Biography: Collie Buddz
Collie Buddz (born Colin Harper, August 21, 1981) is a reggae and dancehall artist from Bermuda, best known for his single "Come Around". Although born in New Orleans, he moved to his mothers' home of Bermuda at the age of five, after the death of his father. He attended Albert College in Belleville, Ontario, Canada.
Collie Buddz was entranced by the urban music of his island home. He favored dancehall the most, but soca and hip-hop were important too, all of which exploded out the speakers of his DJ brother. His brother was also involved in recording Collie's demo track, "Come Around," an infectious song that blew up in Europe and topped the charts in the U.K. before it came to Jamaica. As the marijuana anthem was climbing the JA charts all the way up to number one, rapper Busta Rhymes cut his own, unauthorized remix, which increased the track's presence on urban American radio. Guest vocals on a remix of Beyoncé's "Ring the Alarm" began his relationship with the Sony label, while hooking up with Lil' Flip for the rapper's I Need Mine album kept spreading the Collie Buddz name on the streets. Everything was in place as his second single, "Mamacita," and his self-titled debut album were both released by Sony in the summer of 2007.
The album stormed the charts entering the Billboard Reggae Chart at first position. The Reggae singjay became an international star when this album then went on to debut across the world at the top of every chart from Japan to Germany. With much of the production coming from Collie himself, he delivered a solid debut with contributions from Supa Dups, Shea Taylor, Bang Out, Screwface, Bobby Konders and Crown N Kah-So-Real to name just a few. Released just a day before US Independence Day, Collie's debut album could be heard blasting out of car windows from Brooklyn to Kingston all summer long. Critically speaking, Collie's debut was a monster. Speaking of his first single, an undeniable summer anthem titled, "Come Around," Source Magazine proclaimed, "This 24 year old shotta has got an anthem spreading across the seas." "The song is a monster," claimed Miami New Times. And, Hip Hop Weekly said, "Collie Buddz is one of the most firmly grounded voices you may ever encounter." The industry excitement about this new voice in music manifested in many ways namely by inspiring Collie's musical peers to either create their own remixes of "Come Around," or join Collie on the official remix of the single. Everyone from Busta Rhymes, Cypress Hill and Paul Wall to G-Unit and Shaggy contributed to the anthem.
Incorporating influences from Hip-Hop to Soca, Collie's music nevertheless has a rock-solid foundation in Reggae - and its power to connect ghetto reality with the highest heights of human aspiration - that is a rarity even in Jamaica. But, to say he's connected to the Caribbean community would be an understatement. Collie Buddz, born Colin Harper, has become the Caribbean culture's resident ambassador.
Touring extensively, Collie's passport stamps are a relative reflection of the worldwide love for Reggae and Caribbean culture. From Madison Square Garden to Dubai, Collie Buddz is the definition of an international recording artist. "It was crazy performing in the Middle East. Who would have guessed how big reggae music is there? They knew all my songs," a jubilant Collie Buddz explains. He has toured throughout Germany, France, England, Japan, North and South America and the Caribbean. His unique blend of Hip-Hop, Soca and Dancehall underlined with his ever-present passion for the modern Roots Reggae sound has attracted tastemaker supporters all over the world. Reggae pioneer David Rodigan [London] and New York Reggae stalwarts at legendary radio station, Hot 97, Massive B and Short-Man [Heavy Hitters] are just some of his most ardent supporters. Now on the verge of Collie's sophomore album release, the anticipation is palpable.
In spite of averaging an eleven month yearly touring schedule since 2007, Collie Buddz is prepared to release a sophomore album that promises an even greater insight into the multi-talented, producer/singer-songwriter/performer. He's also made time to work with some of the most respected producers and artists in the industry while also making beautiful music with the production team that made his debut album an overnight success. "We don't have a title for the new album just yet but whatever we call it, the album will be mad," Collie excitedly explains. With production by Supa Dups, Massive B and Seanie B among other contributors, Collie's fans can anticipate Collie's unique twist on popular music. Tony Kelly [K-Licious], producer of more crossover hits than any other producer in the genre [Sean Paul, Patra, Supercat, Wayne Wonder, Shaggy] and TJ Records [Beenie Man] return with production for this album as well. Among friends, Collie is known as a "studio rat," as given any sort of free time in the schedule, Collie is hunkered down behind the boards of a recording studio. So it comes to no surprise to anyone that Collie is also ready to release a brand new mixtape.
"I was just in Los Angeles finishing a song with Sugar Ray, and I love the vibe on that track," says Collie of the new mixtape. Also with verses on hit songs by Beyonce, Rihanna and Kid Cudi, the mixtape is sure to give Collie's fans an appetizer to the entrée of the sophomore album. "I always want to give all the sound-systems and DJs something to rock the clubs with while I work on releasing my new material," Collie says. It is this love for constantly creating that drives Collie Buddz.
Wanting to release music more frequently and with fewer restrictions, Collie's affiliation with Columbia Records/Sony Music Entertainment, Inc ended in 2008. He has since founded his own independent record label, Harper Digital alongside his brother [Smokey] and DJ [DJ Genie] while working with his longtime management group, Mojiza Management. The Harper Digital team is already grooming the label into a full production house and artist development business. Humble as always, Collie simply says, "I'm just excited to be putting out another album. I love to make music and the satisfaction is in having other people from all over the world enjoy it. I live out of a suitcase and I wouldn't have it any other way."
With a nonstop touring schedule with his band The New Kingston Band and his longtime compatriot and hype man, Pee Wee, Collie just has one quick stop before hitting the road yet again. He's got to stop by the embassy and pick up more page inserts for his passport.
Collie Buddz was nominated in 2007 for 18 awards of Top International Artist of the year, by the 4th Annual Excellence in Music and Entertainment (EME), which is an "award to an artist whose solo or collaborative release(s) allowed for greater penetration of the international marketplace".
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