By: Nina Clevinger
The definition of brunch is simple: breakfast and lunch combined into one. The definition behind King Callis’s Brunch, however, is much more in depth than that of its name's origin. The definition behind King Callis’s Brunch is real life.
“Around the time I started making Brunch, I was doing a lot of soul searching,” said Callis, when asked what his inspiration behind the name was. “Food for thought popped up in my head, and I’m like, ‘yeah, I need to feed the people brain food.’ That’s when out of nowhere, the name Brunch came to mind, and I didn’t look back."
Beginning music at a young age, King Callis believes he was born to work in the industry.
“Back in the 80’s, my father was a breakdancer and into street art,” said Callis. “I think the hip-hop culture [has always been] inside of me.”
The intro to Brunch begins with a female’s voice stating exactly what is to come of the project, and then breaks down into an uplifting and fast beat. Callis’s voice carries over the tune, adding lyrical depth to what could be - but isn’t - a simple song.
This leads into the next fourteen songs, each of them completely different than the one before.
An Ohio native now residing in Charlotte, NC, Callis really got his start in the industry after a trip to New York, where he and a friend took every opportunity they could to promote his work around the city.
“My friend and I drove to New York with stickers, flyers, demo CDs, posters... anything to get the point across,” said Callis. “I just wanted to get my name out to anyone who would take the time [to] hear what I had to say.”
The mixtape, which dropped in early March of last year, features a plethora of fellow North Carolina artists, including Autumn Lior, SideNote, and Mic Iver. Each of their sounds contrast and blend together throughout the project, telling stories of romance, pain, struggle and acceptance. The wide-range of emotion displayed over the course of this album makes everything feel incredibly real and relatable.
Callis finds his most recent inspiration is up-and-coming Chicago native, Noname, whose digital album Telefone is currently taking the hip-hop world by storm.
“I've been listening to [Noname] all day, non-stop,” said Callis. “Her music gives me a feeling that I want my audience to have when they hear me: authenticity.”
Authenticity is something Callis definitely has. The 12th song on Brunch, “Song About You,” is both his favorite and the most personal on the project.
“When I wrote ['Song About You'], I was going through relationship problems and slowly entering depression,” said Callis. “I wrote that song in the midst of all the problems I was going through, like, I literally wrote the verses to that song [while] crying.”
The song tells the story of realizing the person you’re in love with isn’t exactly who you thought they were, and the heartache that comes along with that realization.
King Callis plans on continuing with his music career for as long as possible. He hopes to one day be able to provide for his family for generations to come, using touring and merch as a gateway to that lifestyle.
“I'm working ‘hard as I can now so I can provide for 33 generations after mine."
Brunch can be found here.