After a decade in the spotlight highlighted by two JUNO Award nominations, multiplatinum success, tens of millions of streams, and sold-out shows, a period of reflection gave rise to Bobby Bazini’s 2020 full-length album, Move Away [Universal Music Canada].
At a time when most are questioning the road travelled, the Quebec singer-songwriter took the time to look back on his journey thus far and the level of growth he has achieved both personally and artistically while keeping one eye on the road ahead.
Reflecting on the past ten years, Bobby admits he hadn’t always been as self-aware as he is now. “I was 19-years-old and didn’t have a career or a steady relationship, he explains. “It’s now exactly ten years that I’ve been an artist and also been with my girlfriend. I remember how restless I felt moving my career outside my home province, instead of enjoying all the incredible things that were happening on my front doorstep. Today I look back, and I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m here, doing what I love to do with my significant other by my side. With each album, I know I go a little further, and Move Away is that next step.”
There came a time when Bobby had a couple months off after touring, so he and his girlfriend decided to travel to Italy to celebrate ten years of loving one another. Following that trip, Bobby wrote 15 songs, five of which ended up on the final track-listing. Some of his most personal tracks to date, Bobby says Move Away follows more of an intimate theme than any of his previous records.
Initially working in London, Berlin, and Montreal with producer and co-writer Pedro Vito, he tapped into an unbridled energy and achieved a “more raw and modern sound” which led him to pen 60 initial ideas, building on the demos and preserving their spirit. At the same time, he also pushed himself vocally by singing in a lower register.
“I’ve always sung in a higher register,” he goes on. “Singing and belting it out is my comfort zone. Pedro and I wrote songs that were a little lower though. The songs are much more focused around the lyrics and having a different approach vocally was so important to highlight exactly this. I drew a lot of inspiration from Leonard Cohen and his delivery of lyrics and the story he is telling.”
The title track “Move Away” illuminates his evolution. A static beat and vibrant guitar work lead into a sweeping chorus accentuated by shimmering piano and deep vocals.
“It’s one of the first songs I wrote, and it’s one of the most important,” reveals Bobby. “Growing up, I had so many dreams about moving away, learning English, and travelling. I come from a small town and never really travelled much. I went to Montreal for the first time in my early teens, and ever since I’ve had this burning desire to leave and see the world. This song was written as a conversation about moving away. It takes me back to just when I was trying to find a new sound and a different direction. “Move Away” was the first step down that road.”
Meanwhile, the soulful single “Choose You” slides from a bluesy riff to a mesmerizing hook, “I would always choose you.” Written in Los Angeles, it speaks to the overall theme. “I’m talking about our love over the past ten years,” he goes on. “This decade was special and I would choose to do it exactly the same again.”
Just past the midway point of the record, Bobby teams up with Irish star Imelda May for “Mercy” based on “a beat she played on her makeup brush” and strings maestro Davide Rossi (Coldplay, Alicia Keys), adding a little extra flair to the track.
In the end, Bobby doesn’t just move away, he moves forward.
“I hope people are inspired and moved by these stories,” he leaves off. “In order to get a person’s attention, you need to make them feel something—whether it’s making them cry or making them feel good. This album has a lot of that. I believe this sentiment to be even more important in current times than ever.”