Steve Bedi with regards to his background, Steve says that his father was a military man and some of his passion for music came from military brass and drums. He recalls that from the age of six, he had a profound interest in music and by the age of 8, was playing trombone with his school band.
From this age he became inspired by Louis Armstrong and after finishing secondary school he started listening to music that featured the saxophone. It was at this time that he fell in love with the instrument and became heavily influenced by Kenny Garrett, David Sanborn, Kenny G and more significantly, John Coltrane.
At this time, he faced a choice as to whether he would take his education further or to pursue music full time.
He chose the latter and faced pressure and opposition from friends and relatives as he was the only musician in his family. He describes his journey to the point of being able to record his debut album as a very difficult struggle and despite performing in Europe and South Africa, he has been through some very difficult times financially.
Now, with the release of ‘Syncos Jazz’ and the rise of his profile as the most sought after saxophonist in Ghana, he believes the hardest times are behind him and that he will eventually win high international acclaim as a leading musician on the world stage. Steve Bedi was signed by Scratch Studios nearly one year ago and has recorded his superb debut album titled ‘Syncos Jazz’ which is a unique blend of jazz and traditional African music fused with other styles.
His music has classic elements of Stan Getz with a mixture of ‘Pseudo Jazz’, ‘Jazz Fusion’ and more contemporary styles that will draw fans of any age. Steve has been playing music for 20 years and he has given rise to a distinct brand of jazz that will captivate the world and stand the test of time. He has managed to create his own style reminiscent of Manu Dibango, Groover Washington, Stanley Turrentine, George Benson, Bob James and other CTI record label artistes.
Scratch Studios’ record label has worked closely with Steve on a creative level and produced the ‘Syncos’ sound so that comparatively, ‘Syncos’ is to Scratch as soul music was to Motown. Scratch Studios coined the expression ‘Syncos’ to describe a unique style broadly described as synchronised soul.l. There have been some highly influential artists and modern jazz musicians such as Kenny G, David Sanborn, Dave Koz, Gerald Albright and Salif Keita and it seems that Steve Bedi will become a name to join them. This, his debut album, has been long overdue and is set for release on Scratch Studios record label in the next few months.
ABOUT MY MUSIC
Steve’s gospel and Christian influence is expressed delightfully in a soulful, dance tune titled ‘Praise His Name’ which is timeless, the addition of orchestral and string arrangements in the vein of Barry White, Dionne Warwick and Isaac Hayes indicates that the song will prove to be evergreen
Praise His Name
His love for the instrument is portrayed in the song ‘Medow’ (which is the Akan word for I love you) where he chants the sound rather than just playing and it seems as though he and the sax are having a conversation that only the two of them understand. ‘Medow’ is in the vein of a cross between Salif Keita and Youssou N’Dour.
Scratchy Groove’ has the feel of a groove that came in the studio and is captured on this track, here the spirit of ‘Syncos’ really came through with a feel that is reminiscent of the great, late ‘Godfather Of Soul’, James Brown. This track really demonstrates that the ‘Syncos’ sound is here to stay.
As Accra is on the coast of Ghana one cannot help but be influenced by the beach communities with the fishermen going out in their canoes, this influence is clearly evident on the song ‘Yaya ho Yaya’ where the rhythm of the fishermen pulling in their nets whilst chanting is echoed in these very words.
Like everyone else, Steve is more than familiar with the struggle to earn enough money which is illustrated in his song ‘For the Love of Money’. The themes of a woman selling her precious body and a man even killing his own brother through desperation for money are present and Steve encourages people to enjoy music, dance and to make money in an honest and moral way – the old fashioned way which means one must earn it.
Steve’s love for jazz and swing is demonstrated in the toe tapping, 30 second track named ‘Diddle.’
Steve is also a city boy who now lives in the Ghanaian capital, Accra and is not free from the pressures of the world as highlighted in ‘Hustle in the City’.
This demonstrates Steve’s love of culture and tradition and his passion to preserve them for the next generation. This is also shown in the song ‘Kanowa (African lady) which is a local Ghanaian folk song talking about the beauty and strength of a lady who has the ability to sweep a thousand people off their feet and to knock them out if she so wishes.
Steve is a person who likes to spend much of his time practicing alone and occasionally visits his village in Volta Region, Ghana where he enjoys playing to the children. This is depicted in the track ‘Jungle Strut (Lonely Road)’ where he shares his experience of the lonely road of being a musician with the youngsters and plays native folk songs to them.
To crown the album, Steve experiments with ‘Syncos’ without losing his African roots and closes with the impressive Drum ‘(Fontomfrom) Suite’.