Kentucky Music Mafia, a talented duo comprised of Louisville locals Shannon Collins and Toby Ray Farris, has been making great music together for 10 years now. Both were in different groups when they met. Toby said that he and his son had formed a group. It was his way to spend time with his boy. Their music circles were similar because of their location. Toby was making country rap at the time and Shannon was just starting to play around with it. His group was more traditional hip hop. Shannon hit Toby up with a song and asked if he wanted to collab. It started off their great partnership. They teamed forces and haven’t looked back. The song was Where I Belong. Now both admit the heart felt song is still their favorite song to listen to. Music has always been a big part of life for Toby and Shannon. Toby enjoyed singing in church when he was a little boy. Later on, he took music classes and choir. He enjoyed watching others perform. His dad was in bands and it intrigued him. Shannon, who’s family is from Eastern Kentucky, always enjoyed the bluegrass music that his family would play. He had fond memories of his great grandparents playing music while his grandmother sang. His uncles also played in bands. His grandfather would take him to places to perform. Both guys had similar dreams and their music just plays off of one another. They easily pull off tradition Country, southern rock and country rap sounds with their diverse talents. It makes their sound different than most in the country rap scene. In this case, different is a good thing. When asked which song they liked to perform together, they both exclaimed that Stuck In These Ruts was their favorite song to perform on stage. Shannon said the energy of the song makes him bounce around wildly like a spider monkey. Toby agreed. If you haven’t heard it, check it out. It’s definitely a banger that represents Kentucky life, muddin’, and Who TF is Justin Time’s Redneck Rave.
Speaking of Redneck Rave, Toby told a story about performing at the venue. He said the music started and they headed on stage. He tripped, somersaulted across the stage and jumped up rapping, never missing a beat. Shannon laughed at the memory and said they’d tried to find a video of the fall but they weren’t able to find one. While a funny story, it talks volumes about what kind of performers they are and their determination behind their music. They may stumble but the show will go on.
2020 has been a stumbling block for most artists but it hasn’t stopped KMM. They’ve took the time to work on new songs for 2021. They hinted that they’ve got a few songs coming featuring bigger artists in the industry. They’re both are eager to finish their current album and work on their next album. Afterward, they’ve both stated they wanted to release solo albums that will be different from their typical styles. Shannon has plans to travel back to his Eastern Kentucky roots and try his hand with a bluegrass album. Several people have asked Toby to make a Christmas album in the coming year so he plans to give the people what they want.
Other than music, you can almost guarantee that you can find Shannon and Toby helping local youth in the Louisville area. Toby has a non profit organization called Bikes for Tykes. With donations, Toby puts new or gently used bikes in the hands of children who wouldn’t normally be able to afford a bike. Shannon helps coach high school baseball in the area, helping kids further their dreams in sports. Just some good guys making good music. Both are ready to hit some live shows. The duo recently revamped a tour van. The orange van with large cartoon style copper still cooking up that white lightning will have heads turning when they pull up. It’s reminiscent of the time of the good ol’ Dukes of Hazzard. It’s almost as entertaining as the entertainers it hauls. Check it out at the next live show near you. - Ashley Davis