Carlis P.
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Carlis P.

Louisville, Kentucky, United States | INDIE

Louisville, Kentucky, United States | INDIE
Band R&B Jazz


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"Beatnik Ball brings local, diverse acts"

Vision is what performer Carlis Phillips, better known as CP, hopes to bring to the Student Center's Worsham Theatre tonight.

That and a little singing, of course.

Phillips is performing tonight as the debut show of Student Activity Board's new Beatnik Ball series.

Three SAB committees have come together to organize the first Beatnik Ball concert series. Members of the concert committee, the multi-cultural programming committee and the Spotlight Jazz committee have blended together different genres into one show.

"Beatnik Ball is a series of very eclectic shows," said Steve Hoffman, the executive director of promotions for SAB.

Local and regional artists will perform in the Beatnik Ball series, bringing new sounds and styles of music with them.

"The tagline of the series is a tribute to avant garde influences in music and culture," Hoffman said.

Phillips' performance should reinforce SAB's goal of bringing an eclectic style to UK. His music blends smooth lyrics and jazzy roots together. His original mix of R&B and soul creates a new form of music that most students are probably not used to hearing.

SAB is excited about offering this new sound to UK students.

"He's not your average R&B crooner," said Sade Jackson, the director of multi-cultural affairs for SAB. "He's local but with big elements."

Originally from South Bend, Ind., Phillips grew up in a family of musicians and singers and performed in the choir at his grandfather's church. Phillips' childhood, both performing at the church and the style of music that he listened to growing up, is what has inspired him the most.

"The music of the late 70s, early 80s is imbedded in me," Phillips said. "I started to dibble-dabble in that electronic vibe."

Phillips credits acts such as Donnie Hathaway, Stevie Wonder, Shaka Kahn, Tupac and Al Green as influences. While some of these performers may sound similar, Phillips doesn't want to be grouped into any particular label.

"Genres suck," Phillips said. "Every artist is in their own genre. I just write how I feel."

Phillips is a musician on the side and his day job doesn't necessarily create an easy lifestyle for him.

"I work 9 to 5 and use that check to fund my projects," Phillips said. "I've got a two year old, and it's tough juggling."

Even though being a performer isn't always easy, Phillips knows that this is his calling in life.

"You do what feels good," Phillips said. "It's natural for you to walk in a straight line, so you got to walk the line that feels right."

The Beatnik Ball series will showcase local artists every other Wednesday during first semester. Upcoming acts include The Sexual Disaster Quartet, Junior Varsity, and NineBall. All shows are at 8 p.m.
- KY Kernel - Sam Lee

"Tony Cummings talks to one of the hottest neo-soul talents to walk the Gospel Highway."

One of the most arresting new voices on radio is the stunning neo-soul of a diva from Louisville, Kentucky called Adrianne Archie. Her 'HTHAELHH' album (otherwise known as 'He That Hath An Ear Let Him Hear') has got rave reviews, considerable airplay and shows conclusively that the Church still produces the best singers on this planet. I ask Adrianne to tell me about herself. "I was born and raised in Louisville, KY where I attended Greater Bethel Temple Church and received Christ at the age of six. As the youngest person in our youth choir I found out, as our director stated, 'She can sang!' I guess! During my teens I was also the youngest to perform nationally in gospel hit state plays like You Can't Keep A Good Woman Down and Before You Get To Me You Gotta Get To God! I really didn't think it was a big deal that I could sing Karen Clark Sheard songs with ease, I just sang what I thought sounded like the tape! (smiles) I was only in chorus my senior year in high school, did talent shows in college to pay for books and as soon as I graduated I knew that the only thing that interested me totally was singing. So, God placed Joel Goodwin (my producer) and Carlis Phillips (my engineer/manager) in my life and we began recording what would later become 'He That Hath An Ear Let Him Hear'."

Some singers find the recording of their debut album a painful experience. Not so for this bubbly soul sister. "What sticks out most about recording 'HTHEALHH' is the fact that Joel, myself and Carlis were all on the SAME page as far as what we thought would sound like GREAT music. We knew we had something different on our hands, but goodness! We all taught each other spiritually, mentally and musically! Now we are like triplets walking around!"

