Ghanaian-born rapper, Blitz the Ambassador, always remembers music being the first love of his life. Young Samuel Bazawule reminisces of his days being entranced by the local dance bands he saw perform during family and community functions in his neighborhood. He admired the artistry of the musicians, and heavily respected the showmanship in live musical performances. The musical taste of his parents and older sibling allowed him to possess an eclectic taste and liking to world music. His household was full of music, such as early Motown, The Beatles, Highlife music, and hip-hop acts such as the legendary Public Enemy.
Blitz’s passion eventually led him to land his first music feature by the time he was in his mid-teens. The track was by popular hiplife artist and producer Hammer, and was entitled “Deeba.” Hammer believed in his skills as an artist and allowed Blitz to display his East coast American hip-hop style fused with Ghana hiplife sound. The song immediately captured the attention of the local Ghana music scene and went on to be a “Best New Artist” award win for Hammer at the Ghanaian Music Awards.
Although Blitz was able to gain industry respect as a young man in his native country, it wasn’t until his college years in America when he actually realized that he could build a career as a hip-hop artist. While us normal folk had work-study jobs and internships in college, Blitz was the opening concert act for legendary artists like Common, Talib Kweli, and The Roots. He was able to gain notoriety at this time in the Cleveland hip-hop scene, which was very small and tight-knit. His alluring lyrical swag and socially conscious content left little room for significant competition, in which cast a strong spotlight on his progressing platform.
After college, Blitz moved to Brooklyn, NY to ambitiously pave his own lane in the music scene of New York City. Over the years, he’s been successful in spreading his wings and gradually captures loyal fans through his three prolific albums: Stereotype (2009), Native Sun (2011), and his current global conquest Afropolitan Dreams (2014). All three of these albums display the different phases of his personal and professional tribulations of building awareness through his unique brand of music. Blitz’ belief is to always maintain his theme of “bridging the gap,” between Eastern vs. Western perspectives, racial and financial liberation, and diverse expressions of hip-hop culture.
Another leading aspect to his distinctive artistry is his live-stage performances. Blitz shares how early in his career—his live shows had the traditional hip-hop setup of his DJ and himself, the MC. However, by the time Blitz was preparing for his Stereotype album tour, he was thinking of ways to build dimension to his stage performances, which is when his band, the Embassy Ensemble was originated. The Embassy Ensemble is his full live band consisting of brass and horn sections, guitar wizards, drum slayers, and other magical beings! His band sonically displays his theme of bridging the gap between New York hip-hop and traditional African and highlife music.
Blitz’ passion and sustainability thus far is largely due to the fact that he’s 100% hands-on in his career and image. He believes in being the master of his own destiny; therefore, he steadily steers his own lane without having a manager for the past two years. He has designed all of his album covers, creates his own marketing strategies, and even conceptualizes and edits many of his music videos. He practices the art of maximizing production value, and loves how his campaigns appear as if he has the aid of an entire staff, but is mainly orchestrated by his own multi-talented grind.
In between managing his own career or curating his global video shoots, the bulk of his time is mainly touring, especially overseas. Besides his U.S. fan base, Blitz has been fortunate to tour in reputable world music festivals and concerts all over Europe, Asia, and Africa. He states that he appreciates his success in these different music markets. He observes that the overseas music industry and audience seem to open their arms to all musicians who are passionate about their craft and stay true to their individual artistry; as opposed to the U.S., where success and opportunities rely on radio play and chart sales.
Blitz’ future plans is to take his musical conquest throughout the Mother continent of Africa. He declares that his work is for Africa, Africans, and the Diaspora. He currently has concerts booked in Africa for 2015 and he eventually plans to primarily live on the continent in hopes of casting a brighter spotlight on the modern progression of African culture in relation to the rest of the world.