Finley Quaye is one of those under-the-radar performers that doesn't get the hype of, say, Jennifer Lopez or Santana, but puts on a show that leaves fans buzzing. The eclectic Scottish rocker won the MoBo Award (Music of Black Origin) in 1997 for Best Reggae Act, but his sound encompasses so much more, touching on jazz, alt-rock and even trip-hop. This diverse approach comes from growing up amid great musicians (there's an unsubstantiated rumor that Duke Ellington is his godfather, though he declined to discuss it). Catch Quaye at Ricochet Bar & Lounge in Miami at 11 p.m Wednesday, Sept. 12 for his first show in Miami in five years. He talked to Miami.com about what we can expect.
This is a rare appearance for you in Miami - are you highlighting any particular songs?
Yes, look out for "Troubadour," "Shine," "Weight in Gold," "Point of Blue," "All I Ever Wanted" and "With Your Love," all from the new album, "28th February Rd" out in November on Sakifo Records.
What's the new music like?
I just want to get out and play right now. The new album is extremely varied in styles and is a pleasure to play live.
What inspired you to work with The Stereo MCs?
I was living in Brixton around the corner from them, so I was dropping by the studio for a while, and one thing led to another. They are all well-rounded musicians and really down to earth people.
You grew up surrounded by jazz music and musical family members - do you feel you were destined for a life in the business as well?
I never knew much about my family when I was growing up - I grew up independently. I was very academic as a kid and despite playing a bit of piano and a bit of synthesizer had no crazy desire to become an artist or to do it professionally.
How often do you get to Miami?
Now and then I guess. There's no frequency to my visits but I have friends there and it's always good to see them. It's also a great place to do business and to hear music, particularly Latin, for festivals and to focus on my health and fitness.
What do you think of the city?
It's some great place, I like long-boarding around, with Dr. Dre Beats headphones on, some cool sounds, an Acai and banana juice, maybe a Jimi Hendrix T-shirt on, doing a little business here and there. These days you can increasingly take your work with you, and I like to take full advantage of that if I can. I love the people and I love how connected it remains to the Caribbean and South America.