Their nicknames may get you laughing, but LMFAO is training to party…and they know it.
Sky Blu isn’t laughing right now. Actually, he’s in a little bit of pain. Home from an extensive tour in support of LMFAO’s gold-certified sophomore set Sorry For Party Rocking and performing during the halftime show of the Super Bowl, the covocalist of the electro pop duo is sitting in a recliner with an orthopedic pillow behind his back.
The party animal, otherwise known as Skyler Gordy, is nursing three herniated discs. Although his extreme sports background as a teenager hasn’t contributed to the injury too much, his hectic tour schedule has deteriorated his back. Living the rock star lifestyle, which includes constant traveling packed jam-tight into small places, has simply taken its toll. Sky Blu, however, is looking to correct that. In just a few weeks, he plans to resume his Kung Fu training at White Tiger Martial Arts in Los Angeles, California. After all, the martial art has helped him on both a physical and mental level.
“I need to mold my body and get back into the shape I was in when I was younger so this doesn’t happen again,” says the 25-year-old. “Once our schedule clears, I’m going to get back in the dojo. I’m usually there anywhere from two to four hours—training, meditating, and learning about the history of the martial art. I’m interested in where it comes from and why it was created.”
He’s not kidding. Briefly mention the topic and the party rock musician will rattle off a five-minute summary about the nearly 400-year history of White Tiger Kung Fu (also known as Bak Fu Pai)—a Southern Chinese discipline passed on from Daoist monk Fung Doe Duk to Grandmaster Doo Wai’s family in exchange for keeping him hidden from the Qing Dynasty.
Truth be told, fighting is in Sky Blu’s blood. His grandfather, Berry Gordy, Jr., competed as a featherweight boxer and won the golden gloves before he created iconic record label Motown. In addition, Sky Blu’s father, Berry Gordy IV, who is keeping him company on this bright winter afternoon, learned a couple of fighting disciplines that he taught his son. “We both took Shotokan karate, and before that, my pops took judo, so we’d wrestle around the house,” says the LMFAO member. “We had punching bags hanging up in every corner of the room, so we would always train on that.”
Sky Blu lived in the Pacific Palisades— a neighborhood within Los Angeles—and grew up with several members of the legendary Gracie family. Through them, he became familiar with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. While he didn’t obtain a belt or become a ground wizard by any means, he learned how to defend himself when the fight hit the floor.
“I started picking up a lot of skills from that,” he recalls. “I studied a lot of the Gracie tapes, and really started utilizing it and rolling with a lot of my friends who had been doing jiu-jitsu for years. Just the fact that I know how to be calm on my back is important. I started doing pretty well and competed with some cats that were my friends. They really tested me.”
Not only did his father introduce him to various martial arts, but it was also his pops who showed the electro pop sensation a tape of UFC 1. Sky Blu was hooked immediately when he saw his MMA idol and local hero Royce Gracie dismantle the opposition in the tournament. Over the years, he and his dad have attended various fight cards, including UFC 60 and UFC 76, featuring the headlining bout between Chuck Liddell and Keith Jardine.
In fact, Sky Blu originally aspired to be in the UFC. “I used to want to be an MMA fighter, bad,” he admits. “I was doing all these different types of disciplines. But then, my music career took off, and I didn’t have the time to train, and I probably would have got my ass beat, because I didn’t have the time to do it.”
Then again, music is in his blood, too. Formed in 2006 with his uncle, Redfoo, both members of LMFAO were Los Angelesbased deejays who possessed a spirited vibe, a rock-tinged swag, and a smooth hip-hop delivery to boot. The electro pop duo signed with Interscope Records in 2008 and dropped their Grammy-nominated debut album Party Rock a year later. It contained smash records “I’m in Miami Bitch,” “La La La,” and “Shots” featuring Lil’ Jon. In addition, “Get Crazy” serves as the gorilla juicehead theme song to Jersey Shore.
LMFAO’s biggest success came in 2011 when they dropped their sophomore set Sorry For Party Rocking. The 10-track collection, which was certified gold, spawned numerous hits, including “Party Rock Anthem” and “Champagne Showers” featuring Natalia Kills. Their mega single, “Sexy And I Know It,” went on to top the Billboard Hot 100 as well as the charts in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.
The California twosome will continue to support Sorry For Party Rocking in the spring. Although Sky Blu’s herniated discs won’t be entirely healed, he’ll be able to manage the pain a little bit better. “I’m still gonna have to deal with it, but it’s gonna get less and less painful,” he says. “Basically, I gotta train to party!”
Last August, LMFAO filmed the music video for their playful single “Sexy And I Know It” in Venice Beach, California. Days before the shoot, Sky Blu got a phone call from a friend who represented Alistair Overeem and offered to bring him by the set.
Sky Blu, a fan of “The Demolition Man,” was excited to meet one of his favorite mixed martial artists and even decided to throw the monstrous Dutchman into the music video. He’s not hard to spot in the video.
“He’s like the coolest guy ever,” the musician says. “We got some shots of him for the video. We kicked it, and he was just a cool dude.”
Once the cameras were off, however, the two talked about their martial arts background and that led to a future challenge. “I told Alistair that we’re going to spar, and I was playing around with him on the set. He’s so strong that he doesn’t even know his own strength. He grabbed me, and I was like, ‘Ah, no! I gotta film in this outfit, man,’” Sky Blue says with a chuckle. “He is absolutely colossal.”