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|Birth name||James Laurie|
|Also known as||Jonny 5, Jamie Laurie|
October 6, 1977 |
Denver, Colorado, U.S.
|Genres||Alternative hip hop, alternative rock, indie rock|
|Occupation(s)||Musician, songwriter, singer, rapper|
|Years active||2000 - present|
James Laurie (born in Denver, Colorado, on October 6, 1977) better known by his stage name Jonny 5, is the singer and founder of the American musical group, Flobots. He is the only member who has been with the band since its inception in 2000. His rap influences include Andre 3000, Black Thought, Common, MF Doom, Aceyalone, Boots, Pep Love, Breeze Brewin', De La Soul Mystik, Big Gipp, Jay‑Z, Cee‑Lo, Del the Funky Homosapien, Lateef, Lyrics Born, Gift of Gab, The Grouch, Lupe Fiasco, Kanye West, and Young MC.
He was a paraeducator at East High School in Denver, Colorado, tasked with the management of the school's tutoring center; he left East High School when the Flobots became signed. While still working at East High School, Jamie was involved in many clubs and activities including PeaceJam and a hip-hop club. He also graduated from East High. In late 2012, he released a mixtape entitled "I Hope You Like It", featuring 31 different rhymes that he had been creating and posting on his YouTube channel for the previous three years.
Career with Flobots
Jonny 5 formed the Flobots in 2000 while teaming up with producer Farhad Ebrahimi, a.k.a. Yahktoe. Together they released the independently released album Onomatopoeia in 2001, and the title track ended up in a compilation by the MIT Songwriting Club at Yahktoe's alma mater. The title track featured guitar player David Gralow, cello player Terrence Favors, and bass player Jaymz Haynes.
After the release of Jonny 5 and Yak's Onomatopoeia album, the Jonny 5 went on an extended hiatus. It was 2005 that Jonny 5 decided to form a new band with another lead MC, Brer Rabbit. Instead, he and Brer Rabbit decided to keep Flobots, adding five new members: Mackenzie Gault on the viola, Jesse Walker on the bass guitar, Andy Guerrero (from funk band Bop Skizzum) on guitar, Joe Ferrone (also from Bop Skizzum) on trumpet, and Kenny Ortiz on drums. In October 2005, the revamped Flobots released their second album, Flobots Present...Platypus, which went on to sell more than 3,000 copies over the next two years.
Flobots signed to Universal Republic, who reissued their second album, Fight with Tools, which was originally released in October 2007. The album sold very well, due to the success of its lead single "Handlebars", which became a popular hit on Modern Rock radio in the spring of 2008. In the week of June 7, 2008, the album jumped on the Billboard 200 chart 168 places and peaked at #15, proving to be the band's most successful album to date.
Following the lukewarm reception to Survival Story, the Flobots were let go by Universal. They have continued to tour and finished a new album, titled The Circle in the Square, released on August 28, 2012.
- "Jonny 5". Retrieved 8 April 2015.
- "Flobots, Fray bowling for a cause". Colorado Daily. Retrieved 2009-09-15.
- "TEDxDU - Brackett and Laurie - 5/13/10". TEDx. Retrieved 2010-07-20.
- "Jonny 5: Don't Put Down Your Flag: America in Flux". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2010-07-22.
- "Flobots". Facebook. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
- "Album Launch Day". Archived from the original on 2013-01-23. Retrieved 2012-09-27.