We are excited to announce the brand new single Celebrate by Reggae-Soul-Hop artist Melodic Yoza. Produced by Terence Lam ( Alessia Cara, JRDN, Kardinal Offishall, Danny Fernandes), the track combines the feel-good beat of traditional reggae with the artist’s creativity, charisma, and powerful vocals. Known for blending genres of reggae, soul, hip-hop, jazz, dancehall, and pop,
Melodic Yoza has created a name for himself throughout the industry with previous tracks featured on major productions such as MTV’s Jersey Shore, On The Ice, CBC’s Kim’s Convenience and more. Celebrate comes off of his highly anticipated album Countri Boi Kingston which is set to be released later this year, as well as his upcoming Toronto show at Revival (783 College Street) on April 20. The feel-good track has also been added to the CBC Reggae music stream. With an already explosive start to 2018, Melodic Yoza looks forward to bringing his music to life through performances across Ontario.
Known for his undeniable talent and on-stage energy, Melodic Yoza has opened for recognized artists such as Sean Paul, Prozzak, Tupac and Snoop Dogg (one of the opening acts in 1996), Scarface, Salt & Pepper, and Shabba Ranks. “Celebrate” is the artist’s seventh single with previous tracks including, Countri Boy Kingston, Countri Bunkan and Ride on Natty which have been featured throughout national music magazines including Maxim’s Blender, Stuff, Vibe, Frank 151, Jamaica Observer and more.
We had the wonderful opportunity to speak with Melodic Yoza. Check out the interview below.
I knew I wanted to be a singer from the moment I was able to speak! I would sing constantly. Singing has helped me through so much and has kept my mind in such a calm, peaceful place. I sing when I’m happy, I sing when I’m sad, I sing when I’m feeling a little stressed from the everyday hustle of trying to make it as an artist. So when it comes down to it, singing is my life and I could not see myself doing anything else. It keeps me grounded. Music is definitely my lifeline.
What inspires your creativity?
Life and everything in it. I have gained most of my creativity through real-life events. I’ve been through a lot and have seen a lot, both good and bad. Throughout these experiences, I’ve learned to try and see the positivity in everything. The negativity is what gives me inspiration, but the positivity is what makes my music. Gratitude is always my attitude!
You’re noted as having incredible stage energy. What are the five things you must have with you on stage?
First of all, I need me, I need to be present, healthy and in the right headspace. I like to go into performances feeling my absolute best, surrounded by the best energy. Secondly, I need the ‘sound’ sounding right. Third, the right DJ. I need a DJ who can match my energy, style and make sure my set is executed perfectly. Fourth, is definitely WATER. I have such high energy and make it my main goal to make sure the audience is kept entertained from start to finish. With that being said, water is so important for me to keep hydrated. Fifth is an audience who is ready to have fun with me!
Your music reflects life. Does it motivate you?
We were all put on this Earth to create and everything we do is creation so I believe that finding your purpose in life and further creating is so important. When we accomplish this or at least start the process our lives become so much more adventurous. This is why I am so motivated by life and everything it has to offer.
Tell us how following your dreams and intuition has paid off.
Moving back to Toronto in 2009, I had drops for the DJs whom I had never met in a full length finished the album and a song on the hit reality show ‘Jersey Shore’. This leads me to believe I would get a grant. I thought to myself “this is a great start, I need to keep this momentum going.”
Unfortunately, and to my surprise, it was such a lengthy process that I had to put the grant dream on the back burner. Another setback that I faced at first was being branded as a “local artist” because no one really knew who I was or my music back in Toronto. This got me thinking, “how am I going to grant myself this opportunity? How am I going to make the best of this?”
I started thinking and YOZA! A vision landed in my mind I realized that there were not very many artists pushing their music on the street, as I had done when I was a kid in Jamaica. I took it to the streets of Toronto for the people to hear my creativity. I started selling four of my songs on a CD charging $4.00 and before I knew it I had sold over 5000 copies, completely on my own.
From there I won a people’s choice award and video of the year and to top it all of I had two of my new songs featured on CBC’s hit series ‘Kim’s Convenience’. I was finally able to apply for the grant that I had wanted beforehand. After all of that, I was able to finish my new Countri Boi Kingston (CBK) project which will be released later this year!
Taking a leap of faith is important if you’re serious about your dreams and aspirations. Toronto has rewarded me with many opportunities that motivate me to keep looking forward to the future and to continue CELEBRATING LIFE.
Your uniqueness and talent are evident. Tell us about the process of composing a song.
Many people have called me a reggae artist through most of my career, however; I am more than just that. The majority of my songs I have released in my many years in this industry have not been on ‘traditional’ reggae beats. With all this being said, I want to bridge the gap between reggae and all musical genres that inspire me. Reggae music to me is more than a dancehall beat, so my approach is to explore the genre while I put my signature touch on the music with my ‘Reggae Soul Hop’ flow.
What has been the best part of working in the music Industry?
The best part of working in the music industry is hands-down the people. Meeting new people, other artists and the ability to collaborate with other creative people.
Living in New York I decided to change things up from being a solo artist to collaborate with a fellow artist and friend, Mark Shine. We created an EP called “Dance Pan di Corner” and called our duo “Reggae Dips”. While working on our EP I auditioned for an off-Broadway play for a character named ‘Cowboy’. On my way to the audition, I had to stop and buy sneakers. By complete luck, there was a sale happening and I wound up buying two pairs of matching shoes – one pair for me and one for Mark and I invited him to come to the audition with me. While auditioning, I got cold feet and failed to get the part. Mark absolutely killed his audition and wound up landing the role! When he and I went back to his first rehearsal we realized that the play did not have a theme song. We saw an opportunity and decided to write, produce and sing a song which was named after the play. “Driving on the Left Side”. We played it for the producer and she loved it leading her to license it and make it the theme song for the play.
Through meeting Mark, and everyone else that I have crossed paths with, that so many opportunities have come my way!
What has been your best song collaborations?
I have a few collaborations on my upcoming CBK project. A few to mention are; ‘Summer Wave’ with the extremely talented JRDN, ‘Monday Morning’ with the soulful artist, Adam Martin, singing the chorus. On my song ‘International’ I have Oso, a well-known rapper from Toronto, along with Jahdan Blakkamoore representing the international reggae scene. Last but not least I have Jeni Fujita, one of the hardest working artists I have ever met, singing on ‘Abracadabra’. Being able to collaborate with such creative, talented artists has been such an amazing adventure and I’m so excited to work with many more artists in the near future.
Do you have any upcoming projects that you would like to share?
I have a new project that I am about to release. It is called CBK. So far I have released three songs from it Countri Boi Kingston, Countri Bunkan, and my newest single, Celebrate which was released in January. I have been working extremely hard on this project since 2014. I can not wait until the full project is released so you can all listen to something that is so dear to my heart.
What advice would you give to someone, who is aspiring to enter the music industry?
Without a doubt, the advice that I would give to someone is to do their homework. Do research so you know the business and become a master at their craft. Knowledge of music, the industry, and your own talents, no one can take that away from you. From my experiences, I’ve learned that people in this industry will either help lift you up or try and pull you down. You need to make sure you keep yourself in the proper headspace and keep pushing forward. #YouGotThis
Complete this sentence, if I had an opportunity to do anything I want, I would do __________.
If I had an opportunity to do anything I want, I would TRAVEL!
I would travel to every country on this beautiful planet and spread my love for music. I would throw a “World Party” so everyone could connect through the music – we are all human after all! Music is what connects us.
Editor’s Note: We reviewed Melodic Yoza’s single Celebrate. Check it out.