Phonte is a rapper, singer, and songwriter who is half of Foreign Exchange and half of Little Brother. He has also recorded under the names Tigallo and Percy Miracles.
Born Phonte Coleman in North Carolina, Phonte began singing in his grandmother's church choir. While attending North Carolina Central University, he met the future members of Little Brother, Big Pooh and 9th Wonder. They formed Little Brother in 2001 and released their first official full-length, The Listening (ABB Records), in 2003. Their second album, The Minstrel Show, was released in 2005 on Atlantic Records. For their third album, Getback (2007), Little Brother returned to ABB as a duo with the departure of 9th Wonder. Their fourth and final Little Brother album, Leftback, was released in April 2010 on Justus Records.
Phonte met Dutch producer Nicolay online in 2002. They began creating music by sending it to each other over instant messenger, without ever having met in person. The debut Foreign Exchange album, Connected (BBE, 2004) was a mix of R&B, electronica, and Hip-Hop. Their second album, Leave It All Behind (FE Music), was released in 2008 and was nominated for a Grammy for Best Urban/Alternative Performance. Their third album, Authenticity, is to be released in October 2010.
In 2008, Phonte released an album with Detroit producer Zo! under the name of Tigallo. Their album, Zo! & Tigallo Love the 80’s (Hall of Justus), was a collection of covers of '80s classics like A-Ha's "Take On Me" and Joe Jackson's "Steppin' Out."