Niles - All Ready A Success Story

"Niles is the new Miles Davis, Coltrane" - "This Time"

Some would say that overcoming hardship, in any context, is the genesis of true success. A diamond from the ruff. That proverbial rose grown from concrete. Jazz. Blues. Be-bop. Hip Hop. Each birthed from plight. Each one defeated its odds.

No doubt, the artist born as Chadwick Phillips has experienced more than his fair share of trepidation. Growing up in Lansing, Michigan, was tough. "I came up in a family of 8 kids and we all had different dads. We were all going to be taken by the state and put into different orphan homes and foster care homes because of the unstable situation. That foundation...created a stigma that I had to grow out of." Bouncing between hotels and homeless shelters at an early age taught him that education was necessary to break the cycle. "One thing I knew was that no body could take my education away from me...Once I found that out, I attacked it full throttle. I hit the ground running. So, I was deep in the books, man."

Chadwick took his burgeoning lyrical reputation and commitment to education to Michigan State University in 2002. Always a keen listener of music, the artist-formerly-known as Alias continued to hone his craft and affection for jazz legends. "I really admire Miles Davis, man. Just who he was beyond the music was real ill, real fly to me." It was there that the name Alias began to demand respect throughout Michigan's historic hip hop landscape. It was there that he finally met his father - jazz legend Sam Gill. "My first time seeing him was in the jazz music section at Michigan State University in a book...He was a very important part of the Be-bop era. He was an understudy of Thelonius Monk...I knew nothing about all of this stuff! It was like opening up sacred...treasures, man. It was great."

After receiving his degree from Michigan State in 2006, Alias relocated to Brooklyn, New York, in order to turn his craft into a career. Showcasing an aggressive flow laced with dexterity and lyrical prowess, he has achieved an impressive level of success within NYC's legendary rap circles. Few Emcees can boast Harlem Rapathon winner, EOW Challenge winner, performed at HOT97 Summer Jam 2007, performed at HOT97 Summer Jam 2008, solo performance on BET commercial for Barack Obama You(th) Vote campaign, HOT97/Koch Records Talent Show winner on their resumes. He even squeezed in a moniker change. "Winning that talent search was like another graduation. It was like another shift...I was thinking...what other form was the updated Chadwick?" He eventually landed on Niles. "Theres a lot of similarities between me and the Nile River. The Nile flows upstream in an unorthodox way. In life, I'm flowing upstream in an unorthodox way. You know, the Nile River is a provider. Its been a provider since its creation. I'm a provider. And I've been a provider since my creation. Its of African decent. I'm of African decent."

Hello Brooklyn. Hello Niles.

Lyrically, Niles is that rare breed of Emcee that sounds equally as authentic on party anthems as he does on battle rhymes and conscious cuts. One part Slum Village. One part Lauryn Hill. Smooth delivery. Lyrically lethal. Contextually commanding. His recently released E1 (formerly Koch Records) single "This Time" showcases his innate ability to craft an infectious, inspirational party anthem laced with common man sensibilities. It feels like Summertime. It feels right-on-time. "That songs straight from the heart! Thats what I was going through...I wanted to tap into that person who you don't show to the world...I wanted to tap into 'that' person. And thats what that song is about...Overcoming struggle. At times we get impatient. But thats hard to listen to. Thats why its a back and forth theme." LISTEN HERE.

Or he can flip his brim and come like this:

Overcoming adversity is a constant theme in the life of Chadwick Phillips. From homeless shelters to college degree. To Brooklyn from Lansing. From contestant to Champion. To record deal. The book of Niles is a success story. But he won't tell you that.

"You know what brother, theres always a higher mountain to climb, man. You can imagine like 'yeah...when I get there its gonna be like this.' But when you get there, its a higher mountain that forms. You know, it rises up and you lookin up like 'Damn!' When you get to the top of that mountain, theres a higher one! So, I'm just in a cycle. I'm just in a zone. In a flow. And I can't really see it for what it really is. But I don't want to because then I'll get comfortable...I'm not really tryna get comfortable. So much more to do."
Niles Davis continues to build his catalog. His debut album To...Remain is still under construction. Higher mountains are still forming. And like Jazz, like Be-bop, like Hip Hop - no doubt, Niles will overcome. Its in his blood.

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