Camar – Ready to Deliver ‘Yaard Soul’
By Melissa Gonzalez
A tired voice greets me on a Sunday night, sounding as if its owner has not slept in days. When asked how the weekend went, rather than stories of relaxing or partying, all that is said is, “busy, very busy, working.” Not the expected answer from a 24-year-old, even more surprising is the fact that his work has actually become easier lately. “I used to do it all. I was the manager, producer, everything,” says Jamaica-born Camar.
These days, work is simply putting out an album. The fun part comes when he is actually in the booth; it is the hours and responsibilities that have made it a job. Even with 13 songs recorded, this “job” doesn’t seem to be over anytime soon. Other than the raspy voice, there is no evidence of complaints coming from one of the newest names on the famed Slip-N-Slide roster. The multi-tasking artist is taking advantage of finally being signed to a label that will make it easier to profess his eclectic sound.
For a long time Camar was working with other performers on their projects and performances, even having the opportunity to perform with U2’s Bono in Europe, where he worked for a few years. Now he gets to be back home in Jamaica, practically living out of a recording studio, while he works on his debut album. The album will be used as an avenue to put out what he calls ‘Yaard Soul,’ a mix of Jamaican and American culture and sound. His alter ego, Flava Unit, used to take care of the reggae, gaining him recognition and a following, in addition to being featured on TEMPO, a Caribbean music channel. Now, the more soulful Camar hopes to shine through on his new album. He hopes to bridge the gap, created by R&B, Reggae, Hip-hop, and Dancehall all being neatly placed in separate categories, by blending them all to create Yaard Soul. The artist feels the timing is right, mainly because of the mixing of cultures that has already been happening within his age group, citing college and university students as examples.
“Everyone is coming together, learning from each other. It’s like one big pepper pot of culture,” he explains.
He speaks from first hand experience, as he attended Ft Lauderdale’s Art Institute of Florida. Camar was able to beat out the international competition for a scholarship in Computer Animation; it was his sketches of still life and self-portraits that won him recognition. At the core, Camar is an artist. His passion and drive derive from art, and his craft allows freedom of expression to exude from there. His talents range from writing to sculpting and everything in between; to him, they are all interconnected. “I find that whenever I put all of my artistic skills together I become a lot more creative and open. Even when I have writer’s block, I start sketching and it opens up my creative juices so I can write,” he says.
Rather than put his art on the back burner while his musical career grows, he is prepared to nurture both in order to achieve a broader success. His plans are based on the long run, rather than merely what is happening now. Art and expression are what makes the essence of this emerging artist. Not only does he have a Plan B, but he is happy to share all the way up to Plan J, which includes clothing lines, sneakers, modeling, and paintings; anything he can do to leave his stamp on the world.
“When I finish performing [at a venue] I want my fans to be able to buy a sketch or painting I was working on while sitting on a tour bus,” he adds.
As of right now, Camar’s priority is the album he has been working on relentlessly. Whether it is spending days in a studio or commuting between Jamaica to Miami, he is ready and willing to do whatever it takes to make that impact on the world he feels is waiting for him.