On A Mission‘ is a jubilant celebration of Blvk H3ro and his musical journey, life experiences, and self-discovery. Boasting 15 remarkable tracks, the album demonstrates his exceptional growth and evolution as a musician, offering an exhilarating sonic voyage that captures his distinctive artistic vision. The project offers exciting collaborations from some of the most esteemed artists across the globe, from afroswing heavyweight Kojo Funds, to some of Jamaica’s biggest names SkillibengTeeJay, Demarco and Dre Island. Adding their expertise on production, the trusted talents of Soko7 and BLAQ PAGES ensure that the album is finely tuned to the highest degree.

Bethel: ‘Good Body’ blends Jamaican and Zimbabwean musical elements. How did this fusion come about, and what was the creative process like in collaborating with Soko7 and Blaq Pages?

Blvk H3ro: The whole connection happened when I came on my first tour to the States. It’s been during that process that I ended up meeting Soko through mutual friends or people that I was working with, and we just hit it off.

His whole culture loves dancehall and Jamaican music. You know Zimbabwe, with the zim-dancehall going off over there and me just wanting to know more about Africa and about Zimbabwe, it led us to not only just be music friends but actual real friends, in real life. The chemistry and the process that me and Soko have with every record is the same. I’ll link him and I’ll go over to the studio where he’s always playing, always building, always creating. Every time I walk in there’s always a riddim playing and that was the one that caught my attention. I love how it kind of brings everybody to the dance floor. If you played it in a reggaeton, dancehall, afrobeats space, people would move. I like music that brings a lot of people together. So it was that kind of process and we did it in like 20/25 minutes. ‘Good Body’ felt like another day in the office. 

Bethel: 25 minutes isn’t a long time to make a song!

Blvk H3ro: Because me and him are like meeting the right person at the right time. I’ve been creating for the last 10 years, he has been creating for the last 10 years, non-stop for the both of us. So it’s like we’re so sharp. I don’t write anymore, I just go in. I hear the vibrations and he doesn’t even overthink beats. You could make them in 15 minutes, for real. So it’s the right energy meeting the right energy. Iron sharpens iron but if the iron is already sharp, what happens? I guess ‘Good Body’, I don’t know.

Bethel: And with Blaq Pages? What was the vibe there and how did you get together?

Blvk H3ro: I’ve been on tour and I ended up moving around LA a lot, even staying here a bit. I just seen that he’s the guy championing afrobeats over here. He’s making sure everywhere he goes, African music is at the forefront of his mission. You can’t help but see and go to the events that he keeps and notice how he curates the space, how he cares, how he even still plays Jamaican music within that space. He works with soca and I just thought it was fitting to put an ambassador for a genre that I love, for music that we all love on the record to help build the connection more. 

He’s from Ghana, Soko’s from Zimbabwe, I’m from Jamaica and that’s like the dream of Africa right there, for all of us to be working together.

Bethel: ‘Annabella’ and ‘Good Body’ are part of your album, ‘On A Mission’. What can fans expect from the album, and how do these singles represent the overall sound of the project?

Blvk H3ro: The mission for these singles was really to be a bit more versatile, be a bit more diverse, bring more music especially for women to enjoy. Not from just my perspective or any man’s perspective of what a woman can do to us and all these things that we all enjoy in our privacy.

I remember seeing my mom cooking, washing, driving us to school, and taking care of us and she would always be listening to specific songs. Women to me, have some of the best taste in music. So I’ve just been watching that and listening to our ex’s, our girlfriend’s, best friend’s taste in music when I realised there’s less and less music that women get to enjoy in their time – that they get to get ready to, drive to, without having to to skip it. And also, ‘Annabella’ and ‘Good Body’ are appreciation of the female energy, and that’s how it fits into the album.

So going into that next question, I’m a Libra so I’m like 50/50 with everything – I’m in the middle, I can understand everybody’s perspective. So the ‘Good Body’ and ‘Annabella’ purpose on the album was to make women happy. The whole overall tone of the album really is a mission to bring more music for women, on a mission for us to have deeper communication, on a mission for the youth especially. That’s my main mission. I can’t focus on anybody over 40 right now. I have to focus on my generation and the ones after me, to help them, to give real advice, to give them music for when times get hard.

So the album is an accumulation of everything I’ve learned as a man, as a son, as a nephew, as a cousin, as a friend, as a boyfriend, and hopefully one day as a husband.

Bethel: You performed at City Splash, your first UK appearance. How did you prepare for that performance, and what was your overall experience like?

Blvk H3ro: It’s the same formula at this point- you just find a routine. I am really prepared by getting my mind, my body and my vocals ready. These are the tools that musicians use on stage. We might use our hands to play equipment, instruments and stuff like that, but really and truly it’s our mind, our body, and our expressiveness; which is like our vocals, how we express ourselves. I consistently try to work out but if I was slacking off, I make sure at least a week and a half before the show I’m fine tuning my body by jogging, training my core and also preparing my vocals – doing as much vocal warm ups and vocal training as I can. I do rehearsals with the band or with the DJ and make sure everything is super tight.

City Splash was just an amazing experience, especially with it being my first time in the UK. I’ve always wanted to go to London. I’ve done BBC extras in Jamaica, I’ve done so much work with people in the UK and I feel like there’s always this community there that supports me, but they’ve never had the chance to see me. London is my highest streaming city and that’s the last 6 years, so it’s always baffled me like “How? Why am I not here?!”

But everything happens in its own time. That was a good experience and since I left Jamaica one year now, me na drink ah coconut jelly from outta the coconut. Ah London, me come ah Brixton come drink dat. It’s a good experience and the women are extremely beautiful and friendly. It has its bad sides, too. It’s not as open with ganja, you can sense a hint of racism and a little bit of classism but that’s everywhere and overall it was cool. I had some good food, some good parties, some good vibes.

Bethel: Your music often carries positive messages and celebrates joy. How important is it for you to use your platform to spread positivity and inspire listeners? I know you mentioned a little bit about targeting a younger group.

Blvk H3ro: I feel like the overall tone of society right now, and I can’t say the world because nature is not like this, we’re out of balance with this. We seem to not realise that’s my sister, that’s my brother. We keep hurting each other, we keep trying to kill each other, be petty. We alone have this planet, we alone have each other. There’s nothing else that’s coming to save us, you know what I mean.

So I think the positivity balances out everything. I don’t think you can completely have everything positive or completely have everything negative, but I feel like we need that balance. Every day it seems like something new is piling on to the fear and to the doubts.

It’s just how you make it seem. Social media is like 5% of what has actually happened in real life. So I think we need more positive influences, not just music but in our videos, movies, film. Positive don’t mean Jesus or you have to be like Gandhi – you can be positive and still have sex, and still party and still go out. Revolutionary don’t mean you’ll become a dud, or you become a lame – it just means there’s a time and a place for everything and now it is a time we have to be very careful. Trust me, if you have little cousins, younger siblings or friends, pay close attention to them because they’re being fed a lot of shit right now. It’s crazy.

You can listen to Blvk H3ro’s new album below, and discover more from GUAP’s Music section here.