Brooklyn Band Phony Ppl Graces Webster Hall



Phony Ppl opened for another band, Rise, at a Feb. 8 concert at Webster Hall.


Brooklyn breeds some of the best musicians in the music industry: Jay-Z, Nas and the Notorious B.I.G. all hail from the borough. Growing up in Brooklyn culture and looking up to New York City musical influences in the R&B, jazz and hip-hop game, it’s no surprise that a band like Phony Ppl came to be.

Founded in 2010, the band consists of five members: Elbee Thrie on vocals, Elijah Rawk on lead guitar, Matt “Maffyuu” Byas on drums, Aja Grant on keyboard and Bari Bass on bass guitar. The band has come a long way since their residencies at New York’s Blue Note Jazz Club. Over the past decade, they have gained recognition from artists such as Tyler, the Creator and Childish Gambino. 

On Spotify, Phony Ppl has a little over 1.1 million monthly listeners and their most-listened-to song, “Why iii Love The Moon.,” has over 42 million listens. In 2015, they made their first television appearance performing “Trap Queen” with Fetty Wap. Earlier in 2019, the band played on NPR’s Tiny Desk, promoting their album “mō’zā-ik,” released at the end of 2018. About two months ago, they came back onto Tiny Desk to support the “Hot Girl Summer” breakout artist Megan Thee Stallion and sing their newest single together, “Fkn Around.”

On Feb. 8, the band struck Webster Hall with their soulful and savory sound. Downtown in the East Village, Phony Ppl opened up for the rising funk band Ripe. The crowd was filled with people old and young who had a common love for all things funk. Although Phony Ppl were the opening act, the band gave it 110% like it was their own show and got the crowd swaying side to side. They wore their most stylish and unforgettable ensembles and treated the crowd to the Brooklyn flair. Not one person in the band stood still, and everyone was moving and grooving to their songs. 

Phony Ppl sang one of their popular songs, “Before You Get a Boyfriend,” as well as “Somehow” and “Way Too Far” from their albums “mō’zā-ik” and “Yesterday’s Tomorrow,” respectively. When they sang “Why iii Love the Moon.,” people went nuts and sang along with Thrie. Since Megan Thee Stallion was not there to accompany them during “Fkn Around,” the band gave a more funky, instrumental rendition of the song.

Throughout the entire performance, the band sprinkled in guitar riffs and bass-driven beats. Thrie danced along with Rawk and Bass and interacted with those jamming to their set. Each member of the band individually had time to show off their musical chops on stage. The whole performance felt intimate no matter where you were in the venue. Whether you were right in front or all the way in the back mezzanine, you felt their presence.