Written by: Mark Abell
Collie Buddz seems to live inside the groove.
The Louisiana-born, Bermuda-raised singer/songwriter’s music is some of the most buoyant and rousing out there.
He knows how to make a song move and shake and all of his compositions seem to be informed by an almost preternatural sense of how to give a beat the right kind of movement and swagger.
His new EP Blue Dreamz is an energizing dose of reggae-tinged numbers that only reinforces the fact that he’s one of the most exciting acts out there.
Stereo Embers had a chance to chat with Collie about hemp, collaborating with Stick Figure and his own personal legacy…
Stereo Embers: How do you wish to be viewed within the history of the reggae?
Collie Buddz: I have always been a fan of reggae first and foremost. Growing up I listened to reggae almost exclusively and to this day I look at things from the perspective of a fan and student of the music because that is what I am. Have not put a lot of thought into how I want to be viewed, I just know that I want to make great music and be a contributor to the scene, music-wise and the community, value-wise. Also as one who is not afraid to push the envelope as far as working with other genres, artists styles etc.
SE: In what ways does smoking weed shape your artistic process and perspective?
CB: You might find this surprising, but for me personally I do not need to smoke weed in order to be creative. Making music is a drug in its own right and my process allows me to be fully free in creation. Sometimes I smoke, sometimes I don’t–it all depends on circumstance and how I am feeling. Perspective-wise, I can most definitely understand and relate to how it can spark creativity, etc.
SE: Can hemp effect social change in a positive way, and if yes, how so? And, do you see yourself or your colleagues embracing hemp clothing, hemp-seed oil, etc? I’m intrigued by Jungmaven’s t-shirts and Hemp Hoodlamb’s jackets.
CB: 100% yes on this one. Outside of actual marijuana the plant has limitless potential and benefit. Hemp has the properties to replace so many everyday products offering ecofriendly sustainable options. Things like hempcrete instead of concrete…clothing is of course a huge one. The social change will really kick in when collectively we realize and flex our buying power to hold product makers accountable, demanding they use hemp as a better alternative.
SE: I just spoke to Scott Woodruff of Stick Figure. He was pleasantly surprised that you were down to contribute rhymes to “Smokin’ Love.” Were you surprised to hear from Scott and to end up collaborating on that song together?
CB: Although I will admit that I am VERY selective when it comes to collaborations, my process is a very simple one. Do I like the song/music? In this case my guy Thomas over at Ineffable connected me and Scott and when they sent me the song I listened to the riddim and instantly wrote and recorded it. Song turned out great and is doing very well! Stick Figure and I ended up playing of lot festivals together and I have enjoyed coming out with the guys and performing it.
SE: “Prescription” is an endorsement of medical marijuana. Is there pain that it has helped you mitigate?
CB: Outside of minor ailments here and there (uneasy stomach, help sleeping) I have been very fortunate to not NEED medical marijuana. However, the medicinal properties of the plant can’t be debated and the fact that so many people either have to jump through hoops or don’t get access to medicine they need is crazy. Just wanted to bring some attention to the fact that pharmaceutical drugs are prescribed daily with almost no checks and balances while this natural plant is deemed unacceptable.
SE:Do you have a music listening room? What does your set-up consist of?
CB: I graduated from Full Sail Academy in Florida and am a nerd when it comes to studio gear. I have a full state of the art studio here and am always adding to it.