Far East Movement stays ‘fly like a G6’

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The four downtown Los Angeles natives that make up Far East Movement (FM for short) are (L-R) Prohgress, DJ Virman, Kev Nish and J-Splif. photos courtesy of Far East Movement

The four downtown Los Angeles natives that make up Far East Movement (FM for short) are (L-R) Prohgress, DJ Virman, Kev Nish and J-Splif. photos courtesy of Far East Movement

To say that Far East Movement has been keeping busy these days is an understatement. Their single “Like a G6” soared to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart at the end of October and remained in the top 10 until mid-December. Earlier this year, they toured with Lady Gaga, N*E*R*D and Mike Posner, and recently accompanied fellow Cherrytree Records label-mate La Roux around the U.S.

The four downtown Los Angeles natives that make up Far East Movement (FM for short) — Kev Nish, Prohgress, J-Splif and DJ Virman — come from various Asian American backgrounds and bring a unique sound and style to the music scene. Their catchy, high-energy music immediately gets you dancing to the beat.

The guys describe their sound as “Free Wired,” also the name of their latest album. “We set out to create the soundtrack to our lifestyle. An alternative pop fusion of pop, hip-hop, electro [and] alternative that represents us being ourselves being free to geek out and stayin’ wired and connected,” they told The Ticker. “A ‘free wired’ night stayin’ fly like a G6, club hoppin’ all night, taco trucks at 4 a.m., shades and ties, fly kicks, and no sleep … Right to business the next morning.”

With lyrics like “You wanna bang bang boogie wit a freak/Pop bottles at my table to the beat/You better gimme what I, gimme what I need” (off of “So What?”), paired with club-friendly beats, their music exudes this “free wired” concept.

Their album features collaborations with a number of top artists like Snoop Dogg, Keri Hilson and One Republic’s Ryan Tedder. It’s filled with dance/hip-hop hits, but also includes pop/R&B ballads like “Fighting for Air” and “Rocketeer.” The latter also has a touch of alternative in its sound.

“Just like what the name represents, we had the freedom to geek out as ourselves and push ourselves to write songs that rep how we live, but can be relate-able internationally,” the guys explained in a statement forwarded by their publicists.

Through their music, FM shares some of their cultural background with us. The video for “Like a G6” opens in a Korean BBQ restaurant in downtown L.A. — something that represents a part of the guys’ lifestyles and where they grew up.

As an all-Asian American group, FM is proud to rep their community, but doesn’t focus on race. “When we make music there shouldn’t be a race attached, just a feelin’,” said Kev Nish, also known as Kevin Nishimura.

“We’re in a ‘free wired’ world these days, where people might know each other’s Twitter handle or blog name with what type of music they like, food they eat and movies they love, but you might never know what race they are,” he explained. “And when you find out…it shouldn’t matter.”

While the guys are best known for “Like a G6,” their song “Girls on the Dance Floor” climbed the charts in L.A. last year and was featured in the film “Get Him to the Greek” and TV shows like CBS’s “CSI: Miami” and MTV’s “America’s Best Dance Crew.”

But FM described starting out long before that: “We would free style to whatever was playin’ on the radio in parking lots around downtown L.A. … Right out of school we’d lug a huge home PC and an old school monitor to an attic of a friend’s house and teach ourselves how to record tracks for fun to put on the Net.”

After graduating from high school, they just began performing in bars, clubs and lofts around L.A. J-Splif didn’t even tell his parents that he had decided to pursue a music career as part of FM.

“We were on tour overseas and my parents just thought I was on some work trip since they thought I had an office job, and when I came home they said they saw me on the local news and tripped out,” he said. “I thought I was going to get my backside whooped, but they ended up being cool and actually proud.”

The cover of "Free Wired," Far East Movement's most recent album. photo courtesy of Far East Movement

If they hadn’t found out back then, they certainly would have by now. “Free Wired” debuted at #24 on the Billboard charts and “Like a G6” is still in the top 20 on the iTunes Singles chart.

Last month, FM revealed the music video for their new single “Rocketeer.” It showcases the city that the guys call home. As Kev Nish described it in the FM blog, “We wanted to take y’all on a skate thru the ‘free wired’ downtown L.A. we livin’ in that inspires us daily.”

He added, “The whole video was shot outside our cribs, the art galleries n cafes we chill at, where we grub, where we party and it’s filled with different dreamers we know around the way that make up a ‘free wired’ L.A.”

It seems that the head of Cherrytree Records nailed it when he said to the group, “You guys have started a party that we want to be invited to.”

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