This weekend Downtown Detroit will be filled with thousands of people gathering at Hart Plaza for the annual Motor City Pride, June 10-11th. Motor City Pride takes place to commemorate the anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion and to continue the struggle to fight for equality for all LGBTQ+ community members in all aspects of life, education, health, occupations, etc.
Metro Rise chatted with Telephon9’s Jair Alexander, 24, Detroit to talk about their performance at Motor City Pride, Saturday on the festival stage at 3 PM. (MR – Metro Rise, J – Jair.)
MR: For those that may not have heard of you guys before, who is Telephon9 and what makes you guys different than other local music artists?
J: Telephon9 is an electro-house group from Detroit. Our music is a mixture of old school analog sounds, fused with hard hitting modern electric dance beats. We also write and produce our own records. Our group consists of brothers Chris Call, Jair Alexander, and Adari “BASSMODE” Perkins.
MR: How did Telephon9 form?
J: All three of us have been performing all our lives in some medium; from theater and dance to songwriting. Prior to Telephon9, Chris has been producing rap/hip-hop beats for years before making the shift to dance music.
MR: Can you tell us more about your guys first single “You Think You Know Me”?
J: Our first single ‘You Think You Know Me’ was the catalyst for us to continue our journey into the dance music world. Shortly after our singles ‘Never Let Me Go’, ‘Castle in the Sky’ and ‘Avocado’ were all released and received rave reviews from audiences around the globe.
MR: Where are some places you guys have performed at thus far?
J: We began performing at the Michigan State Fair, Detroit River Days including a series of Relay for Life events including Harvard University and Making Strides Against Beast Cancer.
MR: What are some of your goals?
J: We aspire to make music that not only excites and entertains but leaves an uplifting impact on those that lend their ears.
MR: Who are some musical inspirations for the group?
J: When you listen to our music, you will hear influences from all styles of music from Calvin Harris to Marvin Gaye to Flo Rida to Run DMC. We have a love for music and we’re influenced by so many genres that we try to express those styles through electric music. We try to offer something for everyone.
MR: What is it like being able to perform at such a huge event such as Motor City Pride?
J: Last year we performed at Ferndale Pride and we received a very warm welcome. To be on the line-up for the biggest Pride festival in Michigan is thrilling! It’s almost surreal, but we’re very excited. We have an amazing show planned for those that will be there on Saturday. It’s definitely going to be hype, you don’t want to miss it.
MR: Why does the LGBTQ+ Community have such a huge impact on your group?
J: The LGBTQ community is supportive of our music. We hope that we can continue to uplift the community as they have done for us especially at this very pivotal time in history. It’s exciting that the first LGBTQ flag was raised in Detroit and we’re honored to be a part of that history.
We understand the struggles of the community and recognize the relation to our own struggle. It hasn’t always been easy but, we continue to grow and move forward just like the LGBTQ community.
MR: If people aren’t able to make it out to Pride this weekend, where can they catch you guys at next?
J: We will be performing at the Loving Touch in Ferndale, Friday, June 9th at 8 pm and we will be performing later Saturday evening at the Festival of Hope in downtown Ferndale at 8 pm after our performance at Motor City Pride. Later this month, I will be performing and will be representing Telephon9 during the second weekend of Electric Forest.
MR: Where can people follow you guys and listen to your music?
MR: Any closing words as we wrap up this interview?
J: There’s just so much you can expect from us this year, we’ll see what happens as the year goes on. We do have some more shows planned for the near future. Follow us on social media for updates. We’re just so happy and thankful to be here to share our gift three times in one weekend and we couldn’t be any more excited for ourselves and our audience for our performances this weekend.