Artist mixes it up at Whiskey Dick’s |

Artist mixes it up at Whiskey Dick’s

Lake Tahoe Action

Collie Buddz mixes hip-hop, dancehall and reggae Wednesday, Oct. 22, at Whiskey Dick's Saloon, joining hip-hop duo Rise of the Revolution.

Collie Buddz is all over the map both literally and figuratively.

Colin Harper was born in New Orleans, grew up on the island of Bermuda (aka “The Rock”) and stayed intermittently in Toronto, Ontario. His musical alter ego, Collie Buddz, reflects that upbringing, incorporating influences from hip-hop and reggae to West Indian soca.

“Some tunes I create are just to show that I could do anything I put my mind to, to show the versatility of my style,” the artist said in a news release.

Harper was born in 1981, an era between the twin omens of Bob Marley’s death and Ronald Reagan’s taking office as president. Collie grew up in Bermuda’s soundsystem culture.

“I used to come home from primary school, and my brother would always be on the turntables, playin’ his new 45s, and I’d just be there vibin’,” he said in a heavy patois.

Dancehall and sound-clash culture evolved into its own movement in the late ’80s and early ’90s, setting the backdrop for Collie Buddz’s discovery of is identity. The dancehall kings of that generation ” Buju Banton, Bounty Killer and Beenie Man ” were his primary influences.

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“Back when Beenie and Bounty used to war lyrically, seeing clashes with Kilimanjaro and all the sound-man and everythin’, the whole music scene for me took on a new meaning,” he said. “Clash thing and lyrical war became a part of my daily life from early out.”

Collie began trading lyrics in schoolyard clashes, verbal combat that escalated quickly.

“People startin’ sayin ‘Ay, Buddz got some lyrics!’ From an early age, some of the local sounds on the island wanted to get me on dubplate,” he said.

Soundmen and engineers encouraged Harper to maintain a musical focus. He eventually went to Florida to pursue a degree in audio engineering and ended up behind the boards of a studio in Bermuda he ran with his brother.

“I used to make these beats, and none of the tunes came out how I pictured an artist sittin’ on the riddim, so I decided to start to get in the booth myself again and spit some lyrics,” he said. “Unless my brother engineerin’ for me, I’m runnin’ from the board to the booth, back to the board.”

Buddz is a songwriter who can lay his own riddim, sing the hook and chat on the verse. He also possesses a falsetto that works for lover’s rock and the singsong delivery of a carnival crooner.

“I build the riddim first, and while I’m building it, I don’t try and think about lyrics ’cause I’m tryin’ to focus on the riddim, you know?” he said. “I make it sound as best I can, and then for a day or two I rest my ears, then start the writing process. I come up with a melody first and get that down, then start with the lyrics.”

“Nowadays when I go to put on a CD, its old tune: Alton Ellis, the Meditations, the Heptones, Skatalites, Jacob Miller, Eric Monty Morris ” love the rockers music,” he said. “From that, I start to teach myself some of the history of this music: That’s where I started to come a little more versatile with the singin’. … I like dancehall, but the foundation and conscious tune really what me love.”

Collie Buddz will join a rising Tahoe favorite Wednesday, Oct. 22, at Whiskey Dick’s: Rise of the Revolution has established itself at the saloon by being a frequent guest since making its South Shore debut there in August.

Rise’s mission goes deeper than Nima Fadavi’s beats and lyrics from Ali Menbari, aka Prophet.

“Our music is to revolutionize anything and everything about people and their lives, and spread it to other people,” Prophet told Lake Tahoe Action in August. “It’s about time that people start realizing that and realizing the power that each person has.”