Checking In: Blackillac Begins Recording Its Debut

ATX MCs keeps their eyes on the prize

Guns N’ Roses, Lizzo, Rosalía, Childish Gambino, Billie Eilish, the Cure: How to top ACL Fest 2019? Austin’s Blackillac, of course. Phranchyze and Zeale spit roast their second-weekend-only 11:45am Saturday slot as if Zilker Park closed at noon – dynamic, urgent, valedictorian. No wonder Gary Clark Jr. shares his beats with the ATX rappers.

Phranchyze (l) and Zeale performing at the Austin Music Awards, March 11 (Photo by David Brendan Hall)

Austin Chronicle: Where are you sheltering and under what circumstances? Who else is there and how’s that going?

Phranchyze: At home. Kids’ daycare is closed, so we’re all just hanging together. We play a lot of Madden and watch a lot of Disney +.

AC: At what point did C-19 shut down operations for you, and what went down with the ship, so to speak, both personally & professionally?

“Consumption model has changed, but people will always consume music. For any sea change, the consumption models adjust. Doesn’t means it’s over.” – Phranchyze

Zeale: COVID-19 really hit us a few days before SXSW. We had some big shows scheduled and were coming off the momentum of winning Best Hip Hop/Rap at the Austin Music Awards 2020. We missed out on some good opportunities, but we’ve been using this time to work on our debut album and new content.

AC: As a global culture, people employ music for every purpose imaginable, obviously spanning religion to entertainment and everything in between. What happens to communities like ours when people can no longer access it in person – at a show, at Central Market, at SXSW?

P: Consumption model has changed, but people will always consume music. For any sea change, the consumption models adjust. Doesn’t means it’s over.

AC: Everyone is having to shift or drastically alter their work situation. What does that look like for you?

“I bump a meditation and focus-themed playlist in the morning, and at night I found a bedtime stories for adults playlist.” – Zeale

Z: I got stuck here in Austin. I was supposed to return to L.A. shortly after SXSW. However, it seems to have worked out for the best. I can kick it with my family and work on the album with Phran. Shows have changed to livestream formats, so we’re just exploring that space.

AC: What’s your soundtrack for the apocalypse and what role does music play for you as a fan and scholar of it in times of hardship?

P: My soundtrack is Jack Harlow’s “Sweet Action.” Music plays the role of keeping me focused on our goals for Blackillac.

Z: My soundtrack has been Spotify Playlist. I bump a meditation and focus-themed playlist in the morning, and at night I found a bedtime stories for adults playlist. Puts me right to sleep instead of reflecting on all the crazy stuff happening right now.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Blackillac
Hot Luck Review: Blackillac
Hot Luck Review: Blackillac
Dynamic rap duo ready for prime time

Kevin Curtin, May 27, 2018

More by Raoul Hernandez
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
What we’re listening to

Feb. 26, 2021

New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
What we’re listening to

Feb. 5, 2021

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Blackillac, Phranchyze, Zeale, 2019/20 Austin Music Awards, John Madden, Jack Harlow, Checking In 2020

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle