Ricky Blaze’s Uptown Julie

I wrote a piece about the Jamaican musical genre known as dancehall and the producer Ricky Blaze for Splice Today. Blaze, who has his own imprint called Fire Music Entertainment, was kind enough to respond to some questions over email. Read the piece here. Below, listen to “Stunta,” a Ricky Blaze-produced song from FME’s new EP, Uptown Julie, and read Blaze’s answers to my questions.

Your EP My Name Is Ricky Blaze came out on Atlantic, but now you’re part of FME Recordings. Is that your own imprint? When did it start? Are most of the FME artists from Brooklyn?

Yes, its my new imprint (Fire Music Entertainment), its where ever dope talent is, i like working with dope artist of any genre.
On the new Uptown Julie release, you work with a couple of the other FME artists, Kes the Band and Zoelah. You’ve also done a track with Chelley – do you work with all the FME artists?

I am very instrumental when it comes to the sound of the artist i choose to work with. I try to get them to the best of their abilities vocally and production wise.

You’ve dropped a few new songs this year on Sound cloud, and you put out The Maestro last year, but you don’t put out many songs of your own. Do you save most of the songs you make for other artists? Do you ever feel like you want to put out more of your own stuff? Your song “Tee Tee Bad” was one of my favorite tracks of 2013.
Sometimes i get spooked and feel like its not my timing, but “The Maestro” is who i am, i am an American-Born kid with Caribbean background who loves fusions of sounds and music, i dont put out many songs due to the array of different genres i mix up and not wanting to confuse fans. I really dont understand how it would confuse them but people want things pushed in their faces, not really doing the work to figure out artist and their music and if their is people like that the popularity compared to bullcrap is out numbered.
Is there a difference between the songs you give to artists you’re producing and the ones you save for yourself?

Yes my music is totally different, i craft music around peoples personalities and vocal abilities along with whats current with a little futuristic vibe to it where my music is kind of the same structure but a little more edgy and daring.
Do you know right away when you make a hit like “Hold Yuh”? Or does it come as a surprise when a song blows up?

I feel it because i listen to it a ton of times and vision video and where i see the song blowing up. i see the whole marketing plan behind it and etc. i listened to hold yuh for 1 week straight on repeat. same with Uptown Julie Riddim.
You have worked with so many different singers: Ding-Dong, Gyptian, Santigold, Jazmine Sullivan, Vybz Kartel, even the rapper Jim Jones. Did they come to you, or did you reach out to them? Is there someone out there that you haven’t worked with yet that you want to work with?

Those all came in there unique way. i must say ive done great work with all artist mentioned. there are ton of people i would love to collab with such as, solange and some more soul artist. im currently working with Stacey Barthe, Jill Scott ,etc
When you’re working with an artist, do you have all the beats done already? Or do you develop the song together with the artist?

Sometimes i have the Track Produced already or we make something on the spot i have over 4,000 tracks pre- produced already and im also full of vibes and melodic ideas so we can always create something on spot.
A lot of producers just have one sound, but you’ve got a mix of lots of things. Were you always interested in blending genres?

I was always a fan of music first. i started as a dj aslo, so i just listened to a ton of vinyls and heard little stuff i could’ve twisted in cool ways, I also loved the era of Super Cat,Heavy D, Mad Lion, Lil Vicious or Toni Braxton feat. Mad Cobra and those cool eras of fusions with Hip Hop and Reggae.
What music out there (that you didn’t make!) is inspiring you?

I listened to most of my records trying to perfect my craft that i really dont get a chance to listen to music but when i do here cool stuff i gravitate to it.

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