Modern Griots Interview: Blayer Pointdujour


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Source: Unnom Deguerre

Blayer Pointdujour and the Rockers Galore are a band based in Philadelphia. Calling themselves the adopted child of Saul Williams and Paul Simonon (of The Clash), the group combines different musical styles, including punk rock, reggae, funk, hip-hop, and Haitian rhythms. Pointdujour aims to put a new twist on old music, making a new style all his own. After releasing their debut EP, Port Au Prince in 2011, they recently released their latest album, The Bull. Below he talks about his influences and the album:

1)    How do you describe yourself as an artist for those who don’t know you?

 I’m a first generation Haitian American from North Jersey. I’ve lived in Philadelphia for 9 years. My band and I create a blend of kompa\hip hop\punk jams

2)    What artists and music genres have influenced your music?

I’m influenced by a multitude of musical genres. Buddy Rich, Dizzy, Jimi Hendrix, Bad Brains, Kanye West, KRS-One, The Clash, Dennis Brown, and Stevie Wonder are some my favorite artists to listen to. Lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of Jazz and Hip Hop. I’m starting to concentrate on arrangements.

3)    What do you find the most different and most culturally influential about the Philadelphia music scene that other ones?

We’ve a mix of a couple different scenes going on here. You can hear great live music from many different genres of music. We’ve got a lot of awesome artists that have their own identity.  The Roots, War on Drugs, Sun Ra, Dr. Dog, and Freeway are my fave local acts. This question makes me think of 2009 World Series Phillies vs the Yankees. The Phillies look as if you ever saw them on the street you could have a good chat and beer with them. The Yankees look like corporate robots

4)    Who came up with the concept for the album name and cover and what is the meaning behind it?

I came up with the name and I worked my friend Jesse Beamesderfer on concept of the artwork. I got the name from watching BBC’s Lost Kingdoms of Africa series. There was one episode focused on The Zulu warriors. The Bull was a fighting formation they used in battle. I thought it had a nice ring to it and I could identify with my own battle in the music industry. The cover art has elements of a Zulu warrior war dress

5)    You have a song on the album called “1804,” a reference to the Haitian Revolution and “Iron Dread” centers

on the historical impact of colonialism and slavery on Haiti today. How has the history of Haiti and the Caribbean in general played a part for you personally and artistically?

The history gives me a sense of urgency to make the best out of my life. I always push myself to be the best at whatever I’m doing. Because I could of just as easily been born in Haiti. I have some family members that still live there. We own a couple orphanages and a radio station. Seeing how the poor live their makes me go hard in America

6)    This blog’s theme is afrofuturism/afrosurrealism, and it centers on not only ideas found in science fiction, myth, fantasy, technology, historical fiction, and spiritual systems/mysticism, but also the relationship between the past, present and future and the ability to envision and create a different world, which is evident in your music as well. How would you say your band and music include some of these ideas?

I really believe that theirs nothing new under the sun. History constantly repeats itself. We get our sounds from old and new music. Working in a great studio helps us make the songs sound contemporary but we are deeply rooted in old sounds. 1804 was taken from a song from 1969. Our newest single was inspired by a song from 1955.

7)    What are your future plans and where can listeners find out more about the band?

Were going to start a new recording in January then head to SXSW in March. I plan to release a new album by august 2013. If you go to www.blayerpdj.com you will find my splash page with links to iTunes, Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Facebook, Tumblr, and Youtube.

“Gunz of Philly” featuring the North Philly Stompers

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