Mon, 19 October 2009
From Russia to Jamaica. The much talked-about new hip-hop duo Fly Gypsy made its first splash in late 2008 with an election-themed single that introduced the duo’s energetic, guitar-driven sound to music fans around the world and scored the duo its first TV and radio spots. The group formally launched in July 2009 with a release of the summertime single “You.” The video for the single was shot in Jamaica by Ras Kassa, acclaimed for his work with Sean Paul, Beenie Man, and Damian Marley.
Kowboy Kom, the group’s vocalist, moved from Montego Bay, Jamaica to Brooklyn, New York with his family when he was still a child. Growing up in New York during the golden era of Hip-Hop, Kom was inspired by hip-hop artists of West Indian descent coming up in Brooklyn, such as Wyclef Jean, Busta Rhymes, and Notorious B.I.G. When he was in the seventh grade, Kom began to write poetry and rhyme. By his early twenties, Kom rose to become one of the nation’s best recognized spoken word artists and emcees, praised for his clever storytelling, signature style, and natural swagger. He has headlined numerous college tours, appeared on BET J, and opened for artists such as Jill Scott, Dwele, and Doug E. Fresh.
Kom stands apart from other emcees in his preference for performing with a live band, rather than just a DJ. A true musician, who himself plays guitar and dabbles in piano, Kom has an intimate understanding of music and infuses his flow with musicality seldom seen in modern hip-hop.
Alexei, the duo’s producer and its one-man band, grew up on stage, dancing and performing music. Born and raised in Russia during the tumultuous years of the Soviet Union’s collapse, Alexei began playing piano and dancing when he was only six. When he was eight, his parents bought the family’s first double-deck boombox and within a few weeks, Alexei was selling mixtapes in his elementary school.
In his teens, Alexei came to the United States as an exchange student and later returned to attend college. Moving to Washington, D.C. after college, Alexei quickly established himself as a prolific songwriter, a gifted producer, and a dynamic DJ, earning airplay on the country’s top R&B stations. Alexei’s unique production style reflects his diverse musical influences. He seemlessly moves from bopping his head to Lauryn Hill and singing along with Sting to ripping Nirvana on his guitar and playing an Ella Fitzgerald love song on piano. In his production, Alexei prefers to build tracks from scratch, playing keys, guitars, bass, and percussion himself rather than relying on samples.