Saturday, September 12, 2009

Fly Gypsy Representing DC & Beyond

Gums are a-flapping about the hot new hip-hop duo of Kowboy Kom (aka Komplex) and Alexai Tendayi. Music critics are praising the Washington DC-based duo for their ability to attract commercial appeal without compromising musical quality or message. first introduced members to the hip-hop duo Fly Gypsy last year when the duo released the single "The Ruler". The eclectic video, featuring DC's Kuku was an instant fave on the network and pretty soon, Fly Gypsy eclipsed local awareness, gathering a national and beyond following.

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. He became known in the DC area with his affiliation with folk soul singer Kuku, collaborating on Kuku's projects and performing in various venues with him, including in Kennedy Center appearances born from an initial meeting at the famous Bar Nun open mic.

Kom and Alexei first met in a freestyle cipher at Bar Nun, as well, the legendary D.C. open mic spot where Raheem DeVaughn cut his teeth. Alexei was playing guitar, and Kom stopped by and dropped some verses. The two exchanged verses and guitar riffs much to the delight of the crowd that gathered around them. They then went on to focus on their individual projects until two years later, when Alexei invited Kom to feature on a hip-hop record that Alexei was working on. Fly Gypsy was born soon after. In a few short months, Kom and Alexei created an impressive collection of music, grown its worldwide fan base and attracted significant interest from the industry. Check out their spot HERE and catch their latest interview on WHUR 96.3 HERE

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