Sun | Oct 2, 2022

5 Questions with Blvk H3ro

Published:Friday | August 19, 2022 | 12:08 AMYasmine Peru/Senior Gleaner Writer
Born Hervin Augustus Bailey Jr, Blvk H3ro is the child of a minister and it was music at church that first excited his creativity.
Born Hervin Augustus Bailey Jr, Blvk H3ro is the child of a minister and it was music at church that first excited his creativity.
Blvk H3ro
Blvk H3ro
Blvk H3ro
Blvk H3ro

Reggae singer Blvk H3ro (pronounced ‘Black Hero’), who is signed to Delicious Vinyl Island, is on his very first tour of the United States of America and from all reports, he has been blowing up the summer tour circuit. From Wynwood in Florida to Los Angeles and San Francisco in California, to New York, Rhode Island, Boston and Oregon, the reggae troubadour is making an astounding musical impact.

“The audiences connected with each and every song,” he said, as words like ‘mind-blowing’ and ‘incredible’ drop from his lips.

Blvk H3ro started the tour with only four confirmed dates; however, as he started engaging his audiences, that number swelled to 20. It was supposed to be his maiden US tour, but as of now, Canada is also on the table and so, too, is the motherland, Africa.

“Anywhere music or reggae calls me, I am ready to go,” H3ro told The Gleaner from his latest stop in California.

The Rastafarian singer and songwriter, who hails from Waterford in Portmore, started playing drums at the age of eight, and by the time he reached 13 he was already a passionate young singer on the choir. As the child of a minister, his bio states that it was the music at church that would first excite his creativity, and it was this spiritual upbringing and dedication to service that would play a pivotal role in his later emergence as a messenger for this generation.

Christened Hervin Augustus Bailey Jr, his rebellious nature as a youth led him to experiment with new and divergent sounds outside the strict gospel -laden discipline of his household. Eventually, this brave quest landed him on stage, performing in school talent shows and concerts, channelling Michael Jackson, Kirk Franklin and Sugar Minott. It was during this time as a free-spirited singer that he started to put serious thought and effort into honing his craft; and it was at this time that signs began to emerge signalling the arrival of Blvk H3ro.

1.Has the tour lived up to your expectations?

This tour has gone way beyond my greatest expectation! We started with four dates and now we have over 20, and still expanding. I am humbled.

2.Would you consider this tour a learning experience?

I came here as a sponge. It’s like I am a student again. The stagecraft is different in Jamaica, but I look back and realise that all the early training that I received was preparing me for this moment. And to think that at the time I was so young that I used to complain. It has been an eye-opener.

3.Where has this journey taken you so far?

We started in Miami on June 29, and so far we have travelled to California, Humbold, Arcadia, parts of the East Coast of the US … Providence. The Woodstock show was mind-blowing. To think that greats such as Michael Jackson performed on that stage and my name is now added to that list.

4.What has been the highest high for you so far?

When I performed at the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco [on July 10]. The history behind it is that the people fought to make it a live venue that would host only free concerts. My whole performance changed on that show. After videos of me performing there started making the rounds, some of the people who had been contacted before reached out to my team. That’s how I ended up on Stephen’s (Marley) Babylon By Bus Tour.

5.You enjoyed sold-out shows with Stephen Marley. Do you think that your fans came out to see you?

They certainly did. Stephen shared the stats with me, and he pointed out that 1,500 people came to the venue early just to see me. So that was really a great feeling, and I want to say a special ‘thank you’ to all my supporters. And ... I was introduced to a new set of reggae fans who came to see Stephen, so it is a win-win situation for me right there.