Hailing from South East London, House of Pharaohs have been transforming the rap scene. The group first established their distinctive sound with debut mixtape Southern Stamp in 2015. Unlike other traditional rap groups, House of Pharaohs blend hard-hitting grime/trap beats with psychedelic synths making their sound “free, versatile and eclectic” as said by rapper DannyStern. They do not confine themselves to any individual genre and this is represented clearly through their music. Take their most recent track ‘AM to PM’, which is an upbeat track with pounding bass, compared to ‘GANG’ from album Season II, which is more aggressive and features R&B influences. Each track created by House of Pharaohs shows the ways in which they are constantly aiming to improve themselves, making them a huge name in the London rap scene.
The collective is an extensive crew of management, fashion, videographers, graphic designers and 6 vocalists – Sam Wise, Blaze, Bandanna, Kevin Taylor, AJ and DannStern. They officially formed in 2015 and have stated they do not really have an origin story, but that they all met in different ways and that it wasn’t until they all met up at Sam Wise’s place in Kennington that they really started to come together. They are an invention that just happened, it was not planned but instead, it seemed like fate that the crew would come together. House of Pharaoh’s aim is to make each member a “king” by encouraging creative and individual growth. They want to be involved in films, writing and making music via a method in which they are not limited to music or confined to a record label.
Their creative freedom is the heart of the band, each member plays a key role in their own way and represents the South East London music scene. As someone who grew up in the same area as House of Pharaohs, the continuous support and localism in their music are what drew me to them. In their track ‘AM To PM’ they mention Bagel King, a 24/7 food place I used to go when I was younger. Bagel King is a staple to South East London culture and their ability to keep their music so close to home, despite reaching those across the country, is what gives them their special edge.
2017 was the year that put House of Pharaohs on the map, Frank Ocean played their track ‘RWM (Run With Me)’ on his Blonded radio show putting House of Pharaohs on an international stage. In the same year, they were invited to join Charlie Sloth on The Plug Tour which saw them travel across Europe. They quickly released killer track ‘London’s Finest’, which was sponsored by Nike, the video captured the reality of life for black youth in London. They further proved their creativity during lockdown, as they filmed the music video for ‘AM To PM’ on the infamous House Party app whilst the nation was in national lockdown. Not only are they creative with their musical stylings, but with every single aspect of the industry, separating them from other London based rap groups.
Their twist on drill and grime music sets them on a path to success, they are constantly improving upon themselves whilst producing some of the most unique and timeless sounds you’ll ever hear. Give House of Pharaohs a listen and trust me you won’t regret it.