Music is one of the most uniting forces in the world. Powerful voices, harmonic melodies and infused-soul connect audiences from South Africa to New York, transcending racial, ethnic, language and generational barriers. Los Angeles-based trio, King, is one of those majestic groups with the aptitude to fill arenas around the world.
King is composed of twin sisters Paris and Amber Strother and their close friend, Anita Bias. The ladies describe the origins of their musical sisterhood as:
Twins Paris and Amber Strother began their musical journey by listening to favorites of their parents together from the crib, and once they were able to crawl found their way to the piano. Amber nurtured her gift for singing by absorbing everything musical around her, and in turn developed an intricate, magical tone and one-of-a-kind voice, as well as a unique skill for composition and songwriting. Through exploring a melting pot of artists, genres, musical ideas and movements, Paris found her own personal voice for the keys. The twins spent years unknowingly ripening their craft of writing together until they parted ways and left Minneapolis, with Amber to pursue studies in Chicago and Paris to enroll at music school in Boston where…
A chance meeting with a young woman with a golden voice and incredible ear changed her life. Los Angeles native Anita Bias had fallen in love with music and art as a young girl, and spent years cultivating her voice, imaginative and vivid songwriting, and creative styling. Their Boston encounter stayed fresh in the minds of both, and when fate brought Paris to California and reunited them years later at a club in Los Angeles, they knew it was the start of something special.
During Amber’s first trip to LA and the living room session that followed, the three realized that they were born to create together.
King’s collective sound is an almost-flawless blend of jazz, neo-soul and the tremors of mid-90’s R&B. The release of their three-song EP “The Story” launched their exposure into the stratosphere, leading to interviews with top music publications including Billboard and Buzzbands L.A. Their eclectic music and packaging defied the stiffness of artist development, capturing the ears of music’s finest – including Questlove, Estelle, Erykah Badu and Prince.
Mr. Purple Rain was so enamored with their musical abilities and entrepreneurship – Paris, Amber and Anita wrote every song on “The Story” and the EP was fully-produced by Paris – he invited them to open his show at the Los Angeles Forum in May 2011.
He told King, “This music is perfect. I want everyone to hear it the way it is.” The legend’s approval fueled King’s ascent in the notoriously-difficult music world.
The trio hasn’t rushed to release a full-length album. King is allowing the artistic process to occur organically – a privilege that is typically-afforded to larger music acts. But words from Prince encouraged the ladies to spend time developing their work instead of feeding the audience’s demand.
Paris told Billboard the legend told them not to compromise their art.
“When he contacted us early on, the general theme was just don’t sell yourselves short and understand what it is that you have,” she explains. “While we did know it was special, it’s amazing when someone like Prince comes and is like, ‘No you really need to protect this, this is really important, you can’t just give it to anybody, you can’t just partner with anybody, you have to really stay true to yourselves.”
The ladies aren’t following the rules of the music business, which locks some artists into unforgivable deals and forces them to adhere to contracts. King is forging their own path without assistance from major record labels.
“It goes against a lot in the music industry when you’re told by people this what you have to do, this is what you have to do to be successful, you have to sound like the radio, you know,” Paris said. “I was learning that I had to sound like other people. This was a big breakaway to just be able to do it and have it the way you want to.”
It’s been two years since the release of “The Story” and King is still concocting their debut album. There’s no slated release date for the album, but they’ve distributed the single “In the Meantime” to quell their fans’ thirst.