TAMPA — Xuitcasecity will take the stage Friday, July 12, 9 p.m., at Crowbar is at 1812 N. 17th St., Tampa.
Advance tickets start at $12. Call 813-241-8600 or visit www.crowbarybor.com.
The genesis of this rising hip-hop pop duo was anything but a sure bet. Mike Gomes grew up in Safety Harbor. A singer of Italian and French-Canadian heritage, he got his first guitar when he was 15. By 17, though, Gomes decided to incorporate singing into his act. Since he didn’t know any producers, he taught himself how to produce his own work.
As Gomes developed his musical chops, he gravitated toward the work of indie electronic acts such as Passion Pit. Concurrently, budding African-American rapper Cam Young was growing up in the Tampa area. He and his family had relocated to Florida from New Jersey when Young was 7, and his father brought his affinity for New York hip-hop with him, exposing his son to the work of The Notorious B.I.G., Nas, Jay Z and Big L. His mother, on the other hand, preferred the work of Michael Jackson and Prince — hence Young’s interest in and proficiency as a rapper and a singer.
A mutual Facebook friend provided Young with a connection to Gomes, who started receiving tracks from his new associate via messenger in 2012. Gomes didn’t listen to Young’s work initially, though.
“A month or two after he sent the first track, he sent another one,” Gomes said. “Usually people don’t follow up and he did. So, I gave it a listen. And it turns out it was the whole vibe I was on. His style of music was combining rap and indie music. That was a big turn on for me music-wise.”
Together, they formed Xuitcasecity— pronounced Suitcase City.