With Influences From Motown and '90s R&B, Philadelphia's PKY Offers a Unique Approach to Neo-Soul

Philadelphia born Neo Soul-RnB infusing and self-proclaimed romantic, PKY, is the low-key master of allurement. Whether lamenting over lost lovers or sampling an ominously detuned piano on, "Melancholy Lover," from 2019’s breakout album, "Hopeless Romantic," his diaphanous, often-bittersweet ballads tend to hint at a seductive mood and leave listeners just enough space to relate their own applications.

"Dreamin" becomes the first single off of PKY's Rhythm and Blues catalogue to feature a stunning representation of love lathered themes through video. In the centre-piece of his stories, PKY steps away from the more overtly upfront mixes in favour of delicate melancholy. Similarly, in his video production, the tone is set not through expensive upfront productions, but instead through a calculated approach with saturated colours washing over our Philly romantic as he crosses between the expanse of the Pennsylvanian landscapes and his cloud-filled room. With twinkling chords, a sharp cross-stick on the snare, and lo-fi cymbal splashes, his tender vocals render a lucid exhibition for someone whose relationship has gone sour, and his demeanour in the video is super reflective of that. Evocative and unassuming, PKY is featured in a silky bed-time robe, with an eyecap crown, almost as if it’s a metaphor to this singer’s warm enduring heart, and the comfort he finds in unrelenting love. But really, it could also be a cheeky wink to the song's title. Film grained effects furnish this the video with a vintage vibe as our ears flutter to the nostalgic inducing vibes of the '90s romanticly crowned era. PKY's head is clearly stuck in the clouds and dreamin' in this video feature, as he dances in a room with clouds overhead. This song is stuck in our heads, and we're only dreaming about the next release this Hopeless Romantic has in store for us later this year.

Fall in love with "Dreamin" here.

Hey there, PKY! Welcome to BuzzMusic! We're totally thrilled to be featuring your newest single and supporting video for "Dreamin"! Where did you end up recording for this music video? Did you travel across some parts of your hometown to get this done?

Thank you so much for featuring me! I ended up recording in two locations with my videographer Gabe Rosenfeld. One scene was shot in a visual lab at Rec Philly in the Philadelphia Fashion District, and the other was an outdoor shot just behind the Philadelphia Art Museum near the Schuylkill River. There was a bit of traveling done, but both locations were close enough to my house. I loved the nature of the outside shots.

How have you grown as an artist and songwriter since you first started making music and how heavily inspired do you feel from your roots in Philadelphia?

I’ve definitely grown as an artist since I first started. The material on the Hopeless Romantic EP was written over the course of late 2018 into early 2019, so I feel that I’ve gotten better lyrically and musically. I’ve definitely written more songs since then! Being born and raised in Philly has inspired me, of course, it would. Philadelphia has had a ton of stars that have developed from our arts scene. Patti Labelle grew up not too far from where I was raised in North Philly, and the Stylistics used to own a house across the street from me. Jill Scott was an influence growing up, also born in Philly, and she’s one of the best of Neo-soul. Will Smith, Musiq Soulchild, Floetry, Phylis Hyman, Jazmine Sullivan, Meek Mill, The Roots, Tierra Whack, Eve, Billy Paul and so many more artists have emerged from my city. I’m proud to be from Philly as an artist.

Do you think the music scene in your hometown has helped you in your endeavour to get your music recognized and heard? Or do you have plans of moving somewhere for precisely that purpose?

I am fairly new as an artist, but once I tapped into the thriving arts scene here in Philly I knew that this was what I wanted to do. Joining Rec Philly, an organization dedicated to helping independent artists, showed me the resources that exist here. However, I am not opposed to exploring and expanding to new areas.

It was a joy featuring you here on BuzzMusic! Do you plan on collaborating with anyone in the future? How are you approaching finding collaborators to be featured on your upcoming music?

Once again, thank you for having me! I am always opened to collaborations. I already have some in mind with other independent artists. I meet a majority of new artists through events and social media, and when I think a collaboration makes sense I reach out, or others will reach out to me. We will see what happens soon!

What can we expect to see next from you?

I am hard at work on my next EP! So, that will be something to look forward to. I feel like I’ve grown so much as an artist already, and this next project shows that. I’ve really been able to expand my musical style and lyricism. I can’t wait to share it! In the meantime you should take the time to listen to the Hopeless Romantic EP. It’s available on all streaming platforms!