Many times we see a new artist that we hope will be all we ask for and hope to be, yet they often fail. This is not the case with Tutankhra aka VIP, who is poised and ready to deliver with clear intent and purpose. This eclectic, enigma exudes his charisma with careful thoughtfulness yet reckless abandon on his debut indie release, “The Phantom of the Rapera” under his SignalUp Media/ BlkMny imprint. Tutankhra’s musical styling’s are as diverse as his personality, and are sure to gain the attention of anyone who is within ear shot of his music. His unique spin on familiar, age old topics put him on a plateau of his own making. From Hip Hop, R&B, Soul, Techno, Electric funk and Dance, Tutankhra is the fusion of music as we know it.
Born on August, 16, 1982 in Dayton, OH to an Apostolic minister and a mother of Caribbean decent, Tutankhra’s many talents were eventually realized and cultivated. A former child actor with 29 performances as Travis Younger in Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun” (1992), several appearances in an African cultural play entitled “Harambe” (1993), numerous local fashion shows , and featured as an extra on “America’s Most Wanted” (1994) to his credit. Acting eventually led him to do modeling as well which would help to develop his stage presence as a performer. The calling to music came after delving into the most appealing of life paths, the streets.
A rebellious streak led a young Tutankhra to explore his life’s most challenging and ultimately dangerous time when he decided to “Jump off the porch”. As he aptly states, “At 12 years old, I was out there, bruh! Getting my feet wet... No play, play! Caught my first case and went to juvenile prison at 12.” Always the constant observer, Tutankhra began to take notice of his now deceased maternal uncle and fraternal cousins’ lifestyle. A lifestyle filled with money, drugs and violence. This would prove to be a lot for his parents to deal with, who raised him with a strict and disciplined parenting style. As a result of his choice, he also understood that there are only one of two outcomes of the street life. Ultimately it could be death, prison, and or possibly both. A few brushes with the former and after a stint in the latter, Tutankhra knew it was time for a change.
After his release from prison in 2008, with a renewed appreciation for his life and freedom, Tutankhra realized that his talents were his way to provide a living for himself and support his family. But in the meantime he knew he had to make a living. With a degree in Business Administration, certifications in Child CPR, and working on a degree in Web Design he found himself back in the street life. . . Constantly working to hone his craft as a lyricist and performer, he established himself as a local Rap celebrity in Dayton, OH. A testament to his character and willingness to throw caution to the wind, Tutankhra relocated to Decatur, Ga. a suburb of Atlanta in late 2009. With his knew found location he soon began to invest in his music career and purchased recording equipment and formed his record label/media group SignalUp/BlkMny. Tutankhra developed not only an artists and an engineer, but a business man as well. He developed a six artist roster on his independent record label. In 2009, he would release his debut mixtape entitled “IAMBLKMNY”. The following year (2010) he released a solo follow up to his first release, “I Need Distribution” featuring production from The Hit Junkies out of Decatur, Ga. Passionate lyrics, precise musical arrangement, and uninhibited ability to coincide with the beat made Tutankhra a serious force in the music scene in both Dayton, OH and Atlanta, Ga. This has allowed him to grace the stage with some of music’s elite. To include opening for Young Jeezy in Dayton, OH (2010), opening for Snoop in Canada (2010), and opening for Ginuwine in Knoxville TN (2010). These performances are examples of how Tutankhra’s hard work, dedication and willingness to learn allowed him to be considered a seasoned performer.
With nothing holding him back, Tutankhra is becoming more and more accomplished with music production, recording and engineering. “Free- Recording” as he likes to put it, straight from his mind to the microphone without writing any lyrics down . This is a combination of freestyling while he records himself. This creates a means for him to harvest his unique style and eliminated the need to pay for pricey studio time. Tutankhra is truly self- sufficient , both musically and humanely . Remaining aware of the change in the landscape of the music industry, Tutankhra uses his production talents as well as online resources to seek out new production sounds and promote himself on social media sites i.e. Facebook, Youtube , Soundcloud, Reverbnation, Twitter, Instagram , Google Plus, Dattpiff.com, Bandpage, Unsigned.com, indie music charts . His most recent promo/mixtape releases include “Hurry Up and Sign” and “I Record Myself” (2012).
2012 is proving to be the busiest year in Tutankhra’s career. The release of his first solo, independent album “Phantom of the Rapera” on his SignalUP/BlkMny imprint is his biggest project to date. He says “I’m pushing myself like I’ve never pushed myself before. I’m singing and everything. Man, it just feels right! It feels like I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing, and it makes me happy…I represent the troubled youth. The one’s that feel like there’s no hope. I’m trying to show them that that’s only a feeling, and not an actuality. You gotta work hard to overcome that! I really just wanna make the people dance, entertain ‘em like Mike Jackson did, you know… If I feel it in my soul, I have no shame , I’m recording it.. I make good music cause I’m not afraid of what people think… I do me.” Certainly the listeners will appreciate all of his efforts On “Phantom of the Rapera” Tutankhra brings the house down with his genre bending dance/club hits that are sure to be international successes. With four more mixtapes and 42 different television/ movie casting calls actively pursuing him in the Atlanta area alone we should expect to see Tutankhra’s star to rise to the highest of heights.
Tuntankra spitting image of the sun