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Remyz
Courtesy photo

Homegrown Band the Remyz Plays What Feels Right

The Remyz doesn't sound like a typical Miami band, but it might just be one of the most Miami acts playing in the city right now. The five-piece lineup includes a Bahamian frontman, a Colombian bassist, an African-American drummer, a Puerto Rican guitarist, and a Dominican guitarist. They all attended Miami Palmetto Senior High together. Even the way they started playing together sounds particularly apt for this town.

The musicians were all in a jazz band, "but then we started skipping class and started jamming together a bunch," says Oscar Familia, one of the guitarists. "There was an auditorium near the jazz room, so we'd just skip there. Nobody was in the auditorium during class, so we'd just be jamming out. We'd bring in all the speakers, everything, in the auditorium... while people were testing." The bandmates even recall one session when they were caught by a school security guard — who promptly joined them and began playing keyboards.

The Remyz' sound is difficult to nail down because each member brings his own musical aesthetic. Drummer Justin Godbolt plays gospel music at church. Oscar Familia, one of the guitarists, has recently become hooked on mariachi music. Their collective vibe is something akin to what Morris Day and the Time might've sounded like if they were in their early 20s and came up in Miami rather than Minneapolis: funky with plenty of bounce and heavy hints of Latin jazz, rock 'n' roll, R&B, and soul.

Practically all of the members play an instrument different from the one they started on in their jazz-band days, which, according to Davis, contributes to how they make music. "We trust everybody's feeling. I feel like we all know that we have pretty good musical ears for each other, especially with how we're not on our original instruments, so we have to really play by feeling and what feels right," the 21-year-old frontman says. "That's what kind of band we are."

That strategy of trusting one another and playing what feels right works for this group of friends. In their short career thus far, they've carved out a niche in their city. They were named Songwriters Showcase of America's band of the year in 2017,and won Hard Rock Rising Stars' Battle of the Bands 2017 in Miami. So far, the Remyz has released only one EP, The Sunshine Pt. 1, which came out last September. But the band aims to make the most of 2018.

"We have a big plan," Davis explains. "We're trying to release a music video. We have our logo that's almost done that we're releasing as our brand, our new look. We're releasing merch; we're releasing our next EP that we're currently writing. We're planning on releasing all those things at once. Pow — hit 'em hard."

You can find the Remyz' music on Spotify and YouTube, but where they shine as an act is onstage. This is a young band, one that's still finding its stroke in the recording process, but the members' talents — individually and collectively — really gel when they're live. The disparate qualities of each musician's styles are all the more cohesive in front of a crowd, and that aspect, thus far, has been one of the key factors to the band's successes.

But bassist Chris Martinez says they aren't interested in simply doing what they know. "We're all constantly wanting to change the way we play so we're not at the same constant thing. We all like to keep growing as musicians," he begins and then pauses.

Davis completes his thought, as old friends often do: "We challenge ourselves every day. We're always challenging ourselves."

The Remyz. 9 p.m. Thursday, February 15, at Las Rosas, 2898 NW Seventh Ave., Miami; 786-780-2700; lasrosasbar.com. Admission is free.

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