Meet Isaiah Berry Phillips, Hip Hop artist and producer and 2023-24 CCSRE Mellon Arts Fellow
A few miles from Stanford privilege and prosperity, Isaiah Berry Phillips was raised on the local sound of EPA. And, not unlike the kinds of Hip Hop music he creates, Phillips’ portfolio has evolved into a driving force in the larger music and art scene. Speaking as a Black man in the US, Phillips offers multi-genre content that provides both a powerful model of and practical tools for working through trauma, coping with loss, and managing the toxic stress that impedes self-actualization.
Phillips’ expression as musician, creator, and producer interweaves deeply personal history and social commentary with a mastery of the spoken word, choreography, raw-form videography, and edgy graphic design. His powerful projects are motivated by a unifying mission: staying “cognizant and focused” on making sure his work is “uplifting.” These North Star values were established early on by his mother, Adrienne Denise Phillips, who “always had a knack to find people who were at their lowest and lift them up.” This mission is what Phillips says sets his message apart from the mainstream, “away from the grain of the detrimental entertainment message—it is an uplifting message that gives people something to grab onto.”
Phillips sees his time as a 2023-2024 CCSRE Mellon Arts Fellow as an opportunity to elevate his craft and refine his message. Working with EPA artists, he will produce a new song and a music video. He is eager to launch and enrich his Mellon Arts project through connections with Stanford students and artists on campus. Phillips hopes this fellowship will open doors to creative pathways and business opportunities through which he can dig deeper into questions of intersectionality and racial disparities, challenge preconceptions, and educate. Phillips is especially committed to expanding his reach to those who need tools to cope with trauma and rise up.
We are so excited to have Isaiah join CCSRE and look forward to building community together in support of his Mellon Arts project.