DJ Bounce Gawd, Fruut, Kevonna Rose Credit: Courtesy the artists

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Kevonna Rose has a rich, soulful voice that excels at turning internet memes into love ballads. Fruut layers lo-fi beats under plaintive tunes that sync with your internal monologue. DJ Bounce Gawd spins hip-hop, R&B and pop into high-powered mixes that burst with rhythm.

What do these three musicians have in common? All of them deeply love Philadelphia — and they’re all performing at The Billies on Wednesday, June 16.

Billy Penn is thrilled to feature these local artists at our annual gala (get your tix). They exemplify what the awards show is all about: honoring local creators and innovators, and shining a light on people deserving of more attention.

Kevonna Rose Credit: Courtesy the artist

You might already recognize the name Kevonna Rose.

She won a Welcome America contest a few years back, and got to open for Common and Lauryn Hill at the Fourth of July fest. She’s also a winner of the Essence Festival’s “Show Rour Range” contest. Her clever single “Damn Daniel” was featured as a standout submission in NPR’s most recent Tiny Desk contest.

The singer-songwriter lives in South Jersey, but she’s all about Philadelphia.

“I’ve played a lot of cities, but there’s no love like Philly love,” Rose said. “The support throughout my time as a musician has been overwhelming. I’m a Jersey girl, but Philly has my heart.”

Fruut Credit: Courtesy the artist

With a huge catalog of music available for streaming online, Fruut is based in the city proper.

Taking inspiration from artists that range from Lana Del Rey to Lorde, Drake, Bon Iver and Still Woozy, the music is modern electronica that can match any mood. Their most recent album is called “All About You: A Mixtape,” and they continue to release singles and EPs consistently.

“Even though I write from a queer perspective, my music is definitely for everyone,” Fruut said, noting that’s part of why Philadelphia is their perfect home:

“I love Philly because there is something for everyone. The community here is strong and stands together.”

DJ Bounce Gawd Credit: Courtesy the artist

Bounce Gawd, who is the DJ for monthly Billy Penn Philly Quizzo, is a born and raised Philadelphian.

Formerly part of WHYY’s Street Team, he started DJing back in college, and was good enough that he won a national contest. That launched him into a professional career, and he’s opened at shows for Lil Uzi, Young Thug, Rae Sremmurd, 6Lack, and Ella Mai.

He loves to rock the house. “I’m just happy to be here,” Bounce Gawd said. “It’s an everlasting euphoria being able to entertain the people, and take them on a musical journey.”

And there’s nowhere else he’d rather do it than his hometown:

“Philly is a ‘one of none’ type of city. From our slang all the way down to our food, Philly is a unique place, and I wouldn’t choose to be from anywhere else.”

Catch these artists and more at The 2021 Billies, streamed live on Zoom on June 16.

Danya Henninger is director and editor of Billy Penn at WHYY, where she oversees the team, all editorial decisions, and all revenue generation — including the membership program. She is a former food...