Who Dat Wednesday: Phay x Mama
I'm so excited to finally share this. I've been scheming on how I wanted to bring this album to the blog since mid-January. I found Phay doing my normal Spotify playlist perusing. Spotify has a playlist called "Discover Weekly" that updates every week with new songs tailored to your personal tastes. I happened to search on a good week when it suggested this:
*You better click play before you go any further*
If you really know me you know I listen to Rubberband Banks at least 6 times a week. I was sold from the jump. In typical BINACT fashion I made a point to find more music. Under new releases was Mama. The rest was history.
Naturally I followed Phay on Spotify, Soundcloud, Twitter, and anywhere else his name would populate in the search bar. When I clicked the blue follow button on Twitter I noticed that the location in his bio said Atlanta.
ATLANTA? Too easy.
A few tweets and emails later I secured the interview.
Q: So glad I got to meet with you today! I hope you don't mind if I ask you a couple personal questions. First things first, where is home for you?
Phay: I was born in Chicago, Illinois. I moved to Decatur, GA in 2000. As a kid I used to catch myself saying things like, "Back in Chicago..." this and that. After a while I just stopped dropping the Chicago tag. Atlanta is my home. Everywhere inside 285 is Phay territory. I know it's home because when I travel to new cities I always end up getting homesick.
Q: How long have you been rapping?
Phay: 7 years seriously. I picked it up when I was studying Sociology and Criminal Justice at Georgia State. I used to be one of those artists who focused on being extra lyrical. It took me a while to take myself less seriously and perfect my craft. Once I paid more attention to creating something sustainable and not stringing words together it became so simple.
Q: For those that haven't listened to Mama yet, what can you tell them about the album's theme?
Phay: The album has a very broad theme. At its core it's about me growing up and coming to terms with being a man. My mother gave her all to raise me. She taught me tons of life lessons, some I truly learned from and some I disregard. Mama is about appreciating growth and allowing it to make you a better person.
Q: Wow. That's perfect. Every time I listen I find something different to digest. How much time went into making this album?
Phay: Sheesh. A lot. Easy/Faithful took 100 man hours just to get the mix right. Disrespectful is a 5 year old song. (If you heard the original version you would be a little disappointed, haha!) All in all it took 8 months to record everything, decide what made the album, and get everything sounding the way it should.
Q: You put a lot of time and effort into Mama and it shows. Not to mention the production on this album is CRAZY.
Phay: Much love to Rascal and Kelechi. Both of them were a huge asset to the album. Kelechi is my boy and he took his time engineering all of the songs. It's good to have a supportive circle. I surround myself with "doers." Very important.
Q: AMEN. Whew! I almost caught the Holy Ghost.
Phay: Funny you mention that. Even though I'm Muslim, I love gospel music. I appreciate how it sounds and its ability to move people.
Q: You're right. There's nothing like a good ole gospel song! Speaking of which, how many prayers did it take to get a Young Dro verse?
Phay: A few but not as many as you'd think. I knew making a song with Dro had to be done. When I graduated I worked a regular 9-5 job. I was still working on music but it wasn't my priority. My biggest concern was getting a job in my field of study. 2 years passed and the job wasn't fulfilling. After that realization I made the decision to dedicate myself to my music. I did some research on Dro which led me to his management via email address. Sent some emails to get the rate for his verse. To make this happen I had to save up. And I did. Now I have a verse with Young Dro on my album.
Q: You're such an inspiration. This album and that story are motivation to keep me going. Thank you for that! What do you have in your arsenal for your wonderful fans?
Phay: Honestly, I do have the best fans. I truly appreciate the love and support I get from them on a daily basis. So much that my team has to tell me, "You can't respond to every message, Phay!" I'm all about connecting with them. Staying grounded helps me keep myself open enough to continue giving them great music. I recorded a live performance series with some singles from the album. I'm excited to release this so the fans can hear the songs live and they get to meet my majestic band. The team is working on a new line of merch as well. Be on the look out for it during the summer!
I'm so glad I got to sit down with Phay. Meeting the artist behind the music will never get old. You can find Phay's music almost anywhere. Check it out and let me know how this album speaks to you!
Updated 9/6: Phay's next project, Friday, featuring Eric Young drops 9/22. His latest release, Move, is the perfect track to close out the summer!