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VANZO

CONTACTS & 

INFOS

Label : BACO MUSIC

Nationality : Jamaican

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BIOGRAPHY

From Sligoville, the peaceful rural town located near Kingston, Jamaica, where he was born, to the buzzing Spanish Town where he grew up, there are only 16 km which the young Devano McLean often traveled to go to school, then later to work at the sugar factory as a centrifuge operator. As VANZO is today considered by his peers as one of the rising stars of Dancehall in Jamaica, it will be useful for you to read these few lines to better understand the ingredients that have made VANZO who he is today.

Freeze frame, flashback: at nightfall, the frogs whistle rhythmically in the lush hills of Sligoville, the first village where slaves were freed in 1834, and cradle of Rastafarianism with its Pinnacle community, founded in 1940. In the small family home where he lives with his parents and brother, Devano is rocked by the piano tunes played by his father and the gospel songs of his mother. Nearby, the Baptist Church, as there are many in the vast parish of St. Catherine, is filled-up every Sunday. By atavism, very early on Devano knew how to place his first chords «by ear» on his father’s keyboard and accompanied himself on vocals, and he naturally got his first riddims. «At that time, I already had a team called Digital Crew...». For the blue hills kids, the Nyahbinghi drums of the «Pinnacle» have long since given way to Ragga or the New Roots style of the 2000s. Flash-forward: in Spanish Town (former capital of Jamaica, soon to be absorbed by its sprawling neighbour Kingston), hometown of the iconic Grace Jones, and incidentally the scene of the war between “rudies”, Devano is, like his ancestors in Sligoville, definitively freed from sugar cane work. Then, from Sound Systems to Dancehalls, he evolved into Vanzo. His influences of the moment: Vybz Kartel and especially Tenor Saw. “Tenor Saw inspired me a lot. But I developed my own style, a mix of R&B, Dancehall, Hip-hop and Jazz ”. The pivotal episode of his young career will follow in 2017, at the Magnum Kings & Queens of Dancehall, a television show equivalent to the American “Star Academy”. Launched in 2007, the show offers to the winner1,500,000 Jamaican $ (about 10,000 USD), together with a contract to produce a single with star producer Troy «Troyton» Hinds. The jury is made up of such stars as General Trees, Gramps Morgan or Bounty Killer. Vanzo makes it to the grand finale of this ruthless contest, where victims amount to thousands, after endless playoffs across the island. “The Magnum didn’t require you to have a musical background to be able to participate. It was just about being ready to compete. Being dubbed by Bounty Killer really boosts you in the business... ” This allows him to play in the same court as his peers Demarco or Chronixx: very quickly, the first hits followed, one after another. «Arif Cooper (son of Michael ‘Ibo’ Cooper from Third World, who produced Sean Paul, Vybz Kartel, Beenie Man and Demarco) released two of my tracks, Mi Good and Relationships goals.» These productions are immediately broadcasted on radios, and acclaimed in Dancehalls, where his crystalline voice and swaying flow set the dance floors in fire. Video clips such as «Alright», are a hit on Youtube. Vanzo is also featured at the biggest Jamaican festivals, such as Rebel Salute or Reggae Sumfest, with Buju Banton or Bounty Killer. From now on, VANZO news come from our side of the Atlantic: his new album which will be released on the label Baco Music is produced by the French Street Machine Productions team and has in store for you a warm and groovy flow which is likely to shake up both airwaves and Sound Systems in the coming months. With a “Future Roots» sound crafted through cutting edge production techniques, while respecting traditional Jamaican rhythms, VANZO affirms in this new album a desire to cross boundaries between the musical heritage of his native island and the urban sounds which have been conquering the world over these last decades.