One of the exciting components involved with the annual Review Music Awards celebration is when a new artist or group surfaces and manages to grab enough attention of both their fan base and voting public to seemingly surface out of the blue and sweep numerous honors.
In prior years this phenomenon has occurred with artists such as Redburn, Greta Van Fleet, and Tweed & Dixie; and at this year’s 31st Review Music Awards Ceremony, the spotlight was decidedly shining upon the Hip-Hop trio known as BXG5, who walked away seven awards including: Best New Artist of the Year, Best CD Release for A Haunting in Saginaw; Best Mixtape (Straight Out the Vault: Vol. 1); Best Producer (SP); Best Rap Hip-Hop Artist of the Year; and Best Rap Hip-Hop Songwriter.
Consisting of Aaron Neumeyer (‘Red Davinci’), Robert Cox (aka J Rip) and Skyler Primeau (SP), the group joined forces two years ago in 2015 to form BXG5, which originally consisted of the musical alliance formed by SP and Red that was known as BX joining forces with J-Rip (known as G-5) to become BXG5. Collectively, their goal is to carve their own road to success by showcasing their unique talents and love for music.
Cox says he started developing his passion for music back when he was 11-years old, while Skyler says he ignited his passion around the age of 12, only wasn’t big into rapping. “I started by listening to different music ranging from Rap, Country, to Jazz,” he explains. “I listened to all of it and would sit there and pick apart what was on the radio and hear what’s behind the instrumentals – that’s what really got me into it, because I wanted to build upon different sounds by pulling the hi-hats out of one track, and other elements from another track, and then create my own sounds.”
“Quickly this became an alternate path that showed me what I could do,” he continues, “and that by listening to other artists make their music I could also create a message that might relate to lots of different people. My goal is to have fun with the way certain tracks are built and put together.”
As for Red Davinci, music for him really kicked off in middle school “I was in band class and played the trumpet and through that, developed my sense of musical intuition to be able to listen to music and pick it apart, similar to SP,” he reflects. “It wasn’t until around the beginning of high school that I got big into Rap and Hip-Hop and started writing and finding different instrumental programs to begin buildings beats. It’s right around that time that SP and I started collaborating together. We’ve been together since 2011 and officially met Rip in 2014.”
While all members of BXG5 write and chip-in on creating their material, as a general rule J-Rip handles the beats, SP will focus on developing the melody line; and all three collectively work on the lyrics and layering together their sound. “Each one of us has our own approach, or might have an instrumental that we all like and each attack with a different style, working it until everything blends in,” adds Red. “Sometimes we’ll listen to a beat on its own in silence for 30-minutes and then start writing, feeding off each other at that point in time.”
The group’s award-winning Straight Out of the Vault: Vol. 1 is their third CD release. “Our first release was MX3, only we didn’t promote or market it right and generally was not happy with the quality of the mix,” reflects SP. “But once we started learning, things changed quickly and now everything from the cases to the cover art has to be appealing when we drop a release. Our second release sold like 600 copies in the streets; and then Saginaw-born and nationally known rapper Prozak grabbed a copy and kept in contact with us. We asked for his professional input in terms of what we could do better; and after listening to his advice we came up with Straight Out the Vault, which we released strictly as a digital download, just to see what the audience reaction would be.”
The group says that through this digital downloading approach they could test the waters better and monitor what tracks were getting played the most; and which tracks might be fading. One of the tracks that hit big time as Haunting in Saginaw, which Prozak also incorporated into his ‘Haunting’ film series.
While BXG5 is enjoying growing success and acclaim, unfortunately, the nature of the local Hip-Hop scene makes it difficult for them to play lots of live venues in the area. “Here in Saginaw a lot of clubs don’t really want to feature Hip-Hop because of the violence associated with it,” states SP, “but we did a show at The Hamilton St. Pub a couple years ago; and we’ve also locked in shows at The Schuch Hotel and have performed there maybe five times over the past two years now. But usually most of our shows are downstate in Detroit; and we’ve also played in Midland and Standish a couple of times. Plus, we had shows in Mt. Pleasant twice per month for awhile.”
BXG5 have developed a solid fan base from all over the world and says their biggest challenge right now in moving forward is generating funds. “The financial situation is on everybody’s mind,” notes Red. “Not just with the music business, but with business in general. Do you have the funds to keep pushing or to take that extra leap of risk and venture out further – it’s a giant gamble, but we always seem to pull the funds together when we need it.”
BXG5 have a videos posted on youtube and people are encouraged to check out their website and facebook page. You can also download their music on ReverbNation and Soundcloud.