The track on Adrianne's stunning debut currently getting extensive Cross Rhythms airplay is the explosive "Used To Do". I ask the singer to talk about the song. "We were exploring 'rock' and blast beats, as Joel had just introduced to us music that we would rarely listen to! He would repeat, 'A musician is only as good as his music collection.' 'Used To Do' is the only worship rock song on the album; I didn't want it on there because it was so different from all of the other songs, so we had a deal that Carlis would pay for the mixing and mastering of it. He did, and now it's one of my favourites! 'Used To Do' just talks about the changes that occur in the lives of Christians and how to deal with those changes knowing that God 'has his hands on you!' Oh, and I know it! It's a blessing to embrace change in life and this song speaks of it lyrically and is itself a song of change for me. I am excited that people can relate to it."

I ask Adrianne whether she was happy with the neo-soul label. "It doesn't matter either way! People say it's neo soul because of songs like 'It Is Well' and 'Welcome', but all of the other songs range from R&B ('Push Myself') to jazz ('Saints Go Marchin' In'), to traditional ('Jesus U Reign') to hip-hop ('Take It'), to soul ('U Never Change') to folk ('Why Not Take A Chance' and 'Praise Elevation')! As long as they see Jesus in it, they can call it country! The label neo-soul could also be because I don't like dressing up anymore so when we are in concert I'll wear like jeans and a t-shirt, a jacket. I never wear heels, (EVER!) and I shoot for lookin' real trendy, I guess! Oh, and I have natural hair! Maybe that's what it is, and I guess you don't see too many R&B, traditional artists with nappy heads! Let's see, I've been totally musically influenced by soul artists like D'Angelo, Lauryn Hill and Erykah Badu solely because they are skilled musicians and I have ALWAYS been drawn to their music. I am an '80s baby!

I conclude my brief inquisition of this most vivacious of singing talents by asking her to name plans and dreams for the future. "In five years I would like to see Soul LinQ Productions as a well established legitimate, competitive, comparable record label. I know it will happen by the grace of God. It goes without saying that I am working on album number two, which I think will be called 'HSMS' ('Heart Soul Mind and Strength') from the greatest commandment given by Christ. We'll see. As well as that I'll be ministering, touring, eating (had to throw that in there) and making relationships last during this journey!"

- - Tony Cummings

"Underground R&B Group Klientel Releases "Daily Trade""


Klientel, a Louisville-based underground R&B duo, sings in the tradition of the corner boys of old. These were men and boys who graced the stoops of at least one corner in everybody's hometown, crooning popular recordings and writing their own songs. These were men and boys who dedicated hours of their time to the perfection of clear, three-part harmony, to the delicate delivery of falsetto doo-wop and later, rhythm and blues standards. These were the men and boys whose dreams, limited by circumstance, were rarely realized. Carlis Phillips and William Beason are their sons, the final generation who will undoubtedly leave the stoop.

Their latest underground release, "Daily Trade," makes obvious their heritage. They pair a particular attention to harmony with gospel tradition, layering three-part harmony over gospel chords. The beauty of "Daily Trade" lies in each artist's mastery of his or her craft. Lyrics, music, and the vocal quality of the lead singers combines to make a high-quality recording.

Klientel's range is extraordinary; the duet can move from a clear, Smokey Robinson-esque falsetto to a gritty tenor. Furthermore, Klientel constructs unique harmony with the building blocks of their voices. In the duo/ group tradition, some simple harmonies have become mundane and predictable. In songs like "home," Klientel strays from cliché harmony with their brave and experimental choices.

Next to the beauty of the duet's voices, the keyboarding is the most powerful element of the production. Utilizing gospel chords and the creative improvisation that is a fundamental and unique element of black music, the keyboard artists on "daily trade" create a layer of music that acts as more than a flat bed for the brothers' voices. Instead, the keyboarding and programming adds to the energy of Klientel's vocal delivery, recreating the atmosphere of the raw energy that occurs in the studio.

While underground artistry has obvious limitations, it does allow for a creative control that is not available to all mainstream artists. For example, many commercial artists put together collaborations based on the other artist's name in the business, not their vocal compatibility. Klientel's position allowed them to feature Adrianne Archie, another up and coming artist whose talent matches their own. In "Brother/ Sister," Archie's belly-deep, full-fledged alto pairs with Klientel's improvisation to create the magic that is good music. So good, in fact, that the listener actually feels the words, "Brother, don't you fight/ It's all a part of life/ The power's in your mind/ You're gonna get it right..."

