Far East Movement Biography
Last updated: 10/13/2010
Far East Movement (also known as FM) has bridged the gap between underground party records and mainstream hip-hop and pop. They blend elements of hip-hop, pop, electro and dance to create an original sound and lifestyle they call ‘Free Wired’.
The group translates this ‘Free Wired’ way of life by constantly staying interactive and living the lifestyle it promotes. Whether it’s their weekly music show on www.cherrytreeradio.com, blogging everyday on www.fareastmovement.com or uploading a series of FM Satellite webisodes they shoot on the road with their ‘spy cams’ they always stay free to “’geek out’ 25 hours a day, 8 days a week.”
Kev Nish, Prohgress, J-Splif, and DJ Virman, always donning stylish shades, skinny ties, and shiny blazers and fresh kicks have taken the current Los Angeles club scene global, already having to their credit two world tours, numerous song placements on television and film, and a # 1 song on Los Angeles radio all before they even dropped their debut album, appropriately titled, Free Wired, scheduled for a Fall 2010 release on Cherrytree Records/Interscope.
Cherrytree Records head, Martin Kierzenbaum, was inspired with the direction FM was taking with their careers. “Martin told us, ‘You guys have a lifestyle and party that we want to be invited to, we not only like your songs, but love your sound and movement,’” Kev Nish said of Kierzenbaum, who oversees the careers of Cherrytree Records artists Lady Gaga, Keane, La Roux and Tokio Hotel.
Martin was moved by FM so much that he passed their music on to mega-star Lady Gaga’s camp that led to an invitation out on her overseas Monster Ball tour dates in April 2010. FM call it, “a ‘Free Wired’ moment and incredible learning experience…she puts 200 percent into 2-hour shows, back to back nights, every night, it’s inspirational.” While on the road they say they got some key advice from one of today’s most exciting and theatrical live performers. They went back overseas the following month when they were invited out by N*E*R*D*.
It is FM’s stage energy and the ‘Free Wired’ lifestyle that started to change the way people reacted to their music. Not just the energy and lifestyle, but fashion and technology play a huge part. “We’ve played at every club in southern Cali and thrown parties, ‘geekin out’ at friends lofts and rooftops in downtown LA until the sun came up.” “Our routine and fashion allow us to party all night, then head straight to an important business meeting in the morning, we always stay business fresh, plus we keep shades on to hide the lack of sleep,” jokes Prohgress.
It was at those all-night parties that the group honed their sound and performance skills. “We felt like when we started messing more with hard electro synths, 4 to the floor drums and upbeat Daft Punk-type production it just seemed to connect better with the type of performance we do,” Prohgress said. “And once we had ‘Girls On The Dance Floor’ that was just like the bazooka ammunition that we needed.”
“Girls On The Dance Floor” became an undeniable, high-energy track that prompted women from all over to record videos of themselves dancing to the song and upload the clips online. The song exploded the latter part of 2009 in nightclubs and topped the playlists in L.A. The requests and heavy rotation earned Far East Movement a spot on a prestigious L.A. concert headlined by Jay-Z.
The follow up record “Like A G6” received an even more rabid reaction from listeners. “That one had over a million hits on YouTube before it even had one play on the radio,” Kev Nish said about the song they put together in two hours with Los Angeles producers The Cataracs.
Free Wired, the album, captures the hypnotic, electronic energy of earlier hits “Girls On The Dance Floor” and “Like A G6”, but also encompasses a slower-paced, ‘80s dance, pop and tribal sound.
Snoop Dogg guests on the bombastic “If I Was You” where you don’t hear a typical Snoop, but hear him singing and integrating himself into the FM sound. There’s also the mid-tempo dance floor track, for all the dance crews that love FM, called “So What” that samples a group that with a huge influence, The Beastie Boys’ and their smash “So What’cha Want”.
Lil’ Jon gets amped on the soon to be club banger “Go Ape.” While recording “Go Ape” with their resident producers, the Grammy nominated Stereotypes, Lil’ Jon was suggested for the track due to its crunk influence. Within moments, Stereotypes [due to a previous relationship with the producer] had the “Get Low” rapper and producer on iChat. Lil’ Jon expressed immediate interest. “’SEND IT OVER!’” Kev Nish recalled of Lil’ Jon’s reply. “Next thing you know, a couple days later, Lil’ Jon is on it.” It was these moments that FM call, ‘Free Wired’, that played a theme in putting this album together.
Free Wired will slow the tempo up on the album with the upcoming single ‘Rocketeer’. This radio-ready massive pop ballad features One Republic front man Ryan Tedder. “Our next single is going to surprise a lot of Far East Movement fans in a great way, “ states J-Splif. “It’s definitely outside the box for us, but we love to push our musical boundaries.” There’s also the fast tempo, pulsating, dance love song called “Don’t Look Now” also produced by the Stereotypes.
“The Far East Movement reps the diverse music fan that hits up 3 clubs playing all different music in 1 night, with a flossy and stylish fashion interest, low ridin' around LA in a fresh set of rims and a fresher pair of kicks, then hits the after-after party in the early a.m. and finally stumbles home to go on the computer and live all that online" the group says.
Far East Movement all grew up together in Los Angeles. They were influenced by the thriving downtown LA scene and a wide array of music from fellow West Coast classics like the Pharcyde and Dr Dre, to the dance music of DJ Tiesto and Daft Punk, to LA rockers like Guns N Roses, Linkin Park and Blink 182. “Our musical inspiration is as large as what we can hold on our iPods.”
After graduating from high school the group started taking music more seriously, doing shows wherever they could at Los Angeles bars, clubs and lofts. One of their earlier shows was a successful benefit show that raised money for a drug rehab center that helped a lot of their friends in the community. This came before the group even had their first song recorded. The group loved to perform and perfect their stage presence wherever they could.
“Another big part of our movement is how we stay connected to the fans ourselves,” states J-Splif. “They demanding our songs on radio and at the clubs, so we’re always listening and try to give back. We used to go to a club and watch all night just to see how the crowd would react to certain songs the DJ played and soak it in.” ”It's important that we translate to everyone what we’re about on this album,” Kev Nish added. “We want people to feel free to 'geek out' however they feel comfortable and stay wired with us whether partying or home online. Live Free and Stay Wired is where is stems from.”
Another influence came when they saw Kanye West live and the kind of performance he achieved. “I remember we saw a Kanye show,” Prohgress said. “He threw a towel into the audience and people were fighting for it. We wanted to give that type of energy.” “It’s always been about that energy and that lifestyle at our shows.”
You already might be familiar with Far East Movement’s music unknowingly as they also receive placements that are as impressive as artists who have already reached superstar status. “Girls On The Dance Floor” was featured in a major scene in the hit film Get Him To The Greek, MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew season 4 finale, CBS’ CSI Miami, and FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance.
Their music has also been heard on television hits Gossip Girl, Entourage, ABC Family’s Lincoln Heights, 2009 Miss America pageant and in the blockbuster film and video game “Fast and Furious”. They were also featured performers at both the Cannes Film Festival and Sundance Film Festival in 2010.
Their tours have taken them to Asia, South America, UK, Korea, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Brazil, Netherlands and all over the US.
Far East Movement is now anxious to take advantage of all the opportunities their fast-rising career will afford them. Considering their independent, go-getter mindset, talent, and willingness to break out of the box, Far East Movement is indeed setting themselves up for the long run.