Hip Hop has walked through it’s discovery entry point, stomped into the gangsta phase, and strolled up on it’s gaudy bling peak. Birthed as a form of Dance music, elements of Hip Hop are now driving that genre today. Los Angeles’ Koreatown sensation Far East Movement is doing it’s best rendition of producing music that’s purely fun again. The best way to simply put it is “feel-good” music. FM’s beats have a light funky vibe, and the lyrics exhibit a care-free attitude that’s frequently heard in that of Lil Wayne or even a onetime Movement collaborator/DXnext fellow, Wiz Khalifa. With their latest single “Like A G6” approaching two million YouTube plays, following last year’s “Girls On The Dance Floor,” the Movement is moving quickly.
When one looks closely, the members of Far East Movement earned their spot by grinding. DXnext checks in with some of the members of Far East Movement, and leaves nothing on the table, as it’s all happening out there on the floor.
From Interscope Intern To A Priority: “Aw man, it’s a trip. It’s funny – we used to be the interns for Greg [Miller of Big Hassle Media], which is crazy [because he handles our publicity now],” said Prohgress. “Just being there, we used to see 50 Cent, will.i.am, M.I.A., everybody walk through the halls of Interscope [Records]. We’d get lunch for them and stand and make copies all day. It’s funny too, ‘cause we were going to high school and then college, but we just wanted to be there. To go from that to actually walk in and be an artist is…I kind of feel like I’m living a dream. It boggles my mind sometimes. I don’t think it’s a form of irony [as] much as this is where we wanted to be. Interscope is the Holy grail [of music].”
Kev Nish added, “One of the things that it did teach us was that you can’t just run up with a demo anymore. [Another] record label that I was interning for was Arista. I gave somebody a demo. I think that was the worst thing I ever did. I don’t think they talked to me after that.” [Band mates laugh in background]
D.I.Y. First: “[Interscope] is really only looking for artists that build their own scene and develop their own following,” he added. “That kind of opened our eyes to manage ourselves and cultivate ourselves.” That happened through some initial buzz two years ago. “When our first single [‘Girls On The Dancefloor’] started catching [traction] at radio, the people in Interscope’s Radio Department set up a meeting with us, to see where we were at.” Interestingly enough, the guys’ former internship had zero to do with the label’s interest. “It was actually unrelated to the internship,” said Prohgress, explaining that the label executives were unaware of that fact.
Breaking Hip Hop Radio: “The first that I heard the song, I was driving. It tripped me out,” recalled Nish. “My parents let me listen to Hip Hop when I was younger. I knew [all about the importance] of Power 106. To hear our song on that radio station, [I was so enamored] that I ran two red lights and I got pulled over.”
The Right Time: “It was the fans that made [‘Girls On The Dancefloor’ successful] – kids on the Internet, making dance videos, America’s Best Dance Crew poppin’ off, and people really appreciating dance again,” explained Prohgress. “That’s how we were doing our sets at the time. We would do all kinds of clubs in Hollywood. This was 2007 and 2008. People hear it in the club, they request it on radio. We make music hoping it sticks. We’re thankful that stuck.”
Workin’ The Web: “We spend 18 hours day on computers and laptops. We even bought ourselves an Internet card so we can go in the car, anywhere. At first it was MySpace,” said Proh. “We didn’t even really know how to type that well until we started promoting our music. I’d say social networking is worth anything, as far as anything. We all remember pushing your CDs out of Hip Hop shows with flyers. Now we realize that people are looking at the numbers: YouTube plays, MySpace plays.”
Lessons From A True Lady: “[We learned] from [Lady Gaga’s] live show and the team she has around her, the lights, the elaborateness of the dancers, the work ethic,” Proh decalred. “We heard rumors that she puts everything she makes into her live show, and it shows. We saw the most elaborate set. It showed us that we constantly have to work harder and try harder. Not only that, but seeing the crowd. We’d done good venues like House of Blues, but to be in an arena with 18,000, that helps us [build] up our show and structuring a good set.”
What’s In A Name?: “We made a song called ‘Far East Movement.’ We didn’t have a name at the time,” admitted Nish. “The song was all about rockin’ out on the Internet, going to streetwear clothing stores, the rave thing, club-hoppin’, stayin’ wired all night. That was one of the songs we submitted back in the day to one of the A&Rs that got denied. It was more just the lifestyle for our generation and our influences. It just stuck. Out here on the radio, they call us Far East Movement or FM. It stuck. We’re proud of it. We’re trying to create the brand to what feels good for us.”