INGLEWOOD, CALIF. - Hip Hop and R&B fans across the country loved watching Netflix’s new competition show, Rhythm+Flow, especially people in Los Angeles. This is because the winner, D Smoke is an Inglewood star.
The three credit their success and rise to fame to their family who saw their musical talent and invested in them early.
The Farris brothers, their mother and grandmother spoke with FOX 11’s Leah Uko about the importance of keeping the family structure close and taking care of one another, rather competing with each other.
Growing up in Inglewood, Davion, Daniel and Darryl Farris always had separate interests like sports and academics. But their passion for singing, writing and producing music was what kept them close.
They started their own group as pre-teens, then created a production team while in college.
Throughout their 20s, these men wrote and sang back up and produced for some of Hollywood’s biggest stars. Now as men in their 30s, their individual careers are taking off.
Fans know the middle brother, Daniel, as D Smoke. The 34-year-old rose to international fame last summer after winning the first season of the Netflix hip hop music competition show, Rhythm and Flow.
He plays the piano, guitar and raps in both English and Spanish.
Smoke spoke with Uko about how it felt to win the show and the $250,000 prize.
“It was interesting. I made a decision in my mind that I was their peer so I was going to conduct myself as such,” he continued.
“Whereas a lot of contestants went on there, thankful for the opportunity to even be in front of them, which wasn’t my goal.”
He also explained why after getting his degree in Spanish Literature from UCLA, he went back to his high school to teach Spanish.
“I’ve always gone to schools that were predominantly Latino or like half black and half Latino. So my friends spoke Spanish growing up. It all was born out of a desire to be fluent,” he continued.
“To me it was extremely important to bridge that gap between Black and Brown communities.”
The brothers said Inglewood and family helped mold them into the artists they are today.
The youngest of the three, Inglewood SiR is signed with record label Top Dawg Entertainment along with other flagship artists including Pulitzer prize recipient and Grammy award-winning Compton rapper, Kendrick Lamar.
The oldest brother, Davion always knew he wanted to sing.
“First solo in church, singing Oh Holy Night, I was like ‘oh yeah this is what I do’.”
They said all the credit of their success went to their father, mother Jackie Gouche-Farris and grandmother, Betty Gouche.
“I always give God credit for our background because we maintain standards in the family.”
Jackie went on to sing for Michael Jackson and Anita Baker. But then she and her husband had three boys.
“When I had the boys, I was able to start teaching them. They were like 3, 4 and 5 when I started teaching them music,” Gouche-Farris explained.
“Parenting. It’s a time investment that needs to go into parenting because you only have them for 18 years and you need to take those 18 years and put yourself, your personal self on the back burner and that’s what I did.”
They said their childhood in Inglewood was complex. Gangs existed, but D Smoke explained how this wasn’t always a bad thing as often perceived.
“Everybody’s intertwined. We have family members that were gang members right? The irony is that, our family being a part of some of those gangs was part of the very reason why some people didn’t mess with us. We had safe passage throughout Inglewood to be ourselves, express ourselves, do music.”
Their parents and family members provided every resource they needed to succeed.
“We’ve always had instruments in the house. By the time we were in 8th grade we had full-on recording studios in the house. So it was super intentional about them investing in us,” Smoke said.
Each brother’s career is elevating at a different speed and to them, this didn’t matter. They want to help each other win.