It's a family affair

Baz is the voice of what's now being called 'undersoul', slightly more intelligent out and out pop music with a splashing of sweet harmony and urban sensibilities. Outside Leicester's Demontfort Hall Nick James (venerable editor of Atomicduster no less!) and I look around anxiously after an hour and wonder if Baz will have the time to talk to us, as members of her band start to look sheepish... (Sound check is in half an hour and she is stuck on the M1).

Signed to One Little Indian records (home of Bjork) she is on tour supporting Sophie Ellis Bexter. We start to ask her management on the phone what's happening and her guitarist edges towards us wanting to know himself, a nervous looking Italian by the name of Roberto Bugiolacchi maybe he can provide us with some juicy gossip about the next British Diva...because there is more to this guy than meets the eye.

Roberto: Yes, I have been friends with Baz for a number of years now and during one of the writing sessions I came up with the acoustic guitar riff that characterises the song....dum dum da da da da dum dum... Baz was making up melodies daga daga daga daga...and by the end if the session the song was written. After that about 25 versions of the song were mixed to cater for various markets within pop, dance, garage etc.. it's usual, as a writer or a session musician you sign your rights over to the company and they go with the version they want. All the words are written by Baz, she is very much the driving force.

Atomic: So are you signed as a session player?

Roberto: No, we are in the official BAZ band, but more than that I am a friend and a co-writer. Our drummer Paul is also playing in Sophie Ellis Bexter's band, he is a fine drummer. This summer we are playing the Essentials festival where we are 3rd or 4th on the list before James Brown!

Shortly after talking to the charming Roberto he ushers us outside to a beat up white van and inside we meet BAZ herself wearing a furry coat topped by her defining blonde hair. The roof is leaking and the floor damp but she shows no signs of Diva tantrums that solo singers seem to specialize in. On the contrary BAZ is very upbeat and totally focused on her mission. Lines of people are queing up alongside the vehicle, not realising that they are right next to one of tonights stars....

Atomic: You've strickingly photogenic Baz, can you tell us, is that a real falcon on your shoulder, on the cover of your first single 'Believers'?

Baz: Yeah, Everytime the cameras snapped his wings were everywhere, I had stood there for 3 hours with Ringo the falcon, it' s the real deal! The trainer would feed him every minute so he wouldn't gore me!.

Atomic: Coming from a musical family (Sister of Monie Love and DJ Dave Angel as a brother, not to mention Rollo of Faithless as your cousin and the influence of your father). Was a career in music always mapped out?

Baz: It wasn't mapped out for me by my family but it was mapped out in my heart!

Atomic: What else would you have been other than a musician?

Baz: If I wasn't a musician I think I would have headed for athletics. Cross country! However I've got a thing about bad weather and this not sunny!

Atomic:: Roberto was telling us you've played around Europe already and that a trip to America may be on the cards?

Baz: That's an exiting prospect. I don't know when but hopefully very soon...I'll be going to Australia first where 'Believers'is going to be released.

Atomic: Your sister has been successful, your brother and obviously your father...before you "happened". Did you ever think you would make it this far?

Baz: I perseverved without stopping. 'Believers' says it all..."Smile to Shine". Emotions are a big part of my songs, needing love. I knew I would've done it. You just know when it's your destiny. It has taken me 8 years to be here and if I thought back to when I started wanting to be a singer I would've said "Yeah it will take a year maybe two" If I'd have known that it would take 8 years then perhaps I wouldn't have tried. No matter what knock backs I got I just got stronger and more determined thats how I carried on. I did it on my own.

Atomic: What was the first big break for you?

Baz: Meeting my manager. I had been recording tracks at friends studios and this guy called one day and wanted to hire my brother and didn't have his number. He was a good friend of my cousin so we talked a while and I said "By the way I'm a singer/songwriter, I'm looking for good management." He was taken aback and decided that we should meet for a chat and we soon developed a good relationship, he heard my tracks and shook his head saying... "This is just a shame...people should be hearing's fantastic!" Then followed a showcase gig where I would sing over a DJ playing my backing track (I didn't have a band back then!) of course it went wrong and the backing track messed I bit the bullet and sung accapella to a great response. After that my manager was convinced I had what it took. I guess it runs in the family.

Atomic: Do you think that you are carrying the torch for your father?

Baz: Yes definetely, Baz is my dads name (short for Basil). My real name is Rossanna, but there's already a singer of that name!

With two singles under her belt already, a UK tour supporting the Daughter of a former Blue Peter presenter, as well as her family ties, Baz looks set to make a stir. But with an obvious 'sted fast' personality such as hers, who'd be suprised. A musician and songwriter who surrounds herself with others of a similar ilk, an evening spent in the company of this new 'under-soul' is one that we certainly can't fault.

Interview; Na'im Cortazzi and Nick James.

One little Indian




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