Fronted by brothers Marcus and Lewon Payne of Renova, MS, The Gran Boiz have been playing across the region for decades. They began their musical careers early by singing in their church choir, but, Marcus remarks humorously, they “eventually figured out a way to get out of the choir…and became musicians.” As they grew older, they were influenced by a wide variety of artists: from fellow Mississippians Sam Cooke and B.B. King to music greats like Ray Charles and James Brown, as well as pioneers of other genres such as rock legend Jimi Hendrix and rapper 2Pac. The brothers honed their instrumental abilities over the years as the backing band for blues artist Mississippi Slim who gave them the moniker Gran Boiz.
Their various influences and multiple musical abilities have earned them the right to share the stage with soul/R&B singers Betty Padgett, TK Soul, Benny Lattimore, and Sir Charles Jones, along with GRAMMY® winner Bobby Rush, and even hip hop group Three 6 Mafia. “We can fit in any genre and can play pretty much anything,” says Marcus. Depending on the event and the environment, The Gran Boiz play blues, R&B, soul, gospel, pop, reggae, and even country.