Underground music also allows for more creative lyrics. In songs like "Change the Game" and "Summertime," the men become melodic griots, paying as much attention to the story told as the delivery of each sweet note. As is true with many R&B recordings, one of the best songs is actually an extended interlude. Called "Secure," the song is sculpted as a praise poem, an ode to a lady who is doing all the right things to keep her man at home.

Klientel stands on the shoulders of their porch-crooning predecessors. From this vantage point, they see nothing but success. "Daily Trade" is available at and - The Hilltop - Asha French


By Maisy Fernandez
June 2004

Klientel has won a national talent contest, performed at the legendary Apollo Theater and worked alongside platinum-selling hip-hoppers Nappy Roots. So it makes you wonder: Why would the R&B duo of Carlis Phillips and William Beason give away their music for free, as they have done for a number of years? Because they hope to reach as many listeners as possible.

"Being an underground artist, you tend to give away more CDs than you sell," singer/songwriter Phillips said. "You have to give something to get something."

At the end of the day, it's all about the music anyway — at least for now. "We want our music to live on and influence people — to touch them in different ways," said Phillips, 27.


Mixing elements of jazz, hip-hop and contemporary R&B, Klientel creates a distinct sound unlike anything you might hear on the radio.

"When it's time for us to write, we step outside the sound on the radio," Phillips said. "We rebel, in a sense."

Phillips and Beason pride themselves on having a unique sound and thoughtful songwriting. "We try to paint a lot of pictures and tell a lot of stories," said singer/songwriter Beason, 27.

However, that's not to say Klientel's music is too "out there" for folks who enjoy mainstream R&B jams. "We still gotta conform a little. We can't go Andre 3000 just yet," Phillips joked.


Phillips and Beason met through a mutual friend in 1998 in Bowling Green, where Phillips was attending Western Kentucky University and Beason was working as a home nursing assistant. The first time they met, they spent several hours singing together. That was all it took for them to realize their musical chemistry.

"It blew my mind," Beason said. "We didn't grow up together, we weren't friends. We just met on a humbug."

Klientel recorded its first song at Tree House Studios, the same Bowling Green studio Nappy Roots called home. Members of Nappy Roots ended up producing, engineering and recording Klientel's 1999 debut album, "Hoping it Pays." Meanwhile, Klientel has laid down background vocals on some of Nappy's underground projects.

In 2001, the duo won a national talent contest sponsored by Doug Banks' nationally syndicated talk show. Their prize: a live performance that April at the Apollo in New York City. "It was real big for us," Beason said. "Scary, at first."

They've worked charity events, performed locally and opened for major artists including Ruff Endz, Jaheim, Jesse Powell, 112, Koffee Brown and Juvenile. When Klientel performs, it uses an eight-piece band.

Klientel released the 12-track CD "Daily Trade" last December, available at Ear X-tacy, Better Days Music and at


Klientel is helping other local artists with their music and making more of its own. Beason and Phillips operate Soul LinQ Productions and, down the road, hope to become songwriters for all different genres of musicians.

While there isn't a huge market for R&B gigs in Louisville, Klientel plans to take the stage July 31 and Aug. 1 at the Sony Urban Showcase at Yuri's Bistro, 821 W. Broadway downtown, where Sony A&R reps will scout for new talent.

As far as blowing up, Phillips said, "We are laid-back and patient." Still, the duo would love to do music full time.

"We'd like to break through and become a household name," he said. "We want people to know who Klientel is, for our music to be heard, respected and enjoyed."
- Velocity Magazine

"Urban Ville Flava - TRUE R&B IN THE VILLE"

By Kimberly Cecil

True Soul can be found seeping from the underground movement in the Ville from the group, Klientel. A mix of neo-soul, R&B with a strong jazz and hip hop influence, Klientel has been tagged as the next emerging group from the Ville/Bowling Green nexus. Starting in 1998 in Bowling Green, Klientel was formed when band members Will and CP met by chance and wound up singing together. Their first song was recorded at Tree House Studios in Bowling Green, when Atlantic recording artists Nappy Roots gave them the opportunity to use the studio and to sing background vocals for some of NP's earlier work. Nappy Roots also contributed to Klientel's first CD, Hoping It Pays, handling engineering, producing and recording. In 2001 Klientel snared their first national attention by winning a talent contest through a syndicated radio morning show hosted by Doug Banks. This led to a performance at the legendary Apollo Theatre in New York.

