Paris-born reggae singer, Bazil, recording album in Jamaica
Following the success of his single, Together Tonight, featured on the soundtrack for the box-office hit, Destiny, Paris-born reggae singer, Bazil, is currently in the island recording songs for his second studio album slated to be completed in September.
The French-singer told The Sunday Gleaner that he started listening to reggae music at 11 years old and was immediately hooked. "I found an old Bob Marley recording at my parents place (the songs he was making before Island Records like Mellow Mood, Caution, There She Goes, African Herbsman, Do it Twice) and although I didn't get the lyrics, I was attracted to the sound of that music instantly."
Admitting that he was always fascinated by the Jamaican culture, the up-and-coming reggae artiste said he started recording at age 15, experimenting with different genres, but ultimately sticking to reggae. "It came naturally, I didn't really plan it," he said. "I started to do some recording at my friend's place back when I was 15, covering some old songs, rock, pop, but the thing I was feeling the most was reggae. People in my hometown started to give me some good feedback about what I was making, so I decided to keep doing it."
There are some critics who believe that the introduction of non-Jamaicans in the reggae industry can only harm the music, but Bazil believes that as long as the music is right and honest, there is no need to separate Jamaicans from non-Jamaicans. "Right now, what people hear all over is a result of all these exchanges, so let's just listen to the music that touches us," he said. "There are talented people everywhere, and even if Jamaica is the motherland of reggae, you see it getting really big abroad too, and artistes and producers from different countries are making great tracks, so I think we should just let the music flow and just let the whole thing naturally evolve without trying to label it too much."
Bazil, who has been in the island for the past couple of weeks, said he has met with a few producers and is working on getting his album finished for a September release date. "I got here couple weeks ago and I met a few producers like Teflon, (who is Chronixx's producer), Jordan from Chimney Records, and we are just getting started," he said. "Jeremy Whittaker, the Destiny director, is the one helping me make all those connections. I'm working with his upcoming music label, Grasshopper Productions. I think we have a common vision and I feel like it's going to be a great collaboration."
And on the issue of collaborations, Bazil said a few are in his plans. "A few are in the making but I don't like to plan things too much," he explained. "Usually in the past, the best connections I've made happened by chance, on the spot, so I'm just going to try to do the best I can and we'll see what comes along the way. Jamaica is full of talented artistes, so I'm not worried at all."
Revealing that he has a lot of respect for everybody in the music industry, Bazil listed Bob Marley, Buju Banton, the Gladiators, Yellowman, Junior Gong, James Brown and Ottis Redding as some of his biggest inspirations. "The music world has always been something that captivated me, and I've got a lot of respect for everybody that decided to go this road, because it's not the easiest one, but to me it's definitely one of the most beautiful."
The artiste is also set to release an EP by the end of this month.