Los Angeles based trio King were our guests for an incredible interview/performance at KPFK. In the spring of 2011 the group self-released three tracks as well as a music video for their song “The Story” and caused a legitimate sensation, gaining major league cheerleaders in Phonte Coleman of Little Brother/Foreign Exchange, Questlove of the Roots, Erykah Badu and even Prince. Since then, they’ve been honing their craft, collaborating with Robert Glasper on the Grammy award winning Black Radio and working on their proper debut release, which we might just see here in 2013. In our interview we talked about the origins of the group, which features twins Paris and Amber Strother as well as their friend Anita Bias. We also discussed how they conceive of their own special brand of “Soul” music, how they’ve dealt with the acclaim this early in their career and a little bit about lies ahead for King.
The group played all four of the songs that they’ve released, “Supernatural,” “Hey,” “In The Meantime” and “The Story” for us during the session. Anita sings lead on “Hey” while Amber sings lead vocals on the rest of the tracks. All of the music was provided by Paris on her Nord keyboard (you might think there had to be a bass player present, but no, it’s just Paris’ skillful left hand).With the sound stripped down a bit, it highlights not only Paris’ talents as a player,but even more the special vocal harmonies that mark the trio’s signature style. Though they’ve only released a handful of songs, King is a group where the age-old adage, “the sky is the limit” truly fits. As amazing as they’ve sounded so far, there is so much more to come from this talented bunch. I’m just thankful that we were able to bring them in so we could all bear witness to their deservedly rising star. Big thanks to Mark Maxwell for his work on the sound, to Lori Lousararian and Sofia Gold for help setting things up and especially massive thanks to Paris, Amber & Anita for spending time with us at KPFK.
If you haven’t seen it before, here’s the video for “The Story,” the song that started it all for King: