Beyond Skillz is a husband and wife east coast duo residing in Tampa, Florida. The two crew members Jared Thomas (a.k.a. Imperial) and Josie Thomas (a.k.a. Symalee) have worked with various producers and artists such as T.R.U. L.I.F.E. of the Crossmovement, Bonified of Grits, Los-1, Urban Disciple and many more. The two have been married for almost three years and have two children. They attend Crossover Community Church where Tommy Kyllonen a.k.a. Urban Disciple is the pastor. They believe that ministry, sound and quality are the essentials in this Hip-Hop industry.
Imperial is a Florida native born in Dunedin, Florida. He has committed himself to Hip-Hop since the age of seven and was influenced by many different Christian artists such as DC Talk, Preachas, Freedom of Soul and many more. The conviction of the Lord always followed him through his teenage years and he soon surrendered himself to his calling in the Hip-Hop ministry. His father is a full-time associate Pastor; he Pastors the youth department and is the minister of music at FBC of Safety Harbor. Imperial has grown up with positive influences and now has a continual fire for Christ burning in his heart.
Symalee is a Puerto Rican born in Brooklyn, New York. She always had a desire for poetry, writing, singing and putting out a record of her own. She was raised in Brooklyn until the age of thirteen, her parents moved her to the Tampa Bay Area and she has resided there ever since. She was not raised in the church and did not come to accept the Lord until the age of sixteen at a youth convention. In the year 2000 she became a part of Crossover Community Church and a member of the worship team. In October 2002, she was asked to become the Music Department Director at Crossover Community Church. She believes that through diligence, hard work and Gods calling that she will be prepared for the future God has in store for her through music.
As members of Crossover Community Church, Beyond Skillz participates in all Flavor Alliance Concerts, which are given four times a year. They are active members of the Church and both work together in the music ministry as well. They involve their children in all concert activities. Their son, Ernesto (seven) break dances and their daughter, Trinity (19 months) is too small to be involved just yet. They feel it is important to teach their children good values and positive thinking. For this reason they are seeking to minister a positive message with good values to the urban society of today.
Beyond Skillz album Essential Fundamentals released September 23. Their CD release party was on October 3, 2003 and there were almost three hundred people in attendance. They have sold about 200 copies to date, and have T-shirts, stickers and flats available for their fans to purchase. They have also performed at many other venues and churches. Together they have made a commitment to follow and serve God; their goal is to minister the gospel with Hip-Hop as their MOUTHPIECE.