As the weather warms, I’m already thinking about what my summer’s going to sound like. In this house, we always keep the vibes right and the playlists on point. But what kind of ditties will be featured on the soundtrack to my dog days? I’ll need something to put some pep in my step, a reverie for summer romance, a groove that gets me on my feet, and bops that help me beat the heat.
Coincidentally, Christian and Christopher Underwood, the dynamic twin duo known as The PRVLG, are in the process of releasing their debut EP—and it’s got all of that and then some.
“You know how it be hot as hell in Memphis, and then you finally get some water? Well, that’s what this is. It’s refreshing. It makes you feel good. And it’s that good Memphis water too,” The PRVLG explained.
It seems as if these city-bred brothers were predestined to make music together. They come from a musical family. Their father played in church bands, and they were given their first set of instruments at the ripe age of 3. We’re not talking about some Fisher Price play things. The drum set and guitar that they were gifted were the real deal because pops believed they were going to be real artists.
“I didn’t record enough of the video [below] to get this part in the clip, but later on in the video my Dad said ‘One day, these beats will turn into funky songs,’ as Christopher tapped on his new drums.”
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“And today, we have funky songs,” I attested.
“And today we have funky songs,” The PRVLG affirmed.
The Quest to Find the Funk
The twins didn’t fly right out the gate with the funk. They had to find it. Christian kicked off his search in high school, and convinced Christopher to join in on his journey during college.
“I had a falling out with my high school basketball coach during my junior year, and that’s when I really started picking up my instrument, ” Christian said. “He’ll tell you, I played that thing all day…”
“And all night!” Chris stressed. “All day was good, but he was playing that bass all damn night…”
“I was trying to practice, but was also trying to figure out how to go to college for free,” Christian emphasized.
Oh the joys of figuring out how you’re going to fund your continued education. Lucky for him, an opportunity came out of nowhere—and he was prepared to seize it, thanks to all that time spent slapping and popping the bass.
“We went to this event called Campus Day at the University of Memphis, and there was this band called Sound Fusion playing on stage,” Christian said. “Somebody had the nerve to get on the microphone and tell the crowd that this was an open audition. Anyone could do it, and it came with a full scholarship.”
The boys were like, bet. If it’s free, it’s for me, and the two of them went on to try out.
“I made it,” Christian said with a smirk.
“I did not,” Christopher shrugged off with a laugh.
Christopher wasn’t yet in his musical “bag,” so to speak. He declared himself an economics major, and when that didn’t propose the future he’d planned, he picked up his drumsticks. By then, Christian had linked up with Ben Yonas, a local music producer and Assistant Music Professor at the University of Memphis.
“It only takes one person to change the game for you, and Ben changed the game for us” Christian said.
He asked Christian to help organize a student band for The Bar-Kays 50th anniversary, where they would capture the attention of the late Rudi Scheidt, one of the “greatest benefactors of the Memphis arts community.” Scheidt was planning his annual birthday party to be held at Germantown Performing Arts Center, and requested they perform there. Now, obviously, that was a big deal, so the band immediately got to practicing—but when problems arose with the band’s drummer, I’m sure you can guess who was around to step in.
“Quite frankly, I wasn’t that good at the time,” Chris said.
Sometimes you just need to be good enough to get the job done.
“One day, these beats will turn into funky songs”
Becoming The PRVLG
That was the first big band experience that the brothers were both a part of. They were accompanied on stage by 20 musicians and singers—a group that would go on the be called the Bluff City Soul Collective.
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“This is where the music really starts,” Christian said.
The group began writing music and making money, but there were too many cooks in the kitchen, if you know what I mean. They eventually split off with four other members, and the six of them formed The PRVLG. It wasn’t long before that six became four—and that four became the two that are holding it down today.
“I was in the shower one night, and I hear a knock on the door. It was Christian, and he said, ‘Hey Chris, I think we’re going to have to start singing,'” Chris said. “That was a turning point, because we knew that in order to make the kind music that God intended for us to make, we had to go through the Valley of the Shadow of Death to come out on the other side. And now it’s time to put this music out.”
Now, Reintroducing The PRVLG
The first single off their EP drops today, April 16th, and they’re releasing the other four songs throughout the rest of the month, May, and June. A live video recording will follow each release, and the culmination will come by way of a Live Webcast Performance on June 18th.
“With this first song, it’s party time, boys and girls,” Chris said.