|Origin||New York, NY|
|Genres||R&B, rock, house, jazz, pop|
Kelly and Harmony first met while working on Chrisette Michele's 2009 album Epiphany. They went on to collaborate as a duo writing and producing tracks for artists including Rihanna, Bruno Mars, Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige, Kelly Clarkson, Jessie J and Miley Cyrus. Wanting to create music that would better reflect their own point of view and move them beyond being songwriters for hire, they formed Louis York. The group name originates from the hometown of its founders, Claude Kelly (New York City) and Chuck Harmony (East St. Louis). They write and produce all the tracks, with Kelly providing vocals and Harmony playing keyboards, guitars, drums and the vocoder. Drawing from several musical influences, such as their backgrounds in church choirs, growing up with R&B and being exposed to Jazz and the Motown sound as children, Louis York describes their music as "world music" in the sense that it is multi-genre and has an international sound. Louis York is the first act on their imprint Weirdo Workshop, whose releases are distributed by Sony's RED Distribution. Based out of a house in Franklin, Tennessee, The Weirdo Workshop exists as a "multi-purpose creative hub" from which the duo produces music, plans for future projects and hosts lectures, book clubs and live shows.
Louis York debuted with the release of the single "Clair Huxtable" on February 24, 2015. The song celebrates strong women like its namesake, the mother on the television sitcom The Cosby Show. In the music video, Kelly and Harmony are seen searching for a woman like Mrs. Huxtable: strong, smart, sexy and elegant. They released their second single, "Good Drinks, Dumb Jokes", on August 13, 2015.
Masterpiece Theater – Act I, Louis York's debut EP, was recorded in Los Angeles in the summer of 2015, and released on September 18, 2015. The Los Angeles Times described it as "an eclectic mix steeped in hook-driven pop and throwback R&B along with rock and African tribal rhythms." Their follow-up EP, Masterpiece Theater – Act II, was released on November 18, 2016.
In 2019, the duo released their debut album titled American Griots - The Album. The title of the album alludes to the griots of West Africa who are storytellers, poets and songwriters who travel from village to village performing and passing on oral traditions. With the addition of "American", the duo hoped to modernize and personalize the role of the griot. Through the album's title, Louis York attempt to communicate how they see themselves and give artists a renewed sense of responsibility as touring performers.
|Masterpiece Theater – Act I|
|Masterpiece Theater – Act II||
|Masterpiece Theater – Act III||
|2015||"Clair Huxtable"||Masterpiece Theater – Act I|
|"Good Drinks, Dumb Jokes"||Masterpiece Theater – Act II|
|2017||"I Enjoy You"||Masterpiece Theater – Act III|
- Gerrick D. Kennedy, "Hitmakers Claude Kelly and Chuck Harmony debut as Louis York," Los Angeles Times, February 24, 2015.
- Maurice Bobb, "Louis York Search for Their Very Own 'Clair Huxtable' in New Video," MTV News, April 28, 2015.
- Aggi Ashagre, "Rihanna Hitmakers Louis York Ready for Spotlight on 'Masterpiece Theater': Exclusive EP Premiere,"'Billboard, September 17, 2015.
- Gardner, John. "Louis York: American Griots, Weirdo Workshop Founders, and Multi - GRAMMY Nominated Musicians." The World Music Foundation Podcast. The World Music Foundation. Retrieved 21 August 2020.
- "Louis York Sing the Praises of 'Clair Huxtable'," BET.com, February 24, 2015.
- Misha Sesar, "Celebrate Clair Huxtable In Debut Video," The Fader, April 20, 2015.
- "Louis York Premiere New Single 'Good Drinks, Dumb Jokes'," ThisIsRnB, August 13, 2015.
- "New Music: Louis York – Masterpiece Theater Act II (EP)," youknowigotsoul.com, November 18, 2016.