The West Coast club act Jupiter Rising was originally formed by Spencer Nezey and 8o Bug, the latter of whom was replaced by vocalist Jessie Payo in 2007. 8o Bug got her start singing gospel music; the daughter of missionary parents who traveled throughout the South, she wasn't allowed to listen to secular material until age 13. As a result, the training she received in gospel afforded her a vocal edge that few of her peers could match. Meanwhile, Sacramento native Spencer Nezey took up the saxophone during elementary school and began performing in various jazz combos throughout the subsequent years. He also began beat-boxing, taking inspiration from underground hip-hop and and the diverse sounds of A Tribe Called Quest.
After fronting a short-lived rock band, 8o made her way to California and became entrenched in the state's bustling dance scene. It was by happy accident that she ran into Nezey, who had already canvassed the scene's venues in his hip-hop/reggae outfit the Beats and the funky side project Stereo Science. The two hit it off and began working in earnest on new material for the already formed six-piece band that 8o had assembled. Nezey's contributions proved to be more roadworthy than the band's existing material, though, so the six-piece was scrapped and the two set out as a duo. They soon grabbed the attention of Chime Records impresario/producer Marc Tanner, who signed Jupiter Rising and sent them into the recording studio.
With additional production help from Jason Villaroman (Black Eyed Peas, Macy Gray), 8o and Nezey put the finishing touches on their debut and released the self-titled album in September 2006. "Go!" became a popular club single, peaking at number 24 on the dance charts and boosting Jupiter Rising's popularity along the way. The song also found its way into several movies and commercials, but 8o nevertheless left the group in 2007, with singer Jessie Payo climbing aboard in her place. A native of Los Angeles, Payo had originally established her credentials on the blues circuit, which she first toured as a young teenager. European electronic acts like the Knife and Daft Punk also informed Payo's diverse sound, though, and she merged both sides of her musical personality with Jupiter Rising. The band unveiled its new lineup on the 2007 effort Electropop, whose downtempo title track became a Top 20 dance hit. Released one year later, the L.A. Girls/Tres Cool EP offered two songs that had previously been heard on MTV's The Hills; the EP also gave fans a taste of Jupiter Rising's third album, The Quiet Hype, which arrived in March 2009. ~ Andrew Leahey & J. Scott McClintock