Local band credits Webster for its creation

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iLLPHONiCs would not be the same band without Webster, according to creator Larry Morris.

Every band has a unique story. A story that highlights their come-up and their legacy. Larry Morris started iLLPHONiCS in St. Louis.

Their story began at Webster University. Morris’ group would not be the same without Webster.

Morris grew up in University City. When Morris was 13, he discovered his musical gift. He began to fall in love with reading poetry and began writing soon after. He was a natural at flowing and rhyming words together. At the time, he didn’t realize his talent, so everything he did was for fun and to gain further knowledge of poetry.

At the age of 17, he was more mature and knew his calling was around music. He started to realize that he could really do something big with this gift.

“I got in my cousin’s car and he instantly put on a beat and said, ‘Spit something to this.’ After a few seconds of hearing the beat, I just started flowing and didn’t want to stop,” Morris said.

Morris’ cousin, Leonard Holland, also known as Man, was his biggest mentor.

“I knew this kid had potential from the first time I heard him flow in my car. As a person who’s an artist, I already knew what was in route for him, so I just took him under my wing,” Holland said.

Holland was very familiar with music. After hearing the way Morris rhymed and flowed to certain beats, Holland concluded that was his calling. He pushed Morris to continue with music and keep listening to varying artists.

Morris took his cousin’s advice and explored different types of music, but “If I Ruled the World” by Nas opened his eyes and guided him to where he is now.

“The way he just flowed on the beat and the words he used to rhyme was something special to hear,” Morris said.

Morris has many family and friends in the music industry, like Holland. Chaz Brew plays the drum and is another member of Morris’ family that knows his way around music. Morris and Brew grew up together. They both attended Webster University.

While attending his first year at Webster, Morris became close friends with Kevin Koehler. Koehler found Morris to be really talented and proposed they make music together when he came back from studying abroad.

Keith Moore and Morris met in the sixth grade but became closer throughout high school. Since then, they have been working together from time to time making music.

Simon Chervitz and Morris met at University City High School. Chervitz and Brew were in jazz together and made music. Morris and Moore were always making beats together and hanging out since Morris was a battle emcee.

Koehler was working on a project during the same time Morris was so they collaborated. Morris linked up with Koehler and brought in Moore. In that process, they needed a drummer and a bass player so they brought in Chervitz. Chervitz wanted Brew in on the collaboration and from there they formed Fall Out and Friends. Later on, they changed their name to Illphonics.

They practiced for months. After a while, they decided they were ready to perform in front of a loud crowd. Webster University held an open mic event where the band had their debut. The crowd cheered and applauded the band. They played a few gigs and started to gain recognition from fans and producers. Eventually, they signed a record label and now they tour the nation with a different taste of music for people to enjoy.

Editor’s note: This article is one part of a bigger project focusing on St. Louis artists. You can follow the project on Instagram (@thestlartscene) or visit their site here.

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Rodson Etienne