Although they are the same person, Brendon Phommaa and Phive 6 are two different people.
On June 3, 2016 at the Nashua Garden restaurant and bar, Brendon Phommaa sits on a bar stool near the brick wall; clad in a white bandanna headband, mustache and goatee, and shaggy hair. Phommaa is a quiet and observant man. While watching the band Towns perform, he nods to the music. He is a flower on the wall.
After several songs, Towns announces that Phive 6 will take the stage and the crowd cheers. Phommaa abandons his post on the wall and transforms into Phive 6 as he takes the stage. Phive 6 is a declarative and prominent rapper. As Towns lays down upbeat hip hop instrumental music, Phive 6 raps original lyrics like, “That’s why I’m dead inside, tryna feel alive/ Brains fried from high, silly habit of mine/ Promise that I’m fine not the frame of mind to provide rhymes/ That could save lives /Wont deny that it saved mine”, from his song “Hotel Blues”. The crowd bounces and sings along to the chorus and thrives off the energy Phive 6 creates.
Nashua was introduced to Phive 6 a little over a year ago, but Phommaa has been writing poetry since he was thirteen. Phommaa was very select about who he shared his poetry with, but things are different now. From the beginning, Phommaa drew inspiration for his poetry through passed memorable experiences and relationships. Music came later on as Phommaa discovered influential artists like Mos Def and Sum 41. For 5 years Phommaa has been creating music for his poetry, it was only recently that Phommaa started to perform live.
It wasn’t until he found someone who could provide live instrumental music that Phommaa created the persona Phive 6. Using his height as his stage name (because “it fit”), Phive 6 performs with Towns and relishes live performing saying, “there’s nothing like it.”
Currently, Phive 6 performs as an accompanying act for Towns at their shows. When he can, Phommaa travels to Pawtucket, Rhode Island to record his upcoming EP at BeatBox studios. He is consistently making music and for anyone beginning to perform live, “just be yourself,” said Phommaa; proving that no matter how different Brendon Phommaa and Phive 6 are, they are astonishingly the same person.