Exclusive Interview: Blitz The Ambassador Talks Live Show & Next Album
Blitz The Ambassador is an emcee currently based out of Brooklyn, NY by way of Accra, Ghana in Africa, using music to spread his story across the world. He’s graced the stages of a number of countries and continents in the past several months alone, sharing his top notch live show that includes a full band. Earlier in January Blitz came home to New York for a memorable show, and chopped it up with me afterwards about his live performance and future plans.
JMC: You’re back in New York, we’re here at what they’re calling “homecoming,” talk about that.
Blitz: I was actually surprised they called it homecoming (laughs), but it is a homecoming of sorts. I’ve been traveling for most of the year, 2010 and 2011. I really have not been in New York much so this is really my first show [in New York] in over six to seven months. I used to play here almost every other week. So to be gone from New York that long sometimes you just wanna be back in familiar territory.
It keeps you sharp, because these people, they’re not gonna bullshit you. If it’s not what it is, they’ll let you know. So there’s something about being able to play in New York and be able to entertain people here that I take very seriously.
JMC: How important is to get out there and perform your music live?
Blitz: For me I think about my live show as the only real advertising I have. I don’t have radio pumping my name every five minutes or TV doing the same. So all I have is a phenomenal live show that I work really hard on to make sure that anybody who sees it no matter what stage, no matter what country can appreciate the fact that there’s a lot of work that went into it. And that has really been our saving grace. In a business where it’s so fickle you can have a hit today and tomorrow not be remembered, you have to go for longevity. And the only thing that to me can really guarantee your staying is a live show because any and everybody will appreciate that no matter what walk of life they’re from, no matter what musical background or genre they subscribe to. So it’s a honor to be able to travel play my music and also create a lane for myself that isn’t so dependent on the industry.
JMC: The live instrumentation in hip hop is something that’s not used a lot. What do you say to someone who might think you’re lyricism is lost with the big production with the band?
Blitz: To people like that I say just listen. I’ll never compromise my lyricism for music or to expand the musicianship. I’m from a school of Rakim, KRS, Big Daddy Kane. And that has always stuck with me and that’s what makes my band unique. A lot of people who have bands have used that as a supplement or a way to make them look good. But for me it’s a fair balance what I bring lyrically and what my band brings with music. So I just tell those people listen and you’ll find the lyrics in the music.
JMC: What’s next for Blitz?
Blitz: The next project is called “Griot,” and it’s pretty much the logical next step after “Native Sun,” expanding this musical experiment that I’ve been on for many years. Being able to really show the synergy between hip hop music and African music or Afro-Latino music, Afro-Cuban music, all these elements of hip hop in them, and for me it’s all about being able to bridge them together. So that’s my next opus that I’ve been brainstorming on, so that’s the album. And it’s pretty much “g” lowercase and uppercase “R-I-O-T” cuz you can’t spell griot without starting a riot. And people need to understand that it’s time that the griots take back what’s theirs. And that’s what hip hop is, hip hop is griot culture, with wondrous storytellers. And that’s kinda what my next album is about and I’m excited about it.