Lowkey R&B Presents: The Lyfe Harris Interview

Young M.A. made waves as many took her February 2020 tweet as a declaration that R&B was dead. Many aficionados rushed to inform the Brooklyn rapper behind hit single “OOOUUU” that she was not looking in the right places for quality rhythm and blues music.

She would go on to clarify that R&B had a front-and-center seat when she was growing up and their sultry tracks were given plenty of radio play; their crooners beloved superstars the likes of rappers and rockers.

Lyfe Harris

The goal of Lowkey R&B is accomplish both feats: put you on to dope music that might not be highlighted in your Apple Music algorithm and provide a pedestal for R&B artists of the future to shine and be recognized. An artist every R&B fan should add to their playlists is Lyfe Harris.

Heralded as a pioneer of the future of the genre, Lyfe Harris represents the best of both worlds in music today. A product of the musical boom taking place in Atlanta while currently taking in the vibes that Los Angeles has to offer.


We chopped it up, virtually, with Lyfe: learning about his start, how BIG RONA has affected his creative process and his take on the future of R&B:

According to the Googles you’re from Atlanta but have relocated out to LA, considering the music scene in Atlanta these days what made you make the move across the country?

Aside from family, for me it was just time to branch out and be surrounded by more creatives who were hungry and inspired.

How’d you get the start in music? Who influenced you, what’d you grow up listening to?

My older brother was a big influence early on. My pops is a singer and songwriter too so I was around it briefly growing up. I listened to a bit of everything, but early 2000’s rap was a real influential period growing up in Atlanta. I started recording and mixing steady in 2010 and kept evolving from there.

You’ve been active as an artist, putting out a project consistently since 2015—yet there’s a 3 year gap between Since We’re Here and Full Speed. How do you feel your music has changed between those projects? 

I adjusted my recording process in between projects. I’ve always engineered my own music so the mixing process has changed over time, but the vibe is still what its always been just a different energy and better head space.

You have some collabs with Kehlani and Ye Ali and a spicy pic with Rihanna, while your albums are relatively solo heavy; what goes into your decision to work with people versus making more independent work?

I’m always working with people whether it’s writing and producing but when it comes to certain releases it’s just more of a personal thing for me. 

So much of LA is about being outside, how are you adjusting to the coronavirus outbreak and how has this impacted your creative process, if at all?

I haven’t been out much lately anyway, and I record at home studios most of the time so my routine has been pretty regular. I’ve been in this mode for a while now working on the next project. But [the virus] definitely slowed down quite a bit of sessions I had elsewhere.

You’ve been described as being one of the pioneers of the future R&B wave, how would you describe where R&B is now and where you want to take it?

I feel like it’s in a good place or at least getting back to it. I don’t pay too much attention to anything other than what I’m focused on though, so I could be wrong lol. I don’t have a specific goal for where I’d want to take the genre as a whole—it’s just too broad. I just want to contribute however I can: work with the best and keep evolving the sound. 

On that note, I’m finishing up an article on what longevity looks like in this age that seems to be all about a lot of output and shorter attention spans. As an artist, how does someone in this time period last?

I think as far as longevity goes it’s about creating your own pace: something YOU can keep up with. Social media gave EVERYONE a lane so there’s no more chase—just be consistent, authentic and give people a chance to connect to you. 

Lastly, what’s a project or song you’re most proud of?

I would say “Watch You Dream 2” my project that dropped in 2012, it kicked everything off  for me in my career so it holds a special place.

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