Phony Ppl

at Brighton Music Hall

Words: Camille Leung
November 11 2022

Outside the doors of the intimate Brighton Music Hall venue, fans waited excitedly for Phony Ppl’s opening show of their Nowhere But Up tour.

We gathered around the windows to catch a glimpse, and bobbed our heads as we listened in on their soundcheck jam. With their black tour van parked just outside the venue as bassist Bari Bass occasionally swung in and out to greet concert goers, they seemed to be warmly inviting us to dance, to sing, and to celebrate.

The band has origins dating back to lead singer Elbee Thrie’s high school days in Brooklyn, where he first assembled with keyboardist Aja Grant. With the addition of guitarist Elijah Rawk, drummer Maffyuu Byas, and bassist Bari Bass, they formed a five-member unit, releasing tunes laced with bossa nova, R&B, and jazz influences. Their successful release of Yesterday’s Tomorrow includes one of their top tracks, titled “Why iii Love The Moon”, which brought listeners an array of funk flavors and jazzy hip-hop as Thrie belted about the moon’s loyalty. Three years later, mō’zā-ik. was released, loaded with even more tasteful and robust hits. The  talents of each member aren’t limited to Phony Ppl itself either: when not performing, Bass designs art for the band, Rawk plays with Princess Nokia’s backing band, and Byas can be found in the studio with Odd Future’s Domo Genesis.

Throughout the entire duration of the concert, the waves of excitement never faltered and the energy was kept on high. Thrie recalled how good it felt to return to playing live shows, and made sure everyone was dancing and moving at all times. Sharing their hit songs from both their projects, as well as their hit “Fkn Around” (originally featuring Megan Thee Stallion), fans knew all the words and loudly cheered as each member had their solo moments. They also hinted at new music coming soon, building anticipation for their next project.

As the band finished the night with “Why iii Love the Moon”, I excitedly handed my phone, video rolling,  to Thrie as he approached the front of the stage. Immediately understanding my intent, he took it from my hands and filmed a cheering crowd before stopping by each band member as they played.

Phony Ppl created an unforgettable experience for their opening show of the tour. Each member is truly in their element in a live setting, with endless freedom to show off their instrumental talents. They had a wonderful way of bouncing off the crowd’s energy, never failing to serve a good time and a night filled with movement and joy.






WBRU RADIO (Alternative)

360 (R&B/hip-hop)