attached. Feed the world with edifying, wholesome music and make the world smile a little more.”
This profound sentiment expressed by vocalist Phillip Kellman embodies the type of musician that he aspires to be. Though he has been performing for just over a year, he has no doubts about the type of product that he wants to saturate the market with.
In chronicling his musical journey, he told Bajan Vibes: “I was always around music because of my brother and developed a love for the craft. I remembered as a child, being so fascinated while watching the band Tribal Roots on stage at Gospel Fest. I knew it was something I wanted to do.”
The performer is proudly following in the footsteps of his older brother Timothy Redbwoy Kellman, who also promotes socially conscious, message-laden music.
Phillip K, his onstage moniker, believes music must be purposeful. “I love when my music makes people feel good. I feel happy when my music helps someone in this journey of life to overcome some challenge they are facing. My music is an embodiment of my everyday life. My music reflects my transparency, it reflects me being vulnerable, it reflects my character, it reflects my life.”
Through his music, listeners can delve into the inner workings of his mind. His variety of tracks, available on local streaming site Selecta Charts, showcases his range.
Although it was difficult to choose a favourite from the music he has produced thus far, the one that has special significance to him is Red Thoughts. He admits that this track, which has an accompanying music video, required a tremendous amount of work and thought.
“That song was the most transparent song I’ve written and intentionally so,” he said.
Another outlet for Phillip K’s creativity is song writing. “I write about my life, the things I’ve experienced, the challenges I face, the obstacles I’ve overcome.”
Since Phillip K is still charting his musical path, he is trying to determine what style he wants to adopt. “I often find myself trying hard to figure out what genre best fits my music and all I can say is that it’s a compilation of different genres, which evoke a different feeling in each song.”
The artiste said that the path his music career has taken has been organic in nature. “I began music simply for the love of it and I’ve seen the appreciation for my music from many.”
The singer has joined forces with the Ekco Nation team who shares a similar perception on the power of positive music. “I have performed mainly with Ekco Nation, a charity that promotes the advancement of Kingdom Culture and advocates positivity through the Arts. I would have performed at their Open Mic sessions and concerts.”
Being confined to home as a result of COVID-19 has afforded Philip K the opportunity to work on new material. “Although the pandemic has been a sudden change of pace, it gave me time to reflect… [and] the opportunity to spend more time in the studio creating music. So, although I have been isolated and not been able to connect with friends and family as I would like to, it has caused me to tap into my creative mode a little more. I made sure I made the best of the isolation quarantine time, pushing the creativity.”
There is no doubt that this is the path that the singer is meant to take. “I have come to a place where I believe wholeheartedly, that music is my calling and with this revelation, I devote a tremendous amount of time and energy in releasing music.”
As a trained graphic artiste, the importance of imagery cannot be undervalued. Not only will Philip K be releasing new music, he will be producing music videos as well.
One artiste he would love the opportunity to collaborate with is Isaac Blackman. “For many years I admired this young man’s passion for the things of the Lord and became a lover of Jamoo, a genre created by his father, the late, great, Ras Shorty-I.”
Pursuing his passion is not without obstacles. “The major challenge I’ve faced would be the cost factor associated with producing music. It is a very expensive field, and it is important, firstly, to understand that it is an investment, not solely for monetary gain, but for the edification of those who listen to the music. I’ve been able to learn, from observation and years of research, how to produce my own music, which aids in the cost.”
The artiste has several musical influences but those most influential would be: Chronixx, Stromae, Isaac Blackman, J Prince, Bob Marley, Mali Music, Tribal Roots just to name a few. His playlist would include Samuel Medas, Jaron Nurse, Positive, Nathanael Fisherman and Marc Issac.
When asked about his interests outside of music Philip K said: “I am also into animal husbandry, which is my second love, and has been for several years.”
Phillip K is excited to see the progression that his music will take in the coming years. In addition to reaching the world market with his material, he has a personal mission in sight.
“I would love to be an active mentor to the youth here in Barbados. It is something that I feel passionate about. I want to be able to create a forum where I can connect with the youth and push the arts, whether it be visual or theatre arts because I know the power of the arts. I know the impact that the arts can have.”
Ultimately, the performer is concerned about the growing trend of promoting violence through dancehall. “It is worrying to me that this is the legacy that we as a people will leave. It also worries me that my children will have to listen to these emerging artistes as they continue to establish themselves.”
Philip K is encouraging musicians to sing uplifting music. “There is power in our music and we need to be mindful of what we sing,” he emphasized. (STT)