Monday, May 25, 2015

Music: With "Live A Blast" Courtney John breaks through the stratosphere

"The future's in the past"

That lyrical paradox, almost whispered over a
single keyboard note struck repeatedly sets up what must surely be one of the most intriguing and impactful records yet from Courtney John.

While the record continues in the vein of the "rootstronic" sub-genre that the artiste and his creative cohorts premiered a while back, "Blast" with its rapid-fire intercut between soaring anthemic-type chords and more restrained yet intense passages holds the progressive listener enthralled from the first note and perfectly fits the message of rising above the seemingly tight enclosure of circumstances, something with which the singer is all too fiamiliar.

"When I wrote the lyrics I was thinking of a country kid going to town in search of opportunities. I wanted to talk about what the world can be like when someone has to start from scratch build a career, but after writing the song  I realized I was talking about my own life and my own experiences." 

I wanted to keep the production minimal so  the story would get across and because it's rootstronic I wanted to merge different musical elements.  So I got Gee Master who is a keyboard player from Paris to give us the tronic elements and Flabba Holt, Kirk Bennett and [co-producer]The Wizard from Jamaica to give us the roots element.

Speaking to the video, which combines the frenetic pace of a classic "chase"  with more expansive shots (including a great wide shot of the port of Kingston), he says  

"I knew I wanted something very different for the video.  I am a big fan of the downtown Kingston architecture and wanted to do something that would showcase that.  The idea came to mind of a kid being chased in downtown Kingston.  I  bounced the idea with Joel Burke with own I co directed the video with and before you know it we were shot the video one Sunday afternoon in downtown Kingston."

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