On Breaks From Med School, Healy Raps Off

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

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
KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Amy Young is an arts and culture writer who also spends time curating arts-related exhibits and events, and playing drums in local bands French Girls and Sturdy Ladies.
Contact: Amy Young