WHO ARE WE
The genesis of rising Hip-Hop/Pop duo, XUITCASECITY (pronounced Suitcase City), was anything but a sure bet. Mike Gomes grew up in Safety Harbor, Florida, about 20 miles west of Tampa. A singer of Italian and French Canadian heritage, he got his first guitar when he was 15. By 17, though, Mike decided to incorporate singing into his act. Since he didn’t know any producers, he taught himself how to produce his own work. As he developed his musical chops, Mike gravitated toward the work of indietronica 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 Cam 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 Cam’s interest in and proficiency as a rapper and a singer.
A mutual Facebook friend provided Cam with a connection to Mike, who started receiving tracks from Cam via messenger in 2012. Mike didn’t listen to Cam’s work initially, though. “A month or two after he sent the first track, he sent another one,” Mike recalls. “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.”