Dave Morris for AOL As word of Caribou's win in the Juno Awards first-ever…
- Posted on Oct 12th 2010 1:30PM by Sergio Elmir
Back on the road once again, this time in support of their new album, 'Broughtupsy,' Bonjay is gaining serious momentum, prompting many to ponder the backstory behind the intriguing combo, like what was their own "broughtupsy" like?
"I had an interesting 'broughtupsy,'" Stuart tells Spinner. "I think my upbringing really set the tone for what I do because my mom was a foster mom, and we had so many foster brothers and sisters coming in and out of our house from Brazil, Jamaica, French-Canada, etc., that I was always exposed to different sounds and different way of living."
Swain, on the other hand, had it a bit more conventional. "I have great parents, and I would say I had a sturdy, responsible, liberal Canadian upbringing," he laughs.
One of the driving forces being Bonjay's unique sound is the simmering, dancehall-tinged vibe that the duo explore in their music. For Swain, a seasoned DJ with years of experience playing alongside eclectic DJs, like Ottawa's Jokers of the Scene and Toronto's Denise Benson, their sound is more than just dancehall.
"I think very few songs on the album sound like dancehall-reggae, but, for me, it was the inspiration," he says. "We took the songwriting different places from the usual dancehall thing. I think what you hear is us learning the different way we can take our music, and having done this, we're a lot more confident about where it goes from here."
On the harmony side, Stuart's voice evokes her decade of training for Gospel competitions as a youth, as well as her short-lived stint as R&B singer Donna Boogie. It's that confidence that bleeds out of the speakers when you crank up 'Broughtupsy' on your stereo, her breathless patois-soul queen voice riding over Swain's moody riddims. For many who have heard their work, Bonjay is the very definition of Toronto music.
"When I do start to think about where I got most of my ideas from," reminisces Stuart, "... [or] music that I was exposed to most recently that I can actually hear on 'Broughtupsy' ... it was all of Toronto; our music is just put into context when you line it up with the different communities and different sounds coming out of the city."