credit: Vincent Bergeron
Busty and the Bass have come a long way in a short time. The nine members of the band connected in their first week at McGill University’s jazz school in Montreal and started jamming. Casual house party gigs soon led to scorching live performances in front of thousands on stages across the U.S., Europe, and their home country of Canada. The group’s natural chemistry and an ability to create a sound that Complex says is “best described as a lovechild between jazz, hip-hop, and electro-soul" has been a major hit with audiences, bouncing along and chanting “Bus-ty!” in unified delight. Even R&B legend Macy Gray is a fan of Busty and the Bass, praising their soulful living room session cover of her hit song “I Try” as “beeyooteefoh”.
The band is gearing up to release their debut full-length album. Compared to their previous three EPs, the album finds them focused on the project as a whole, rather than just a collection of songs. It is also a continuation of their infectious brand of danceable electro-soul, hip-hop and funk.
On previous efforts the group recorded in the “busty basement”, a place that guitarist Louis Stein says allowed for “experimentation and fun”. This time around they decided to step up their game, enlisting the skills of Grammy award winning producer/mixer Neal Pogue, best known for his work with acts like Outkast, Snoop Dogg, Earth Wind and Fire, MIA, Nikki Minaj, Aretha Franklin, and Lil Wayne.
“Neal was the nucleus around which the entire project came together, bringing together all the diverse voices that make up the band and helping us create a cohesive body of work,” says bassist Milo Johnson.
Pogue encouraged the band to listen to classic albums by Parliament, Earth, Wind and Fire, and Michael Jackson. Inspiration was also found in contemporary artists like Kendrick Lamar, D’Angelo, and James Blake. All of these influences can be heard on the album, but the way the band incorporates them into their own sound shows a sharp and original progression.
“The new songs represent a much more developed and mature version of our sound. It saw us moving away from the home-basement tracking that we did ourselves to a more encompassing studio environment,” says vocalist and synth player Evan Crofton.
"Exceptional musicianship, wild creativity, and pure fun" (CBC) are difficult to achieve all together, but Busty and the Bass have proven it to be their forte. 2017 is poised to be the biggest year yet for the group as they embark on their first full tours of the U.S. and Europe. With a new album to share with the world, Busty and the Bass are just getting the party started.