If you’ve been following Part Time Wizards for a quick minute now, you’ll know I have a certain affinity with hip-hop from the French capital in all its shapes and sizes. I’ve previously chatted to the likes of Grünt founder Bonal and the big homie Myth Syzer, who are both making waves in their own lanes now.
So it’s with great pleasure that I present to you Jazzy Bazz, our newest feature from the Hexagon’s budding scene. For those who know, he doesn’t need an introduction, for those of you who don’t, Jazzy Bazz is a true wordsmith, a true artist who’s been slowly but surely cementing himself as a real force to be reckoned with in the capital.
His reputation precedes him, as an integral part of L’Entourage, Grande Ville, and Cool Connexion. As he now prepares to release his debut Album ‘P-Town’, I caught up with the young spitter for a quick chat. Here’s how it went down.
So first off, how did it all start for Jazzy Bazz? How did you first get into writing rhymes?
I started when I was about 15, but it was really just for laughs at first.
Do you remember your first bars?
The very first one… that’s a good question… I’m trying to remember but it isn’t coming back to mind.
Your father is a musician. What was his influence on you as a kid growing up?
It’s thanks to him I was initiated real early to things like Jazz, ‘Chanson Française’ and Classical music…
How did it all come about with l’Entourage?
We would often rap together, and that’s pretty much how it all started to be honest with you.
What about the “Ermitage”? Care to tell us more on that?
L’Ermitage was essentially a deserted terrain, which we would also call “The Theatre”… that’s where we would rap a lot together. We recorded some of our first videos out there also.
You’ve mentioned in the past that your English is not the best, so you’re more into the flow than the lyrics. Has it improved since?
It’s a little better now after a few trips to the States, but I’m very far from understanding everything when I listen to a track. I get the main jest of it, but if it sounds fire, I might have to go ahead and translate it properly.
What do you think is the biggest difference between hip-hop/rap in France and in the US?
The main difference in my opinion is on a production, mix, and mastering level. It’s strange because we have some real dope producers and sound engineers here, but it’s like there’s some kind of weird sonic frequency vibration this side of the Atlantic, which means we’ll never be able to sound quite like them.
What about UK rap/hip-hop/grime? You into that?
I listen to more of the Rock kind of stuff coming out of the UK, more so than the Rap, but I haven’t completely passed on it either. It’s good vibes. I dig it.
What do you think of Grime’s boom into “mainstream” culture, especially in the US? You think French hip hop could ever go that far?
No, I dont think so, because we don’t speak the same language, and we don’t innovate enough. In the past there have been a lot of UK tracks or even artists that made noise in the US, which is not really the case for France, besides Electro music or older stuff like Edith Piaf. I guess Stromae is also another one making waves right now – but that’s if you count Belgium in the whole “French Touch” movement. Honestly, it’s rare. You can count the ones that made it. We would really need to come with a new style, but…
in France we tend to draw too much inspiration from US rap, and I count myself in that category. They see us as guys doing the same as them, but in another language. So even if you’re good, their isn’t really much point for them.
It’s safe to say your and your homie Salomon Faye have evolved quite considerably since first collaborating back in the day. Can we expect a new collabo in the near future?
For sure. We’re always in contact, and I catch him whenever I go to New York.
His hair right now is outta’ control! What’s your thoughts on the new cut?
Yeah why not. With a wig all is possible. Haha.
Your project “Sur la route du 3.14” was a real gem of an EP. Why did you wait so long to release your debut album “P-Town”?
Procrastination. Nothing else.
What’s the progression between “SLRD3.14” and “P-Town”?
First off, there are no B-Sides, this is 100% original. And I wouldn’t say it’s less spontaneous, but it’s definitely more thought through. haha. There’s been more craft and work put into the lyrics.
For now a few of the released tracks have been from you GVS family. Monomite, Oh Rare… Can we expect more GVS collabos on “P-Town”? Jimmy Whoo? Lonely Band? The homie Myth Syzer?
Yes, I work within the family, so all the homies you’ve mentioned have participated in the creation of the album in one way or another, and I thank them tremendously for that.
If you were a cartoon character, who would you be?
Describe your music in 5 words.
Sincere. Mad. Dark. Pessimistic. Great.
What’s next for Jazzy Bazz?
I’m gonna answer you like a football player: the goal is to win the next match (in this case the album), to stay focus, and take it game by game.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In between Paris, New York, Buenos Aires, London, Barcelona, Melbourne, Tokyo…
Strength be with you Part Time Wizards.
Much love to the brother Jazzy Bazz for taking the time to chat to us. Make sure grab you go grab yourself a copy of that new “P-Town” when it drops, as it’s sure to be a real gem of a record. Believe that.
Since the interview, the atrocities in Paris of the 13th of November took place. Jazzy Bazz took to the mic to reflect and spill his heart on the matter. The resulting track is ‘Fluctuat Nec Mergitur’. A rallying call for love lost, pain, passion, and strength.
Vos guerres. Nos morts.