March 2012 issue

Page 53

THE CAT’S MEOW

THE MUSIC SCENE POUNCES ON BLEUBIRD AND HIS NEW ALBUM, CANNONBALL. Written by DANIELLE SIPPLE

Debuting his song ‘Giehe 1977’ at the 2011 South By Southwest festival, bleubird spilled his heart on stage, sweat pouring down his face in a venue that provided a proper lack of air conditioning. The song details his family’s history in Italy, revolving around the theme of the wine his grandfather made for him the year he was born. bleubird pours his whole self into his music, no matter what the cost. This level of commitment to his craft is revealed in his newest album, Cannonball. With the complex personality of a nomad and a neverending imagination, this Florida native is not your typical rapper. bleubird, born Jacques Bruna, is not a newcomer to the scene of rhyme scheming. With over ten years under his musical belt, he has cultivated a distinct sense of flow within his creative endeavors. He spits words quick and fast, lashing tongue licks that cut words off at their edges quickly. Touching on topics that range from his Floridian hometown, political situations and cats, Bruna captivates a thematic range that is not classically stylized as hip-hop. He is able to add his own flare to every song that creates a distinct sense of swagger. The most basic thing about this Florida native is that music comes first in his life. What follows after that is quite simple: cats, family, fun and beaches. Everything about music defines who Bruna is. He dives head first into his passion and subsequently reaps the benefits greatly. One of these benefits is his ability to collect amazing camera phone pictures of sweet little cats from around the world, thus fueling his obsession with the felines. Everyone has a loving weakness and this rapper has a sweet spot for the furry, purring creatures. True story. For the last year and a half, Bruna’s taken to the road in a touring RV, affectionately named the Freeebird. Part house and part mini-stage, the Freeebird is a social experiment masterminded by the heads at Grimm Image Records. Bruna uses the RV to tour around the country playing shows, all the while documenting it online through episodic video blogs. These

extensive blogs include show clips, road images and interviews. Coupled with Bruna’s predilection of constantly social networking on Twitter and Facebook, the social experiment of the Freeebird was a complete success and created the anticipatory momentum for the release of Cannonball. If anything could be bigger than the potential 2012 apocalypse, it’s Bruna’s release of Cannonball this past January. This album is a sneak peek into the heart, soul and mind of a well traveled storyteller that is attempting to create a basic understanding of his current state of life. Emotions are

EVERYONE HAS A LOVING WEAKNESS AND THIS RAPPER HAS A SWEET SPOT FOR THE FURRY, PURRING CREATURES. TRUE STORY. interjected with every word, with the effect ranging from laughter to complete sadness. From reflections on love and intimacy, to intense historical recounts of his family’s origins, all the way to environmental damage that affected his home state of Florida, Cannonball is eleven songs of blood, sweat and tears that make you feel with him and not just for him. Each song can stand alone but together they tell a story. A simple look at the essence of this story is the title of Bruna’s album, Cannonball. A splash in a giant pool that impacts everyone, this metaphor is a perfect example of how his nomadic lifestyle, whether chosen or through Freeebird, affects his life experiences. At one moment having claimed Montreal, Berlin and Florida as his home, Bruna is open to chance which happens when you are living life to the fullest. Unwilling to conform to social standards, thus creating a refined sense of self, this rapper allows for a special sense of reflection to occur in his music. This reflection of his own life is infectious with his fans. Bruna acts as a conduit, connecting his fans to the visceral parts of himself that are integrated onto Cannonball: his heart

breaks, his world-wide travels and the intense brow sweat that accumulates during performances. The next step for Bruna is nonstop touring while leaving no corner unvisited. With planned tours in Europe, North America and Japan, 2012 is already packed for him. Whatever venue, city or country has Bruna for the night they will be eager to take home a musical piece of him and Cannonball can deliver that company. It is plain exciting to see someone so excited about their own personal creative efforts, which in turn is so deserving of such excitement. Not to overuse the word but Bruna is just exciting! Outside of his solo career, Bruna is one half of Boyfriends Inc. with Astronautalis and one third of the international musical group, Triune Gods. Each of these collaborative collections has its own flavor and distinct direction, all of which he plays a large part. His musical expression works best within collaborative spaces. When given the chance to create new sounds with his friends around the world, he jumps at it. Despite the saturation state of music nowadays, it is refreshing to come across an artist that knows what they are doing in the game. Bruna has paid his dues in the hip-hop world. With a level head, he is fervent in his passion and unwavering in his desire to succeed. The tidal wave that Cannonball creates is still unfolding but it’s major for Bruna. Unbeknown to all, 2012 is the year of bleubird.

OPPOSITE: All cat images taken by bluebird on his worldwide travels.

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