Cheesesteaks, Rocky, and the Liberty Bell aside, the city of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia, PA is chock full of rich history that rivals if not surpasses many other cities in the good old U.S. of A and that includes its phenomenal legacy of soulful music and incredible artists. It flaunts luminaries and pioneers like Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, architects of the renowned Philadelphia International, key in establishing the Philly sound – As well as legendary talents like Thom Bell, McFadden & Whitehead, MFSB, Bunny Sigler, The O’Jays, Patti LaBelle and so many, many more from its past – To the heralded catalysts of the resurgent soulful scene that exist today like Jill Scott, Musiq Soulchild, and The Roots.
A crew quickly carving their name into that hefty log of rich Philly music legend, powered in great part by the city’s storied soulful lore, is Killiam Shakespeare. Drummer Steve Mckie and keyboardist/bassist Cory Bernhard are at the helm of what on the face is a multi -faceted unit that’s part extraordinary band and part equally impressive and growing in-demand production team.
But there are other parts. Those that make what they are really as hard to define as their crazy cool, eclectic sound that molds elements of soul, jazz, hip-hop, funk, rock and more together with incredible energy and musicianship that’s off the chain.
With the release of their killer, self-titled debut project, Killiam Shakespeare and equally impressive follow-up, Killiam Season 1, plus a slew of production, performance and collab credits between them with artists that include Philly natives Jill Scott and Bilal, Common, John Legend, Snarky Puppy, Talib Kweli, and Marsha Ambrosia – and made even more stout by being personally plucked by turntable wiz, producer, soul music impresario and another Philly bred star, DJ Jazzy Jeff, to be a part of his noted Playlist Collective which graced us with the incredible Chasing Goosebumps – Killiam Shakespeare has got the radars of cool music heads humming loudly and is absolutely capable of keeping the Philly rep high.
ISPYSOUL caught up with Steve and Cory at their studio in Philadelphia to find out what makes Killiam Shakespeare tick.
For more on Killiam Shakespeare go to KilliamShakespeare.com