Reggae artist Collie Buddz set for Thursday concert | TheUnion.com

Reggae artist Collie Buddz set for Thursday concert

Submitted to Prospector

Collie Buddz points his finger at the camera before his set at Shoreline Jam at the Queen Mary, August 31,2014 in Long Beach, CA.

Thursday night, Reggae sensation Collie Buddz returns to the Miners Foundry Cultural Center. Buddz exploded onto the scene a few years ago when critics and tastemakers alike embraced him — Spin Magazine proclaiming, "Buddz proves the pop rule: Catchiness transcends color." From Vibe Magazine to Entertainment Weekly, Collie Buddz made quite an impression with music critics.

Produced by Neenyo, a protégé of hit maker J.R. Rotem, Buddz' new album, Light It Up, easily goes from the car to nightclubs all over the world.

Buddz details his process, "As an artist, I want to expand musically. I'll always do Reggae. I did Reggae music because I was good at it and that's what I knew and loved growing up. But at the same time, when I put on my producer hat and I hear a riddim, it might not be in my comfort range, but whatever I hear on the track dictates what I'm going to make. I really only care about making good music. For that to happen, it can't live in a box."

Indeed growing up on the island of Bermuda, Reggae music was a formidable influence on a young Collie Buddz. Born Colin Harper in New Orleans, Louisiana to a mother of Bermudian heritage with roots on the island dating back to the 1700s, his father passed away while Collie Buddz was only four. At that time, his mother moved the family back home to Bermuda. It wasn't long before Buddz discovered more than his Bermudian heritage. Introduced to Reggae music by his older brother, Matthew, affectionately just known as "Smokey," by the tenderfoot age of 12, Colin Harper quickly learned his way around a music studio. It soon became apparent to everyone within earshot of the boy that his voice was unique in a way that lingers long after you've heard him, according to Buddz's bio.

"Back then, I just used to plug headphones into the microphone jack of a tape deck. I'd sing into one of the earpieces and record it on cassette," Buddz recalls.

Eventually, Smokey relocated to Toronto to pursue an audio engineering degree. His baby brother, as always, tagged along. But Buddz had plans of his own. And, by the age of 19, he was attending Full Sail Academy in Orlando, Florida pursuing his own audio engineering degree. Only 13 months later, Buddz had that degree. With dreams of becoming a major music producer, Buddz rejoined his brother in Canada.

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As a producer, Buddz was the most comfortable in the studio. But he couldn't find any artists that could really pull off the sound he desired, so Buddz found himself just running back and forth from the vocal booth to the mixing booth as he layered his own vocals for his production work. After a while, it just became easier for him to just do it all by himself. At this juncture, Colin Harper became Collie Buddz.

With his independent spirit guiding his journey, Buddz has traveled as far as possible from his little corner of the earth. He's constantly creating new music and experimenting with it in front of live audiences almost immediately. With support from his team at Mojiza Management and touring and merchandising backing at Ineffable Music, Collie Buddz has toured the world. He's honed his craft while in support of several tours with artists such as Cypress Hill, Rebelution and Matisyahu. He's performed in front of thousands at the largest music festivals such as Lollapalooza, Boomtown, Summer Jam and the California Roots Festival.

Opening the show are special guests The Expanders, one of the hardest working reggae bands in Southern California, according to their bio. Known for their vintage style of reggae played in the tradition of classic 1970s Jamaican groups, their music is centered in three-part vocal harmonies and strong song writing, with lyrics that range from socially heavy to playful and upbeat.

The Expanders recent touring activity includes a U.S. tour supporting Slightly Stoopid, a West Coast tour supporting Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, and a U.S. tour supporting Hawaii's number one reggae group The Green. They have headlined shows in a dozen states including Hawaii and Florida. They have shared the stage with some of today's most popular reggae acts, including Rebelution, Tribal Seeds, Ziggy Marley, Rootz Underground and Midnite. The Expanders have been featured three times at the Sierra Nevada World Music Festival in Mendocino County, where their performances were praised in The Beat magazine for recreating "the old classic Kingston rocksteady sound to a T." In May of 2014 The Expanders performed at the California Roots Festival in Monterey, which is the largest annual reggae festival in The United States.

Tickets to Thursday's 8 p.m. show are $25 in advance, $30 at the door and available online at http://www.minersfoundry.org, by phone at 530-265-5040, or in person at the Miners Foundry or BriarPatch Co-op. Must be 16 or older to attend the concert.

Miners Foundry Cultural Center is located at 325 Spring St., Nevada City. Learn more at http://www.minersfoundry.org