A talk with Katrell The Phenomenal
Katrell Antonio Platt (a.k.a. Katrell The Phenomenal) is a soldier and musician stationed in South Korea. He released his first album this year and wants to focus on making a career in music. Here’s a close up view of Katrell.
Q: Name, rank and title/unit in military
A: Katrell Antonio Platt, I am a Specialist. My unit is 65th Medical Brigade. Assigned to HHD, 121st Combat Support Hospital. I work in the S-6 shop at Brian Allgood Army Community Hospital as a Senior Information Systems Operator.
Q: Tell me about your career as a musician.
A: My career as a musician has just been begun, honestly. It kind of makes me laugh, humbly, how well and quick the response has been with this first real effort. Prior to The Restoration (The K.A.P Tape) being recorded and published, I had only done features on some other artists’ projects that I am working on. Overall, I manage and oversee operations and productions of five to six other talented recording artists.
Q: How do you take a balance life as service member and a musician?
A: I find balance in embracing my duties and responsibilities to my country and family first. I keep that at the forefront of my mind. I write lyrics a lot in my down time and on lunch breaks, to keep a piece of mind.
Q: How did you start making music?
A: I started making music, seriously, this year with the recording of my album. I have dabbled with music off and on throughout my entire life. Piano, trombone, and drums have all had cracks from me, with no consistency. I come from a musical background. My great grandmother, her sisters and brother had a gospel singing group, The Godfrey Sisters; One of my elder cousins had a male gospel group, The Young Brothers In Christ, that grew pretty popular in our region. One of my aunts, a military retiree, recently auditioned for and was selected to participate in another one of the further processes on BET's Sunday Best. I started becoming more interested and involved with music in January 2012 while promoting one of my close friend's album. It just hit me, I can do this, and I really enjoy it.
Q: Can you tell me how your new album is like? How do you describe your music?
A: The Katrell Antonio Platt Tape (K.A.P. Tape) – The Restoration. Co-written, and performances by Cory Purvis, Allen Ferguson (All3n F.), and Ms. Katrina Platt (my Mother, Alumni of NC A&T, and a band director by profession). Engineered by, The Emmy award winning, Mr. Ted Etheridge at Music Box Studio, Elm City, N.C., it’s a short, simple, and sweet collection of songs. I describe is as "lounging and honest music, nothing less.
Excerpt from of review from independent online Magazine and Radio Network, JamSphere:
"I recommend this album to anyone with a brain, and anyone who is able to appreciate good music. There are a lot of great songs on this album...
The album carries a dreamy ambient sound with lots of tracks that oscillate between jazz and R&B beats. That’s not to say it’s totally slow or lackluster; on the contrary the songs in the middle of the album are soulful, pack a real punch and have solid energy.
I can’t express enough how excellent the production is here; the whole album has a “feeling” and it definitely pulls you in. The Restoration (THE K.A.P TAPE) is all about mood, and not all of it is achieved solely through rapping, as there is some excellent singing and beats to be found along the way. Pop the album in with an open mind and you’ll appreciate what Katrell Antonio Platt was trying to create here, and it’s pretty incredible how successful he was doing it." -Rick J
Q: Can you tell me your upcoming project with South Korean DJ?
A: DJ Hanmin, one of the most influential, veteran, DJs in Korea. He and I are meeting to discuss details and brainstorm. I will tell you this: It is going to be unique, ground-breaking, and very different considering he is a predominantly electronic dance music DJ, and our music group oriented from a Hip-Hop/R&B foundation, as far as our current releases. Please keep your ears peeled, I do not want to ruin the surprise.
Q: Have you played on military installations?
A: No, but we have reached out - through online music platforms - and discussed working with fellow battle buddy, independent recording artist, and combat veteran Leo Luis Dunson Jr., better known by his stage name SGT Dunson. Strategically planning the right time to link up and work on some of his projects.
Q: Who are the artists that you are influenced by?
A: I am influenced by good music. On an individual basis, I am influenced by my mother, Katrina Platt, the most. She was the gateway to different genres, have you, to music - as a band director and an Alumni member of the NC A&T Marching Band. I was exposed to all types of different sounds and cultures, musically, growing up. I listen to everything; good music is good music. Any given day I can be listening to Jazz, Gospel, Hip-Hop, Rock, or country music.
Q: How long have you been in Korea? How is a life like in Korea for you?
A: I have been in Korea since January 2013, so a little over six months now. Life in Korea is very exciting and exhilarating. My Korean counterparts have been very receptive of my music as well as that of the artists that I work with. I am here with my family, so we always find something new to get into regularly, out and about around this busy country.
Q: In five years, where do you see yourself?
A: In five years I do not see myself in uniform. Five years ago didn't see myself still in uniform. I feel very fortunate and blessed to still be a part of such a distinguished organization. My plan is to be recording more music as an artist and focus more on recording and managing other artists. I am making preparations to one day make a living off of managing, developing, promoting recording artists that need my services.
Q: What is your goal?
A: My goal is to one day operate and own a recording studio. I aim to seek out disenfranchised youth and talents, provide them an outlet to do something positive at reasonable rates, if at any expense other than time. Once financially secure, invest back into different communities. I’d start in my own neighborhoods, funding an assortment of educationally and vocationally sound programs for those who need that guidance and support. I am going to show my sons that honest whole-hearted hard work pays off, and we must live selflessly in order to have an authentic and fruitful life. It is what we were born to do, love one another.