Lukus Simari: I grew up on a beautiful lake in a Massachusetts suburb until I was seven years old. My life took a tragic turn when I lost my father to a 21-year prison sentence, leaving my mother as the sole caretaker and provider. We moved to Lowell, Massachusetts, and I grew up in the wake of my father’s indiscretions. I spent my teen years making plenty of my own misinformed choices. Substance abuse, gangs, car boosting, drug dealing, and reckless sex numbed my pain and filled my voids. It was my way of life, and by fifteen years old I was neck-deep in a dead-end lifestyle. But I thought I was invincible. My mother recognized my musical abilities from a young age. Despite my resistance to faith, she never stopped praying for my deliverance, and I ultimately came to know and love Christ. After a life-changing motorcycle accident, I rededicated my life to Jesus and since then I’ve had the opportunity to travel the United States and the world, spreading God’s love through music. I’ve also been blessed with an unbelievably supportive and beautiful family.I presently co-own LuZen Productions with partner Zenzo Matoga, and I am co-director of UNOW Youth. I am a worship leader, music director, and youth and young adult pastor at Community Christian Fellowship in Lowell, Massachusetts, and I organize a quarterly concert and worship series called I Believe In Love. I also own and operate AAA Multimedia, and additionally work in public schools coordinating peer education groups. Meeting Bobby was definitely a pivotal moment in my career. Bobby has so much to say and amazing, real stories of the forgotten and the lost. We successfully merged 2 independent careers that complement one other tremendously. Bobby and I are each in a defining season of our lives, and we genuinely care about making deliberate and purposeful music. When it works, it works.
Bobby Bishop: I was recently honored on a large public platform, and I realized in that moment that, through all of my peaks and valleys, God has remained so remarkably faithful in my life. I grew up in a quiet Boston suburb, and embraced hip-hop at an early age. I gravitated towards emcees with a message, with heart. When I was young, I had no capacity to fully comprehend the lyrics or the culture out of which hip-hop was birthed, but the passion behind the words resonated deeply. I began leading youth programs in gritty Lynn, Massachusetts as a sophomore in college, and I never looked back. I adopted rap and it became my tool of expression and outreach. My desire has always been to use music to add value to others and to pen words that challenge the listener and reflect honest struggles and victories. I’ve had the opportunity to travel the country and the world and play on some amazing stages, from the Bronx, New York to Butte, Montana, from Charleston, West Virginia to Kingston, Jamaica. Nothing, however, will ever compare to local, everyday encounters. Along the way I’ve been able to find that balance. My day-to-day life as a social worker fuels my fire, as I’m quite literally “in the trenches” on a daily basis. These experiences, however trying, continue to inspire my writing and remind me that I have been given a platform to inspire people and point them towards Christ. My vision is to continue to make quality, relevant songs, and to put words into action, exemplifying Jesus. I have a beautiful family, and they’ve been behind me all the way. I am one of the founding members of East Coast International Church in Lynn, and I have fulfilled roles of youth pastor, mentor, driver, and greeter over the last thirteen years. Our church is a haven for our community and sets an example of unconditional love to an arguably overlooked and neglected community. I am also a newly appointed co-director of UNOW Youth. I’ve had the opportunity to be represented by several major record labels including subsidiaries of Sony/BMG, Word/Warner, and Universal. I’ve also had the pleasure to perform on the same bill with countless music acts from Jars of Clay to Seventh Day Slumber, from Lecrae to Andy Mineo. I met Lukus in 2010, and we mutually recognized that we were on the same page. We’re Massachusetts guys. His commitment to his community mirrored mine, and a culmination of our respective record releases, concerts, and outreach all came together. We realized we shared the same values, a faith in God, and a desire to genuinely affect audiences with our message. His talent as a singer, songwriter, and producer refined my focus, challenged my work ethic, and elevated my abilities as an emcee. Essentially, he took me to new heights with his dedication to excellence and his knowledge and God-given talents. We put on a ridiculous live show and we’ve got some amazing stories to share.