The artist known as Healy.
The artist known as Healy.
Courtesy of Valley Bar

On Breaks From Med School, Healy Raps Off

What does a Memphis medical student do in his spare time? In the case of Ethan Healy – who goes by his last name when performing –  you hole up in your dorm room armed with your appreciation for various musical styles and your notebook of original songs, and start building a parallel life as a rap artist.

Healy started messing around with music in high school, writing songs with his acoustic guitar. Those early creations started to evolve and he started driving them in a hip-hop direction. In 2015, Healy started releasing singles, building up a coveted online following. He backed those tunes up with the 12-song Subluxe in 2017.

There is no real distinction between those first singles and the full-length; they both show a penchant for keeping the mood laid back. Steady beats and mellow grooves are topped with rap vocals that show the performer’s appreciation for a variety of his predecessors. From the more Autotune-y era of Lil Wayne to the choppy, punchy delivery of Eminem, we can get a good idea of what has given Healy some inspiration. He gets extra-vulnerable on songs like “Python” and “Unwind,” where his vocals are more in the contemporary R&B crooner pocket than attitude-laden raps like “Dem My Dogs.”

Healy is scheduled to perform at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, July 27 at Valley Bar. Tickets are $15 to $17. Visit valleybarphx.com.

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