Reggae musician Collie Buddz performs in Vail Tuesday night |

Reggae musician Collie Buddz performs in Vail Tuesday night

Charlie Owen
Vail CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily

VAIL, Colorado ” Growing up in Bermuda, Colin Harper was surrounded by the island sounds of reggae and soca music that would eventually shape his career as a musician. Since coming into his own as a dancehall reggae recording artist and producer, Harper, who performs under the name Collie Buddz, has toured the world and released a highly acclaimed debut album. He’ll bring his high-energy show to the Sandbar in Vail Tuesday night.

Despite the fact that he’s white and not from Jamaica, Buddz has risen above the standard stereotype pitfalls of the industry (think Snow, then laugh, then appreciate how hard it is to be taken seriously as a white reggae artist) and earned the respect of many reggae musicians.

His self-titled debut album includes guest spots by Paul Wall, Krayzie Bone and Yung Berg and received a four star (out of five) review in “Spin” magazine, which proclaimed “catchiness transcends color.” A B+ review in “Entertainment Weekly” praised Buddz’s album for being “insightful, lustful, streetwise and perfect for summer block parties.”

We spoke with Buddz over the phone about his studio habits and his passion for reggae music.

1: Vail Daily: How does it feel to know that pretty much every review of your debut album has been positive in some way and to know that you’re being so well received in the states?

Collie Buddz: It feels really good man. It’s a funny thing because I’m not really the norm you know, in reggae music, so I kind of expected a lot of slackness. But no, it’s been great, absolutely.

2. VD: Now that you’ve had time to reflect on the album, how do you feel about it? Do you still think it’s a good representation of your music, or even your live show?

CB: Yeah, definitely. When I look back on it now I wish I’d done a little more on the production side because when I get in the studio I’m kind of a perfectionist. But that’s my first album, that’s my baby, and it’s definitely a good representation and I’m very pleased with it and I’m pleased with how well its done. I’m working on the second one right now, actually, so that should be coming out early next year, probably near February.

3. VD: How much of your sound comes from your personality and how much comes from your influences?

CD: It took me a while to figure out what style I wanted to do, and it all came together a couple of years ago … nowadays, dancehall, which is real hype, that definitely had an influence on me because early ’90s dancehall, that’s the era I grew up on, so that’s had an influence on me.

4. VD: You earned a degree in audio engineering from Full Sail University in Florida. How has that helped you with your sound?

CB: If it wasn’t for that, I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing now … It helped me tremendously. I can basically record myself and mix myself and do all that stuff, which a lot of artists can’t do.

5. VD: I’m starting to notice a bit of a pattern here. Would you call yourself a control freak in the studio?

CB: Yeah, definitely, definitely. I just like to have a hand in everything, you know, and I’m real picky, too. When I’m recording myself I’m running in and out of the booth, just make(ing) sure that every word, every thing, is the best I can do. We’ve had a couple of times where we sent out songs to other producers to mix it and I’ve never been happy. It’s probably just because I’m not there to see it get done, but I definitely love to mess around in the studio and definitely have control over my music.

6. VD: You’ve lived in several different countries and have traveled to others because of your music. What’s been one of the biggest lessons you’ve learned about the power of music?

CB: We’ve been all over the world and reggae music, it’s a universal thing, you know. I’m from Bermuda and (on) the whole Caribbean Island the music goes so far. (We’ve been) all over the world. We’ve been to Japan, we’ve done five shows there and reggae music’s huge over there and it’s crazy to see that but everybody comes together. It doesn’t matter what culture you are or what race you are, it brings everybody together.

7. VD: What made you fall in love with reggae music and want to stick with it throughout your life like you have?

CB: Reggae music, that was the only music I knew, to me there was no other music … I just love the music. I have so many memories of growing up with it, it just kind of felt right to stick with it, you know.

High Life writer Charlie Owen can be reached at 970-748-2939 or

What: Collie Buddz with opening act the MTHDS and host DJ Weez.

When: Tuesday night at 9 p.m.

Where: The Sandbar in Vail.

Cost: $18 in advance, $20 day of show.

More information: Call 970-476-4314 or visit

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