FYIG recently got the chance to chat with reggae-soul-hop artist Melodic Yoza about his new single Celebrate. Read on to find out more about his experiences opening for acts like Tupac and Sean Paul as well as plans for a new album on the horizon!
Tell us a little bit about Melodic Yoza the person before we dive into your musical career.
I am Jamaican born, but New York raised me. I spent the most formative years of my life in New York before I moved to back to Canada. I met my love, created a beautiful family and have been here since.
I am a very down to earth person. I like to keep it simple, but with high-energy in everything that I do. I believe that it isn’t about what you say you, it’s about what you do and I apply that to every aspect of my life.
How did you get your start in music? Was it always your passion?
Music has always been a part of my life growing up in Jamaica. Everything in Jamaica is artistic and musical, from the way that we walk to the way that we talk and communicate. When I was a kid, we would make stages underneath the streetlights and make sound systems from juice boxes. We would spend our nights having beatboxing competitions and creating music together. This is definitely where my passion for music started -- beautiful nights with creative people.
How would you describe your sound and style of music?
REGGAE SOUL HOP! I fuse reggae with almost any genre of music that inspires me. The majority of the music that I make isn’t considered ‘traditional’ reggae because I try and bring in so many new elements but I always have my Jamaican Patois accent and flair bringing the reggae sound. I feel like the genre of reggae hasn’t been explored enough, there are no real sub-genres like ‘pop-reggae’ or ‘jazz-reggae’ but that’s something that I am trying to get into myself. I feel like my role is to help bridge the gap to show that reggae music is more than just dancehall -- it can be anything.
You moved from Jamaica to Toronto and then to New York. How did the experiences in these different places shape you as an artist?
I could talk about this for days but to keep it short -- Jamaica is my roots, it is where I came from. New York made me grind, the city taught me how to work hard and take nothing for granted. Canada is what grounded me.
What did you learn from opening for stars like Tupac, Scarface, and Sean Paul?
I feel so grateful that I had the opportunity to perform on the same stage with such great legends. All of my experiences have gotten me to where I am today and I could not be more grateful. Opening for music legends like Tupac, I learned how to be a better performer and how to put on a real show for the audience. Performing isn’t always about your music or yourself as an artist, it’s about CELEBRATING music with a room full of people. The most important thing that I have learned is how to have a unique stage presence.
You have a new single out now called Celebrate. Tell us a little bit about the song.
Celebrate while we alive! There is so much to be thankful for and celebrate in our lives, but sometimes we get distracted by the hustle and forget to be present. I want people who listen to the song to stop and look at life from a different perspective. Celebrate is about capturing each moment because you don’t know about your next breath. Each moment, each breath passed, shouldn’t be taken for granted -- they should be CELEBRATED!
You worked with producer Terence “Tee” Lam on the song. What was it like working with him?
Tee is an amazing and talented producer! Working with Tee, I always know that we will create something great. We have a great vibe together when we’re working. He’s a great driver -- he knows the industry and what he’s doing and knows how to make that happen. I’m always happy to be working with him and I’m very proud of what we produced together.
Your album Countri Boi Kingston is slated to be released later this year. What can listeners expect from the album?
EPICNESS. This music reflects my life, my story, and my passion. I have been working so hard to share not only my story, but to connect with an audience going through similar experiences and bring us all together. Listeners can expect something to put on replay -- feel-good music that connects us all.
What has it meant to you to have your tracks featured in shows like Jersey Shore and Kim’s Convenience?
As an independent artist, it is an amazing accomplishment both professionally and personally to have your music recognized by such major shows. Professionally, when I first heard my song on Jersey Shore I was glad that my music was breaking into the ‘commercial’ market. Personally, it was a great personal achievement that people were enjoying the music that I had worked hard to push out. It’s great on both sides. Having not one but two songs on Kim’s Convenience was that same feeling -- twice! It was and still is very exciting for me and a great personal/professional accomplishment. Maybe next time I’ll get the theme song!!
Are there any musicians you’d like to work with in the future?
My artistic goal has always been to explore sub-genres of reggae and bring new sounds to tradition. I would love to work with legends from different genres than what I’m known for. As an artist, I see the creativity that is put into all different kinds of music. I feel as though joining together creativity from different aspects of music all together could make something really special.
What advice would you have for aspiring musicians?
If you aren’t willing to put in the work or be serious about your music, don’t do it. Practice, master and research your craft!! Have a good understanding of the business, put in the same effort to promote and market your music as you would creating it. I took to the streets of Toronto and sold my music myself because I recognized how important it was to put in the work.
Last but not least, it is cool to be different! Be confident in yourself and your abilities, don’t let anyone bring you down.
You have a show coming up at Revival in Toronto on April 20th. What can the audience expect when they see you live?
It is going to be an EPIC night! Reggae Soul Hop is coming to Revival at it’s finest! Bring your energy because it’s going to be YOZA-RIFIC
Let the readers know where to find you online.
You can find me on:
Facebook -- @MelodicYoza
Twitter -- @MelodicYoza
Instagram -- @MelodicYoza
Youtube -- https://www.youtube.com/user/MELODICYOZA