Marco Anthony Archer, better known as Phora, is an American rapper. He belongs to the new generation of American musicians who did not need a major record deal to make them famous. He was born and raised in California and had a troublesome childhood that saw him getting associated with notorious people. His family life was far from being perfect and he had a burning pain within him, which he later expressed through his music and lyrics. Once he entered his late teenage years, he started working as a tattoo artist. Following this, he made enough money to buy equipment to make music. He started making music at a tender age and started selling CDs outside clubs and pubs. He also uploaded his music on various social media websites. Gradually, he started gaining attention. In 2011, he established his record label ‘Yours Truly,’ and in 2012, he released his debut album, titled ‘Still a Kid.’ He has released seven rap albums to date and is looking forward to do bigger things in life. In 2017, he announced that he had signed a contract with ‘Warner Bros.’ The same year saw him release the album ‘Yours Truly Forever.’
Childhood & Early Life
Phora was born Marco Anthony Archer, on October 11, 1994, in Anaheim, California. He grew up in a shady neighborhood. He was exposed to a life of drugs, crimes, and lawlessness. His father abandoned his mother soon after Phora’s birth, and he and his younger sister were raised by his mother.
His mother started dating other men, who did not treat Phora well. At a very tender age, Phora suffered from mental illnesses such as severe depression and anxiety attacks. He could not mingle with the other kids in school and often displayed anti-social behavior. He was taken to psychiatrists quite a few times, but that did not help.
He joined a few local gangs as he grew up and found an outlet in petty crimes. Once, he got into an argument with a few local boys and got beaten up badly. Nobody came to his aid. For the next three months, he was in hospital, and his family continued to receive threat calls from unknown numbers.
He was 15 years old then, and this event had a solid impact on his psyche. He realized the value of his life and decided to do something about it. He immediately started training to become a tattoo artist and started afresh. He was successful at his job and then thought about making music. From the money that he earned as a tattoo artist, he bought some equipment and started an amateur record label called ‘Yours Truly,’ and the rest is history.
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Phora started making music at home. He drew inspiration from rappers such as Tupac and J.Cole and started turning his traumatic life experiences into lyrics. In 2011, he released raps such as ‘Sick With It,’ ‘Inner City Kids,’ and ‘Payback,’ which earned him a good fan-base. In November 2012, he released his debut rap album, ‘Still a Kid’, under ‘Yours Truly.’
The absence of a legitimate record label had him marketing the album himself. He sold his CDs outside bars and clubs and made himself as popular as he could on his own. He had his neighborhood friends shoot the music videos for him and embarked on an independent music career.
In July 2013, he released his second album, ‘One Life to Live,’ under his own banner. He managed to garner a significant fan-base in his locality. Word of mouth became his biggest ally in his quest to make sure his music reached the masses outside his locality. His rhymes seemed natural, and it appeared as if he spoke to the listener directly, which resulted in him becoming a social media star.
In the next two years, he released two more albums: ‘Sincerely Yours’ and ‘Angels with Broken Wings’ and got heard by a lot of people. However, Phora was still on the lookout for a major music label to support him.
His friend George Orozco joined him in 2014 and took charge of directing his music videos. Their partnership became successful with each of their music videos uploaded on ‘YouTube’ becoming a hit. In 2014, Phora released his first and only EP to date, ‘Nights Like These.’
By 2016, Phora had started working on his next album, ‘With Love,’ and had become a known figure in the underground rapping scene of California. ‘With Love’ went a few steps further than his earlier albums, by acing the ‘US Rap Chart.’
In 2017, Phora announced through his ‘Instagram’ handle that he had been approached by ‘Warner Bros.’ Eesean Bolden negotiated the deal with him on behalf of ‘Warner Bros.’ Speaking about the deal, Phora stated that he had done his research and that he liked the fact that ‘Warner Bros.’ gave their artists enough creative freedom.
The same year, Phora released his album ‘Yours Truly Forever’ with ‘Warner Bros.’ Like his previous efforts, this album too immediately struck a chord with the listeners.
After signing with ‘Warner Bros.,’ Phora toured around his country. Almost all his concerts to date have attracted fans in huge numbers.
Phora has publicly stated that he has inherited his taste in music from his father, who also happened to be an ardent music lover back in his days. He also believes that his time spent on graffiti influenced his music to a great extent. He further claims that his graffiti work inspired him to become a tattoo artist later.
Phora’s past has been traumatic. As reflected in his songs, he was suicidal for a very long time. In 2011, he was brutally stabbed by an attacker. He survived the attack, but in the following years, he faced another attack. In August 2015, he was shot thrice by an unknown shooter while he was in his car. Phora survived, but the culprit has not been caught yet.
Phora is quite open about his personal life and regularly uploads photographs featuring him and his girlfriend, Destiny, on his social medial accounts, which have garnered millions of followers.