Performing in front of major label artists is nothing new to Klientel, with opening slots for Nappy Roots, Jaheim, 112, Juvenile, Mystikal, Ruff Endz and Black Coffey already on the brag sheet. Klientel executive producer Corlan Phillips a.k.a Yah Cor, said that the next major goal for Klientel is to sell more than 10,000 CDs regionally, gain more exposure and continue to stay on the cutting edge of the industry. A new independent CD, Daily Trade, produced and recorded with Soul LinQ Productions is designed to drive their plan to success.

While there is considerable chatter about the potential future for Klientel, including a buzz about a possible "major record label deal," Klientel's first concern is to "bring it" to the people to change lives through their music. From giving away demos and selling over 1,000 units on their first CD, they are doing the work necessary to strengthen the group for the long climb up the industry ladder.

Klientel is banking that their sense of style could compete with major label artists like Musiq Soulchild, Erykah Badu and The Roots. "Staying positive and creative are key" says Yah Cor. Staying in the studio and vibing with like-minded artists is what is on the regular menu at Soul LinQ Production's studio when Klientel and their producers work on the material.. An atmosphere of enthusiasm was apparent immediately upon entering the studio. A studio is the spot where producers, vocalist, rappers and managers collaborate to make music for Klientel or any other act and the intensity usually found in such places can result in a less-than-friendly greeting for visitors but I was their hospitality. Yah Cor was very modest when talking about the newest CD but, excited about Klientel's upcoming projects and prospects

Keep an eye out for Klientel's new CD can be found all over the city in various record stores. For more information about Klientel, call 502-568-6130


Klientel-"Daily Trade" - Soul LinQ '04 Executive Producer, Writer, Producer, and Artist

Klientel -"Hopin It Pays" ft. Nappy Roots- DRP '99 Writer and Artist

Adrianne Archie-"HTHAELHH" - Soul LinQ '04 Co-Producer, Engineer, and Background Vocals

Adrianne Archie-"Warm Winter" - Soul LinQ '06 Featured on "Without You"

NeoSoul United Vol. 2 - Glory Records '04 Featured Song "Home" by Klientel

Digital Black-"Memoirs of an R&B Thug"-Elite Muzic '05 Featured/Writer on "Playa Play On"

Deep Rooted Compilation Vol. 2 with Nappy Roots - DRP '99 Featured on Various Tracks



The recent success of Soul LinQ productions proves what Carlis Phillips (AKA CP), already knows: music is his birthright. Singing came as naturally as speaking to this man who was born and raised in South Bend, Indiana. Carlis is the son of Priscilla Phillips a jazz and funk vocalist who sang with Junior Walker and the All-stars. Before Soul LinQs conception, he worked closely with Platinum-selling hip-hop group, Nappy Roots and the other artists on Bowling Green, Ky.s Deep Rooted Productions. A member of the neo-soul duo, Klientel, Carlis was able to hone his talents by singing and writing alongside the wonderful artists on the label. At Western Kentucky University, the artists had freedom to experiment musically without worrying about making mass-market hits. What developed was a sound that can be called original, if nothing else. With Klientel, Carlis released Hoping it Pays (Deep Rooted 1999) and Daily Trade (Soul LinQ 2004). He co-wrote and arrangedmusic for Playas Digital Black in Memoirs of an R&B Thug (Elite Music 2004). His work appears on Neo-Soul United Vol. 3 (Glory Records, 2003) and Deep Rooted Compilations Vols. 1 &2 (Deep Rooted 1997& 1999). He also sang background and produced tracks on Soul LinQ artist Adrianne Archies debut, He That Hath an Ear, Let Him Hear (Soul LinQ 2005). Inspired by artists like Donny Hathaway, Stevie Wonder, Chaka Kaan, Marvin Gaye, Luther Vandross, and the early 1980s sound in general, Carlis feels called to tear down the walls that separate musical genres. He is doing just that, having collaborated with rappers, R&B singers, and most recently, Gospel artists. To each genre, Carlis lends his musical ear, his creative lyrics, and the work ethic that has made Soul LinQ Productions much more than a local studio.