Atlanta-based rapper 1K Phew has risen up the ranks with a message, finding a home at Lecrae’s Reach Records. The 23-year-old MC made his mark with his 2015 mixtape Sunday Night and its 2016 follow-up, Life. His latest mixtape, Never Too Late, is his biggest release to date with bangers like “Back Then” and “Load of Me,” an anthem for those not afraid to embrace their individuality. Phew has dubbed his sound “New CHUUCH” because he says his music is equally at home, in the club or at church. Phew and other Reach artists are proving faith expressed with authenticity can be a welcome treat for listeners.

HipHop DX got a chance to get an interview with 1K Phew before he hits the stage at this year’s SXSW music festival.

HipHopDX: Have you ever performed at SXSW before?

1K Phew: Nah, first time.

Would you ever perform at SXSW again given the chance?

Of course, it’s a great way to grow and meet different people.

What are you most excited about performing at the festival?

Excited about showing the different crowds my confidence and talent.

Do you plan on watching other performances? Which ones are you most likely to see?

Yeah, I do plan on watching the performances. This is my first time at SXSW, so I don’t really know what to expect.

What’s been the best and/or worst part of preparing for the performances?

The best part for me is knowing that everything I’m delivering is authentic.

There are thousands of artists performing at SXSW. Why should people come and see you?

I’m providing a whole new wave and style people aren’t used to seeing.

What was your first show outside your hometown and what was the best memory of it?

My first out-of-state show was in South Carolina. The best part was seeing that people actually were rocking with me outside of Atlanta.

What was your first paid gig?

My first paid gig was at a graduation after-party.

What’s one unique fact about you that you want your fans to know?

One unique fact about me is growing up, I looked up to Will on Fresh Prince.

Check out 1K Phew at DX’s Rap Rising showcase at SXSW on March 16 at The Parish.