When vocal artist Blac says he does reggae, rap and sings, he gets some baffled looks. People often ask: “but what do you really do?”
“People try to box me in,” said the 34-year-old known for songs like Inyani and Deep Love. “Instead of trying to figure out what I do, know that my rap is good, my reggae is good, and the singing complements both.
“I am not a one genre person. A lot of people tend to stay in one lane, but there are so many lanes out there.”
Blac, real name Rejon Tucker, will be showing off his unique style of music, tonight at New Year’s Eve celebrations in St George.
At the event in Kings Square, he plans to unleash his new song, Fire.
“It’s a two part song,” he said. “The song is about finding that girl with that fire you’re looking for. I don’t know who she is yet, but I know she’s out there. I can’t wait to sing it for people.”
It has a smoother feel than some of his other songs. “It is easy listening but still something you can dance to,” he said.
He came into the event with the band Devil’s Isle Audio.
“I’ve been practising with DIA, off and on,” he said. “Ever since we performed together at Culture Shock 18 in July, we’ve stayed in contact and have been doing jobs here and there. They know a few of my songs. They have had me at Marcus’ Bermuda at the Hamilton Princess on Thursdays sometimes.”
He got his start in music while a student at the Berkeley Institute.
“I’d just gone 16 when a few new students came,” he said. “These guys were beating on tables and helmets, making anything into an instrument and freestyling.
“One lunch time, one of my ace boys wrote my first bit of lyrics. I had a clash come up that lunch hour, and I won it.
“That was really my first and last clash, but it set the pace for me wanting to pursue it. It felt good to have people hearing what I was doing.”
He and five friends often hung out at Peppy’s Studio on Camp Hill Road in Warwick, recording and freestyling for hours.
Out of that group, he’s the only one still in music.
He stuck with it, because it was something he was good at.
“My father, Stephen Tucker, owns his own construction company, but as for following in his footsteps, I didn’t feel it,” Blac said. “I was really, really trying to find something I could run to and make a living from.
“At first, my daddy wasn’t too sure about me doing music full time or even dabbling with it. He didn’t know the extent that I could go with it.
“Now he sees it and believes in it as much as I do.”
Today, Blac devotes himself to his music, and his clothing line, with his own logo Atlantic9ine. His stage name, Blac stands for Beyond Limits Abilities Change.
“The name is about my determination through everything I do, and not giving up,” he said. “I have truly gone beyond the limits I had back then. I am above and beyond that.”
He’s dropped around 80 songs in his music career, eight of them in the last year.
They play regularly on local radio, but his song, Inyani, has gone international since he released it a year ago and is playing on radio stations in the United Kingdom and Jamaica.
One of his challenges over the years has been to find the better places to record and put out good music.
“It took me a while to get down who to get beats from, and learn who was consistent,” he said. “It took awhile for me to shape myself into a reggae/rap singer.”
Blac sang reggae for ten years, before becoming interested in rap in 2004. He felt rap allowed him to express himself more fully.
“Reggae to me was more of just a style and part of the fun energy,” he said. “As I grew up, I had more to say, so the rap was an easier sell.”
Now his songs touch on everything from love, family and partying, to finding your place in the world, and community violence.
He wrote the song So Long Mi Fren after his good friend Taylor Grier was shot to death on Court Street in Hamilton on July 30.
“That song was hard to write, because I couldn’t believe I was writing it,” he said. “A week before he was killed, I was shooting a music video.
“I was supposed to go and pick him up, but I was busy and it never happened. I was telling him all about how he should have been there.
“A week later, he was shot. I felt like that was the last time for us to link up and I missed it.
“I wrote that song just for everyone who loved him and felt the same way. I made it a good song, and a dancing song, so it is not all dreary. It is meant to be uplifting.”
All of his songs have a message to them, but he tries not to lecture. “I want you to have fun while you’re listening,” he said.
For Blac, the hardest part about doing music in Bermuda, is that there is little industry for it.
“There is no way of being groomed,” he said. “I feel that as you mature as an artist down here, your process is slower than elsewhere in the world that has the infrastructure to support artistry.
“Other places have workshops and personal entertainment coaches who teach you how to present yourself on stage.”
But he’s hoping that his fans will be hearing a lot more from him in 2019. His plan is to drop Fire Part One on New Year’s Day on music-streaming sites such as YouTube, Spotify, iTunes and Napster.
“I have another big project coming up after that,” he said.
For more information see him on Facebook under The Blac List and on Instagram and Twitter under Blactriangle.
New Year’s Eve kicks off in Kings Square, St George at 8pm. There will be live entertainment, food and novelty vendors. Nadanja Bailey is the MC for the night, and there will also be musical performances by Sinead the Flower, and Mitchelle “Arijahknow Live Wires” Trott. All acts will be backed by DIA. DJ music will be provided by Black Lion Sound