If there is one thing that Quebec soul-influenced artist Bobby Bazini has learned in the seven years since his debut effort, Better In Time, was released, it is that success begets the expectation of future success. It can be a vicious, potentially soul-crushing cycle if those expectations – whether real, assumed, or imagined on anyone’s part – are not met.
It should be said if anyone set the bar high for Bazini, it was the artist himself. Although there are arguably worse predicaments in which artists can find themselves, his sales record to date has been impressive to say the least.
Nine months following the release of his debut album in 2010, Bazini had sold more than 100,000 records, netting himself the first platinum certification of his career. That platinum path was shortened considerably with his second effort, 2014’s Where I Belong, which achieved such status after just three months. In addition to having received four Juno Award nominations, the record also had the distinction of being the best-selling Canadian album that year.
And now, Bazini’s newest effort that was released last fall, the dynamic Summer Is Gone, has already earned the artist a gold album certification.
If in fact Bazini is feeling any kind of pressure, he is concealing it well.
“I’ve always felt pressure, from the time of making my first album through to my newest record,” he says. “When you’re in the position of having a successful record, all you can do is strive to give your best and put your best foot forward on your next release.”
In seeking to put his best foot forward for his third full-length album, Bazini decided he wanted to get out of his comfort zone. He found his way to Los Angeles, Nashville, and London, U.K., where, for the first time in his career, he sought out collaborations with other songwriters, including producer Martin Terefe, Jake Gosling (Ed Sheeran, One Direction), Samuel Dixon (Adele, SIA), Jimmy Hogarth (Amy Winehouse, James Bay), EG White (Florence and the Machine, Adele), and country music sensation Chris Stapleton.
“Overall, I learned a lot working with other writers as they challenged me to try new things and explore different techniques,” Bazini says.
The artist’s pick of Martin Terefe to oversee Summer Is Gone stemmed from a long-time desire to work with the acclaimed producer.
“I had been hoping to work with Martin [Terefe] since the making of my first album, so to have everything fall in place this time around was fantastic. Our goal was to make a contemporary-sounding record. We took an organic approach to the creation of all these songs, playing live instruments in order to give them a solid foundation,and then added various instruments after the fact.When it was all said and done, I think we found a good balance between keeping the music pure, but also making a modern album.”
With his newest record now available in Canada, the U.S., the U.K. and France, Bazini might not be one of Canada’s best-kept secrets for much longer. While he is unquestionably excited to be back on the road, he admits the further into his career he gets, the tougher it is to play all the songs both he and the audience wants in the run of his live show.
“I’m only three albums in, but it’s already getting tough to put set-lists together,” Bazini says, laughing.“I want to play a lot of the new record, of course, but I also want to be sure that people are hearing the songs they hoped to hear. I’m confident we will find a good balance, and everyone will leave happy.”
What: Bobby Bazini
When: Sunday April 30, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Capitol Theatre, 811 Main St., Moncton Tickets are $36 for members, $39 for others. Advance tickets are available at the Capitol Theatre Box Office, by phone (506) 856-4379 and online at capitol.nb.ca