Flowers & Kain
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Flowers & Kain

New London, Connecticut, United States

New London, Connecticut, United States
Band Rock Hip Hop

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Tuesday, July 07, 2009
By Dan Barry
Flowers and Kain.

Hartford, you lowballers. Flowers & Kain played Up or On The Rocks last Friday, and where were you? The four-piece rock/reggae/hip-hop band was up from New London, where they're widely recognized as musical T&A magnets. Their gig should've been off the chain. And yet it was clear that they were having trouble pulling a crowd in Hartford. It wasn't because they're new — they've been around for years now. And it certainly wasn't because they're lacking musically. Their performance was awesome, and composition-wise, they're doing some next-level stuff. Dare I suggest it's because they're above and beyond what Hartford feels they can expect from their nightlife? I mean, damn. The party music we keep asking for is so mediocre, it's like the bands are afraid to even give themselves names that are more than one syllable.

Well Hartford, I'm not gonna let you off easy. Flowers & Kain reminded me of the Roots in the way they effortlessly blend — or is it ignore? — genres and expectations, and still manage to make you feel like what you're seeing is, at its heart and soul, hip-hop. The two members (and longtime best friends) for whom the band is named were, of course, the flashiest. Guitarist Ryan "Killa" Kain injects flamboyant, Hendrix-inspired solos into each song, while frontman Bryan "Bobby Flow" Flowers delivers his verses in a slow, methodical combination of rapping and singing. But the rhythm section was killing it, too. Drummer Nathaniel "Nasty" Scott steamrolled through deep grooves and bright cymbal patterns, while bassist Ed Briones had a playful approach to the low end that kept the songs active at all times.

But it was the group's finesse that placed them a cut above most other party bands. They played to the mostly empty room with an energy and presence that made me feel like it was packed. When a couple came up front to dance, Bobby Flow thanked them, acknowledging that it's not easy to be the only ones on the dance floor. And when a huge bachelor party came spilling into the bar, Flowers & Kain instantly made moves to win them over. Lesser bands might have seen them as obnoxious drunkards; F&K saw them as potential fans, and busted out a cover of Chic's "Good Times" that was laden with hip-hop references from every decade. They then kicked into Slick Rick's "La Di Da Di" — oh yes, they were referencing the original, and not just Snoop Dogg's remake — and by midway through, the whole bachelor party crowd was shouting along with the familiar lyrics. Dude, these guys could convert Dubya to Islam. - Hartford Advocate


Discography

FLOWERS & KAIN'S DEBUT ALBUM "EARLY RELEASE"

1. Don't You Know That

2. Life's Like

3 .Heat Of The Rhyme: Feat Chum The Skrilla Gorilla

4. 2 O'clock Man

5. My Addiction

6. Love Is Real

7. I Can Hear You Comin'

8. Maryjane: Feat DJ Chum the Skrilla Gorilla

9. All I Need

10. Till It Hurts

11. I Like Flyin: Feat DJ Chum the Skrilla Gorilla

Photos

Bio

King Henry V may have coined the term "band of brothers" to describe his soldiers way back in 1415, but Flowers & Kain are the modern day personification of that phrase. Composed of guitarist Ryan "Killa" Kain, vocalist/rapper Bryan "Bobby Flow" Flowers, drummer Nathaniel "Nasty" Scott, and bassist Josh "Varsity" Vera, the New London, Connecticut quartet maintain a familial synergy that comes across in their unique blend of hip-hop, rock and reggae, resulting in a refreshing sound all their own. "The name Flowers & Kain has come from a lifetime of brotherhood," explains Bobby Flow, who founded the group with his childhood friend Killa Kain. "Kain and I have been best friends since we were five years old. Our names were always lumped together because of our sports accolades, throwing ridiculous parties and just being ourselves. We both held this persona of honesty, camaraderie, drive and persistence that wheel barreled into the personality of the band. There is so much depth in the name."

All four members fell in love with music at an early age. Killa Kain's father managed a local rock club, where his mother bartended and recalls her then-unborn son grooving to the tunes from inside the womb. Kain would later take up the guitar as a kid and perfect his craft throughout his college years. Bobby Flow's mother was a member of South Carolina State's marching band, so he learned how to play the trumpet when he was eight and started writing songs by the time he was 10. Nasty had a similar musical pedigree, playing the drums since elementary school and sharpening his skills throughout his late teens. Josh Vera is the band's newest member and he's been truly amazing. over 10 years of experience, adept in various styles of music ranging from Hard core rock, to his favorite funk. While they all followed different paths, these four like minded individuals came together with one common goal in mind to make impact-full music. "For us, music was a lifelong love," says Bobby Flow. "Playing music started out as something that we just did as kids. Nobody ever told us to do it. It was the first thing we ever worked really hard at without a teacher or a coach motivating us." How the band came together, though, was a completely organic chain events. Back in 2005, Killa Kain and Bobby Flow signed up for a open mic event at Hanafin's Irish Pub in New London CT( their hometown). Forging a on-going working relationship, the duo spent the next few months developing a set that they'd perform throughout the area on a weekly basis. Eventually picking up a drummer, Flowers & Kain made its professional debut during a 2006 Cinco de Mayo show. Success began to steamroll from there. That June, they opened for platinum-selling singer/songwriter Ne-Yo during a New London performance. Within their first year together, Flowers & Kain was approached to play at various high profile events including Sailfest, a popular three-day festival that draws over 300,000 spectators each summer. Based of their ever-growing fan base and energetic performances, the band quickly racked up press in respected publications like The New London Day, Norwich Bulletin, New Haven Advocate and Westerly Sun. By March of 2008, Flowers & Kain went through a brief lineup change as their original drummer left the fold and was replaced by Nasty. Killa Kain explains, "Nasty brought his own style and colorful feel to the group."

Once the lineup was finalized, Flowers & Kain put out their first studio project, Early Release. Available online and sold hand-to-hand during performances, the album highlighted their infectious, genre-bending sound and spawned key records that have furthered their notoriety. Crowd pleasers like the head nodding "Heat of the Rhyme" and the ultra cool "I Like Flyin"epitomize their ability to craft tracks that defy definition and speak to the realities of the human experience. Flowers & Kain's breakout hit, however, is the upbeat "2 O'clock Man," which has gotten consistent spins on New London radio stations, which virtually unheard of for an unsigned act. "Every song we had was ripped right from the front pages of our lives," explains Bobby Flow."Our experiences with our friends, families, and life are the base of our creativity. Our approach is to keep the music hot, meaningful and real to the soul."

In addition to working on new material for their next release and securing a label deal, Flower & Kain is continuing to rack up high profile performances alongside the likes of Universal recording artist Colin Munroe and budding hip-hop star Asher Roth. With plans for a national boutique tour in the works, this band of brothers is ready to make a full-scale assault on the industry. "There was a crucial time when we were juniors in high school and the potion of Biggie Smalls and Jay-Z's music, Led Zeppelin's rock, and Jimi Hendrix's guitar genius further guided us to where we knew we wanted to be in music," says Bobby Flow. "We knew then how we we