POINCIANA – He calls himself Breeze, and in between attending Poinciana High School and Valencia Community College, he’s found time for some unique activities: a burgeoning career as a reggae performer.
“My reggae style is very clear,” Breeze said. “It isn’t like it’s hardcore reggae, it’s more r& b and reggae.”
Now 23 years old, the native of Saint Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands has found a lot of inspiration living in Poinciana — attending high school there, and still finding time to create his own music, record a single – “The Only One” – and tour across Central Florida, performing before local audiences.
Music has become his passion – and he’s throwing himself fully into it.
“This isn’t something I randomly picked up one day as a get rich quick scheme,” he said. “I’m just a happy person that I’m alive. I just try to represent life as best as I can.”
Breeze Representing, as his official stage name goes, has been performing for years now, and first got interested in music while he was still living in Saint Thomas, and began watching his older brother become a local performer.
“I moved over here when I was 11,” he said. “I’ve lived here now for 13 years, so I guess I would say I was raised most of my life in Florida.”
Central Florida has been good to him, he noted, giving him the inspiration to keep singing and finding new audiences.
“I try to do some stuff for fun, but for the most part, it’s true, you’ll be able to feel what I’m saying,” he said. “When you hear my song, you’ll have a really good feeling. That’s what it’s all about.”
He remembers listening to bands play on Saint Thomas, and falling in love with the music.
“When I first started doing music, it was when I was younger because my older brother had a group in the Virgin Islands, in Saint Thomas,” Breeze said. “He used to perform at certain places. From seeing that, I started singing, too.”
As a middle school student in Poinciana, “I started doing music with a group,” he said. “I got into a group and built a name in high school. Back then what I did was more r&b and hip hop. I rapped, also. But the reggae thing happened after I got out of high school and started doing music more seriously. So I developed my own style.”
What he was slow to do, he acknowledges, is learn to play an instrument.
“Funny thing about it – no,” he said. “But I’m picking it up now. I know it’s kind of late, but I’m starting to craft the art more and more. As serious as it is now for me, I’m actually trying to start learning now how to play the instruments, and I’m learning to play piano. But in high school I didn’t take those classes or anything, which is bad on my part.”
It was in high school when he met the producers that he now works with on singles like “The Only One,” and he’s been touring locally as well.
“I perform all over, in various places,” he said. “I had a performance at LAX recently.”
Audiences, Breeze has found, respond well to his brand of reggae.
“The feedback is always good,” he said. “I always get very positive feedback. What separates it is that you really listen to my music, it isn’t like I’m making this stuff up. The stuff I do is for fun, and my creativity is very wide and vast.”
Breeze has a YouTube account that he posts his songs on, and he appreciates the fact that it’s so much easier now to get his music out to a mass audience through the Internet – even though he worries that too many so-called “artists” with little or no talent are trying to do the same.
“I think that the concept of it is great,” he said. “When the media streaming world became more available, it did a lot of great things for a tremendous amount of people. But in that same token, it also lessens the greater factor of true art. Because of the media being so available right now to the vast amount of people, some people get drowned in that mess, you know, and not everyone is talented. It’s more 10 percent talent now, and 90 percent business.”
Breeze is likely to do well for a good reason, said Omar Warren: the young artist has talent.
“I have seen him perform, and I love his music,” said Warren, who lives in Poinciana. “He has a gift and it’s just a matter of positioning himself properly.”
Warren has worked with 360 Entertainment International, organizers of the SWAG tours, which stands for Students Who Achieve Greatness. Their mission is to use music as a way to encourage students toward positive achievements in their schools. the organization has sponsored the 360 EI High School Invasion Tour, which visits local high schools and organizes special music events for the students.
Warren said the business world offers greater opportunities than ever before for young artists like Breeze, since they can employ the Internet to reach a wide audience.
“With the proper social media setup, they can really flourish,” he said. “If you can get 1,000 fans to spend $100 a year, you can make $100,000 a year. There’s a lot of opportunities today for independent artists, and Breeze has a unique skill set.”
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