King Britt

30 Nov 2016

"I create because there's something in me that needs that."

Ultimately, King Britt (b. 1968) says, he is on a journey, exploring the patchwork of rhythmic textures from many urban dance music cultures: deep house, hip-hop, broken beat, nu-jazz, funk, and afro-tech. He grew up in Philadelphia—the root of his inspiration—and has worked with many of the city’s living legends of soul and R&B, such as Grover Washington, Jr., Kathy Sledge, Gamble and Huff, and James Poyser. In 2006, he was commissioned by Charles O. Anderson’s (2007 Pew Fellow) dance theatre X to score a piece, which premiered at the 2007 FringeArts Festival and Philly Fringe. The same year, he scored four original compositions for the civil rights movement documentary film Never Lose Sight of Freedom, as well as six original compositions for Michael Mann’s film, Miami Vice. Britt conceptualized, recorded, and toured a multimedia live rock project, King Britt Presents Sister Gertrude Morgan, in collaboration with Preservation Hall in New Orleans, which was performed around the world at venues such as the Whitney Museum and the Nuspirit Festival in Helsinki, Finland. He was bandleader and music director for the Sylk130 collective, produced two albums—When the Funk Hits the Fan (Ovum/Sony, 1998) and Re-Members Only (Six Degrees, 2001). He was DJ for Grammy Award-winning hip-hop/soul group the Digable Planets. In 2012, he released The Phoenix (2012)—a sci-fi electronic music project for the UK label Hyperdub. His most recent curatorial projects include “MOONDANCE: A Night in the AfroFuture” at MoMAa PS1 in 2014, and Fringe Arts’ music series “Late Night” with Kate Watson-Wallace (2007 Pew Fellow) as part of the 2015 Fringe Festival. In June 2017, Britt will release After… under his Fhloston Paradigm moniker, featuring collaborations with Moor Mother, Natasha Kmeto, and Nosaj Thing, among others.