There’s a new Ziggi in town. His last name is Recado and he has got a brand new reinvented sound on his third album. It’s an adventurous blend of reggae, soul, hip-hop, funk and rock.
One thing that has remained from his previous albums is his vocal style. It’s rebellious, cool and edgy.
Most of the production is handled by Ziggi Recado himself and the majority of the tracks are recorded together with his live band The Renaissance Band. And the live feeling is present through most of the album.
Ziggi Recado celebrates musicianship and careful production. There are pleasant surprises on almost every single track.
Just listen to the beautiful and organic Can’t Stop Me Now built around a laid back rock guitar. It starts with guitar, moaning saxophone and funky drums. Then it’s just Ziggi Recado and the guitar. Along the way it adds organ, percussion, drums, bass and strings. You’ve to wait over three minutes until the song is complete in its instrumentation.
Real Talk showcases his vocal capabilities, when he sings both in a high Prince style and then switches to his usual singjay approach.
Dutch singjay Ziggi Recado has recently put out his third full length album in Holland, and on June 6 it drops worldwide. Reggaemani has spoken to a reggae star that has travelled new paths and is now also acknowledged as a producer.
Photo by Bill Tanaka
Ziggi Recado – formerly only Ziggi – rose to prominence in 2006 when he put out his Rock N Vibes produced debut album So Much Reasons. Since then a lot has changed for this 30 year old singer.
He has now three albums and one EP on his list of merits. On top of this he can now also label himself as a producer. On Ziggi Recado – his new self-titled album – he is recognized for the major part of the production. And this is something that seems to have had great impact on his sound.
New sound, instant success
Because Ziggi Recado is not an ordinary reggae album. It is a fusion of reggae, soul, pop, funk and rock. Surprisingly no dancehall. If you have heard the Cody Chesnutt & The Roots inspired first single Get Out you probably get the feeling.
“I’m happy about it. It’s the best Ziggi album ever. It’s different from my previous albums. I produced a lot of it and I think I turned it into a great reggae album,” says Ziggi Recado over the phone.
The album have been an instant success in his home country, hitting number 1 in the iTunes Reggae Charts, number 41 in the general iTunes charts and also debuted as number 51 in the Dutch album top 100 charts. Not bad for a reggae album. And Ziggi seems pleased.
“I’m very happy that the album has become a success in Holland. It remains difficult for black music in Holland and it’s hard to get attention,” he says, and continues:
“In Holland people know me as a reggae artist and many have looked forward to this album. It was anticipated,” he concludes.
Important not to be boring Ziggi Recado certainly is a diverse effort, and Ziggi himself believes that it can attract more people. Important for him is also to show something new and to be interesting.
“For me it’s important not to be boring. No traditional way, no traditional sound. The last CD was more traditional. I needed to do something different and I think it really stands out. I have created something new,” he believes.
The new album was a natural progression according to Ziggi.
“When I did my first album I had just started doing music. I now know what I want to do. It is a progression for me,” he says, and adds:
“This is me right now, but I want to keep evolving and developing.”
Influenced by life
When I ask Ziggi about his influences I thought that I would get a bunch of artists or groups. I for instance thought of some hip-hoppers or soul outfits. But no.
“What influenced me is probably my family. The clock was ticking and I was having my second child. He was one month old when I started to record the album. It motivated me to get something done. Life was my motivation I guess,” he suggests.
The album was recorded with The Renaissance Band and they worked very close.
“It was a pure feeling. I’d get an idea for a song and then create it and get the picture together with my band. I’m lucky to have done the production with my band. They know what I want. I was free. We work very well together.”
Wants to work with Wyclef
Ziggi reveals that he would like to produce other artists as well.
“I’ve done a few productions in the past, but this is the first time that I’ve done a whole project. Now people can acknowledge me as a producer,” he says, and continues:
“I’d like the opportunity to work with Wyclef. I’m a huge fan. And Shabba [Ranks], the legacy, the great.”
Even though the album already has done well in his home ground, he is very down to earth with his expectations on the international release.
“I try to except the least. I Hope for the best and expect the worse. But people should like it. I’ve got positive reactions so far. But nowadays with music it’s hard to tell. The most important is to take my music to a higher stage, and then I’ve reached my main goal.”
If you’re curious on the new album – listen to the K-Salaam & Beatnick produced promo mix below.
And one thing is certain with Maikal X – he is a gifted singer with a good voice that is reminiscent of the late and great Dennis Brown as well as his adepts Frankie Paul, Luciano and Bushman. And he manages his voice well on this 14 track set with mainly one drop rhythms on live instrumentation.
Maikal X has already released one of the best tunes this year – Get Away – produced by Curtis Lynch on an updated version of the Police in Helicopter rhythm. This tune is unfortunately not included on Genesis. However, included are singles The Best in You and Here She Comes, a reggae version of Daryl Hall and John Oates 80’s classic Maneater. A nice version that will surely appeal even to the more inexperienced reggae listener.
The production is mainly done by Berteaut “Mr Rude” Fleming. It is smooth and polished and reminds of Don Corleon and Kemar “Flava” McGregor. And it’s probably no coincidence that the great Don Corleon has handled the production duties on The Best In You.
Lies borrow heavily from Coxsone Dodd’s classic rhythm Breaking Up and Born To Die is based on the powerful Collie Weed rhythm, released earlier this year.
Maikal X has also included three strong combinations – Peetah Morgan, Luciano and Irie Love. The duet with Luciano is a surely a nice tune, but the vocals are too similar. Perhaps it would have been better to include a singer with a different expression. The combo with Irie Love is bouncy thing with a 80’s flavour and the tune with the Morgan sibling is the albums strongest and well in line with Get Away.
But the mix offers a lot more than that. All in all almost 50 heavy tunes and DJ Shirkhan and Sammy K has selected some of the best songs this year, including Get Away with Maikal X, Music in My Soul by Sizzla and Dread with Protoje.
Download the mixtape here and check out Genesis and Same Difference, the brand new albums from Maikal X and Ziggi Recado.