Fly Union – Where Dreams Come True
What happens when three young creative and musically inclined individuals come together? Let’s ask Jerreau, JaySwif and IyeBall of Fly.Union. However, if you don’t know who Fly.Union is, let’s take a minute to get to know the fellas. The trio hails from the buckeye state also known as Ohio. Since 2008, they have been weaving their way throughout the music scene in the Midwest and the rest of the country by releasing small projects called ‘Value Packs’ and collaborating with up-and-coming hip-hop artists such as Big Sean, Dom Kennedy and many others.
Last April, they released their first full-length album The Greater Than Club. This sparked attention from the likes of JAY-Z, while gaining the already endowed support of NBA superstar LeBron James. At the moment, Fly.U (for short) is touring the country, prepping the launch of their second album The Greater Than Club II. While making a stop in Dallas, I had the opportunity to sit down with the Ohio natives to see what they have in store for us this year. Down below is the transcribed text of our interview for your viewing pleasure while you listen to their music on youtube. Also, you can hear the full interview down below.
Me: So if you guys could introduce yourselves…obviously you guys are Fly.Union…
IyeBall: What’s poppin’ FN Mag, it’s Fly. U … Columbus, Ohio… they call me IyeBall.
JaySwif: I’m JaySwif.
Jerreau: It’s Jerreau, but my friends call me BankReau.
Me: This is your first time in Dallas, and we already talked how you guys were enjoying the experience and all… so, with the release of TGTC last year, what can we expect from you guys this year?
Jerreau: More music, more shows, more clothes from The Greater than Club (clothing) line. You know we’ve been on the road…last week we had off…week before that we were in New York, Newark (New Jersey) and Philly. We did a show at Swarthmore College. So, you know all the above; just keep your eyes and ears open.
Me: As a fan, I’m expecting The Greater than Club II, but before that, there’s usually a small Value Pack, is that coming out anytime soon?
IyeBall: We’ve tossed the idea around, you know, right now we’re busy on the road. We’re just working on songs right now. We’ve got a couple of releases coming out, a couple visuals, a couple more songs. We might do a Value Pack, we might just go straight into the full album. We recently dropped “Gone”, our first single off of TGTC II… we’ve got the ‘5000’ video coming up. So, that’s what next. We’re just constantly working on the project. If it’s there, and we need it, it’s there.
Me: Within Fly.Union, I know there’s MnkeyWrench (JaySwif and IyeBall). With “Until Forever” (an EP released last year), can we expect a sequel?
JaySwif: We work on songs here and there; see, I don’t know if there’s (going to be a sequel), but there is something coming soon.
Me: So, with major labels, independent labels and indie labels: do you guys see yourselves at anytime signing with a label, or are you trying to stay independent and grind?
Jerreau: Regardless, we’re going to make music. That independent aspect will never change. So, right now we’re just going to keep doing what we’re doing. Take the opportunities as they come if it makes sense. If it makes sense to sign with a major (label) one day, maybe you’ll see that. But until then, we’ll keep the boat afloat.
Me: You guys have major looks from people like LeBron James, Drake, everyone up north and even JAY Z…
IyeBall: Coming from Ohio, you know what I mean, close-knit network, we’ve got a lot of friends in various circles so it’s great to have those associations and having respect from our peers… you know we’re just going to keep making music. You know, we did a venture with HypeMusic… we stay on our grind. We just want to make sure that we provide music for the fans.
Me: Given the whole subculture movement…new brands, the streetwear movement, where do you see your position as artists?
Jerreau: Personally, I don’t where streetwear brands. I guess The Greater Than Club (their clothing line) is more streetwear driven right now with crewnecks and fitted hats. Ideally, we would like to move into cut&sewn, but we just do what we like. At the end of the day, you really can’t box us in, fit us in anywhere. We’ll just let the chips fall into place.
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Me: Who is your dream collaboration?
JaySwif: It’s too many artists.
Jerreau: A lot of dreams (collaborations). I guess that’s our motto: Fly dot U “Where Dreams Come True”. We’re just trying to build on our brand and our name…when it comes to the beat/ production side, I’m not really sure.
Me: So, if Kanye said…
Fly Union: (laughter)
Me: But you don’t have that set collaboration in mind?
IyeBall: It changes by the week; it’s so many great artists out there. We’re working on some great collabos; as far as collabs, just look out for the new project. We’ve got some of our favorite artists, upcoming artists like P.Blakk. Most of our collabs just work out; we just put music out, at one point we imagined…there’s a lot of big names acts that we would be honored to work with. When the time comes, we’ll cross that bridge.
Me: On the topic of Lana del Ray, do you think she deserves the flack she’s been receiving lately? JaySwif: I think she’s good. Who’s she signed to?
Me: I think Interscope or Jive
JaySwif(continued): She’s unique. I haven’t heard the album, but from what I’ve seen…
Me: Brian Williams said that her performance was the worst performance on SNL of all time.
JaySwif: See, I heard the same thing. Do you think her performance was that bad.
Me: It wasn’t that… (pause for thought)…It wasn’t that bad; it was alright, I guess. I think a lot of people put her on this super tall pedestal and expected greatness.
Jerreau: I don’t really know who she is, so I can’t speak on the issue.
Me: Superbowl picks? What about those?
Jerreau: Whoever scores the most points… (laughs) I gave up on the whole favorite team concept. You know I just like entertainment… as long as it’s a good game.
IyeBall: I don’t even know who’s playing bro.
JaySwif: I like the Giants’ jerseys.
Jerreau: Who do I think is going to win?
IyeBall: Ohio State football next year.
Jerreau: They’re on probation for a while (laughs). We do have the number six recruiting class coming in though.
Me: Oh, really?
Jerreau: But, I think the Patriots are going to take it, but the Giants might win.
JaySwif: New York BACK!
After a small side chat about which I would be supporting in this year’s Superbowl and my neighbors that came through to support, I expressed my gratitude for the opportunity to interview them, and they proceeded to get ready for their soundcheck at Trees.
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