Dancehall is ever-evolving. As the movement grows, so do the sound systems that disperse the Jamaican-music genre's vibes. One such entity, that has been instrumental in the recent expansion of dancehall's reach, is the global music collective known as the FlexUP Crew.
We recently caught up with Alex Breitman, the second half of FlexUp Crew's Two Seven Clash, to discuss the FlexUp Crew's inception and how the crew continues to build momentum in the new-age future dancehall scene. Most recently, Breitman has been focusing on starting up LA's brand new monthly future dancehall event, known as FlexUP LA, becoming one of the driving forces behind the coordination of the event's lineup. FlexUP LA made its debut this May and was headlined by FlexUP Crew member Walshy Fire of Major Lazer.
Yet, let's get back to the beginning. The inception of this movement. Breitman, and his Two Seven Clash sound-mate Kimory Stevenson, initially bonded over a mutual love of music while working at their college radio station. From there, Breitman and Stevenson traveled to England, where they began to discover more of the Jamaican dubstep sound.
After years of studying music, Breitman knew he was ready to create his own brand. "I asked Kimory, 'Do you want to do this sound with me?' Let's call it Two Seven Clash, since it is culturally a Jamaican name." On July 7, 2015, Two Seven Clash became official and the two set out to use the influences from their European travels to create a mash up of electronic, reggae and dancehall music; which is a blend of the team's favorite genres.
Shortly after forming Two Seven Clash, Breitman began researching more music within the electronic-dancehall realm. This is where the decision was made. FlexUP Crew wouldn't just be about the founders. Rather, it would employ a model where the main focus of the crew is connection. Aligning with other musicians or DJs spinning the future dancehall sound: "The crew is an international collective, so there is no real leader," says Breitman. "There is somebody who started it, named Ian Hoffman, and he had the idea to start a collective where the focus would be future dancehall." "While he started (the collective), we all contribute in different ways to make it grow."
An example of that growth can be seen with events such as FlexUP LA and other upcoming FlexUP dances worldwide. Due to the success of the FlexUp Crew, which can be attributed in large part to dancehall's undeniable appeal, Breitman decided it was time to create an event that showcased their collective vibes. A place where fans could enjoy the music and the crew could share their work. "Where I am now is where I hoped to be two or three years after I started. And now the ball is starting to roll, we'll see what happens." says Breitman.
Photos by Daniel Leist
"There will more than likely be a FlexUP event coming up in Italy with Kalibandulu," says Breitman. "Stay tuned for that lineup." Fans look forward to the continued expansion of FlexUP Crew's future dancehall parties; and if you live in the City of Angels, you don't have to wait long at all. The upcoming Los Angeles FlexUp event will feature a live performance by Jamaican artist Alandon, combined with the current future dancehall vibes.
Pree the lineup:
Press play for one of FlexUP crew's brand new mixtapes produced by Two Seven Clash and Silva.