MTV Video Music Awards
KING Talks New Album, 'In the Meantime' Single & Prince's Best Advice
KING, comprised of twin sisters Paris and Amber Strother and friend Anita Bias, called forth collective sighs of fulfillment when performing at the dimly lit, The Sayers Club in L.A. on Tuesday (April 2). Their 30-minute long set was the first for the ladies since completing their forthcoming full-length album, "The Story." The trio, who are mentored by Prince, performed four songs off their EP of the same name as their album ("Supernatural," "Hey," and "The Story") and their latest single, "In the Meantime."
Amber reached notes and hit runs that were otherworldly. Anita's lower register rivaled another famous alto by the same name. Paris broke it down on the keys. Together, the ladies left the audience in love.
KING caught up with The Juice to discuss their latest single, "In the Meantime," upcoming album and what it's like to have Prince as a mentor.
What made Tuesday's performance any different from other performances?
Amber: I think the difference was now having completed our album, there was a lot of anticipation on our end to share new material.
Some would say your success happened overnight. Do you think that's a fair assessment?
Paris: The part of it that happened overnight was when everyone passed it on to their friends and families and to their favorite artists on Twitter. It grew that way. But, building up to that for about a year, the three of us had been working on writing and producing those songs. It feels like our whole journey has been learning lessons so that when it came time for KING, we knew what we were doing.
Amber: I feel like it's such a blessing to be satisfied with our music and trying to hone in on what we'd like to hear from ourselves that regardless of if it takes 15 years or overnight, it's a beautiful journey because we're really working on making music that we like with people that we love.
You ladies produce and write all of your own material. How important is it to have that kind of control?
Paris: It is everything. Having creative control is everything to us.
Anita: That's actually part of where the name KING comes from. That connection to having creative control. Definitely.
Why did you decide to go with "In the Meantime" as the first single from the album?
Amber: We started writing "In the Meantime" as the EP ["The Story"] was coming out, so it really was the fourth song in succession of the full album. It just felt really natural, especially with the play on words. Everyone's been asking about the album so it was fun to say in the meantime here is, "In the Meantime." Also, this song in particular is definitely indicative of what the rest of the album will sound like.
Have you decided on the name of the album? Is there an underlying theme?
Amber: We want to call it "The Story" because the three songs from the EP will be on the full-length. "The Story" sort of encompasses a lot of who we are and what we stand for, so we thought it was important to include those songs on the full-length.
Paris: At the core of everything, all of the songs are themed around love. We've heard people categorize our songs into love songs and songs of self-discovery, so it's mostly those two categories.
When can fans expect to hear "The Story"?
Kiran (KING's manager): Hopefully very soon. We're trying to get it out as soon as possible. We're just trying to find the right team to work with.
What has been the biggest thing you've learned about yourselves throughout the process of making the album?
Amber: For me, it's been the importance of sisterhood; the three of us being able to come together with ideas and really see them turn into songs and develop. To know that it takes all of us to make that happen has been really amazing. That synergy and the connection that you have to have with what ever you love and what ever you're passionate about.
What has been the biggest piece of advice your mentor, Prince, has given you?
Paris: Don't compromise your art. When he contacted us early on, the general theme was just don't sell yourselves short and understand what it is that you have. While we did know it was special, it's amazing when someone like Prince comes and is like, 'No you really need to protect this, this is really important, you can't just give it to anybody, you can't just partner with anybody, you have to really stay true to yourselves.'
Is that why it's been two years since you released new music?
Amber: That and it's just a process. We've been working on it non-stop with no rest time for two years. It just recently got mixed and mastered. But, with Prince, I thought it was so amazing when we first met him. You have one of the biggest pop icons in the world, like a music god really, saying that he wants us to have opportunities that he didn't have. Wow.
Paris: It was definitely a gift of confidence when you know that Prince loves it. That really allowed us to sort of prioritize what we were hearing from people who would reach out and have their ways in their mind of how we should come out and what we should be doing. When you're holding that up against Prince who's done it all, who's been there, and who's giving you honest advice about the strength and the value of your creation, it really allowed us to put blinders on and focus on what's important.