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Interview:
KING at El Club -- 5 things to know
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

» See more SOUND CHECK

Not just any group gets to call itself a Grammy Award winner before it's debut album is release.

But KING clearly isn't just any group.

The trio -- twin sisters Paris and Amber Strother and Anita Bias, who met in Boston and are now based in Los Angeles -- Have so far released an EP (back in 2011) and, this year, a debut album, "We Are KING." The group took him its prize for collaborating with Robert Glasper on his 2012 album "Black Radio," and it's building its own buzz with an array of genre-blending singles, including the new "Native Land."

Paris Strother, meanwhile, has also written and produced for Corinne Bailey Rae.

The trio has achieved One To Watch status at this juncture, and it's hopeful that more crowning achievements are on the horizon...

Being in a band together has been easy for the Strother sisters, who were born and raised in Minneapolis. "We're really close, being twin sisters," Amber, 30, says. "KING was kind of a homecoming for us. I moved away from home at 18 to go to Berklee (School of Music in Boston). So getting back to living with (Amber) after so many years was cool, and it was great to start making music with her. It's been a lot of fun to hit these milestones with my twin sister."

KING might seem like an odd group name for three women, but it makes sense to Strother. "It was really the first and only name that really occurred to us," she recalls. "Amber and I happened to be together and Anita called and said, 'What do you think about the name KING?' And we were like, 'Wow, we really like that.' At the time we were completely independent; I think we started recording the music even before we had a name, so the idea was having our own kingdom we were looking over and really wanting to invite people into it. KING fit really appropriately, and it's felt like we've really kept growing into the name as years have gone by."

Paris is quick to stress that KING is very much a team effort. "It's very much the three of us," she explains. "We all songwriter. I handle the music, but we're all very much contributors and everything. Even before it was an idea it was us hanging out and making music for fun and just really liking the sound and wanting something tangible to share."

The trio deliberately put no limitations on its musical style. "There wasn't anything like we definitely knew what we wanted to sound like," Paris says. "I remember the description, 'We want to sound like the clouds, like you're flying,' very cinematic! (laughs) The major thing was all of us wanting to use our imagination. We didn't want to sound like anything else. I want to invoke this feeling I had when I was a kid, listening to music playing on video games and thinking it was really cool and different."

KING has also worked extensively with visual artists and video directors to make clips for its singles. "I think we always envisioned this being kind of like a 'Fantasia' thing," she says. "Disney was a huge influence, just loving the concept of scoring to visuals, kind of like movies we were seeing in our mind. It's been special to hook up with these artists who can help us realize those visions."

KING and Nick Hakim

9 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 12.

El Club, 4114 W. Vernor Highway, Detroit.

Tickets are $15.

Visit elclubdetroit.com.


Web Site: www.elclubdetroit.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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