Baha Men lights the fire

Group makes triumphant return to the Latin pop scene as they prepare to head out on U.S. 10-city tour

“Fire” – the latest single by Grammy award-winning Baha Men in collaboration with Latin hitmaker Maffio – has been garnering strides since its release in May, and is a wave the multi-platinum group is looking to capitalize as it gears up for a month-long tour in a pandemic world.

With the release of “Fire” Baha Men makes a triumphant return, while continuing to prove their longevity and ability to craft high energy pop hooks while maintaining a close-knit and familial feel to their music.

“Fire”, the group’s highest-octane single to date, is a fusion of Junkanoo and Latin rhythms. This song offers up a pounding rhythm that is as relentless as it is sexy.

Isaiah Taylor, Baha Men’s leader who also plays bass in the group, hopes the single is the jumpstart for the acclaimed Bahamian group as it makes its return with a 10-city tour of the United States between July 14 and August 14.

“I really hope ‘Fire’ jumpstarts us back out there because you just never know,” said Taylor. “You do songs, but you still don’t know what people will gravitate to at the end of the day. You hope people like it at the end of the day.”

The group leader said the upcoming tour is about them “testing the water.”

“I’m excited, but I am still cautious at the same time.”

As the group prepares to head out, Taylor encourages Bahamians to pray for the them for a successful tour.

“We will need plenty prayer,” said Taylor, who said industry-wide tickets aren’t selling the way they used too.

“Some places, you may not even sell any tickets, like the big white acts. People in this time, they’re trying to count all of their cents and dollars and trying to make their money work for them, instead of just partying out.”

Baha Men’s tour schedule features performances at EPCOT at Walt Disney World, Orlando, July 14-15 and concludes in Hampton Beach, New Hampshire on August 14. They will also play stops in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, and Connecticut along the way – lined up by agents and promoters.

While “Fire” will be on the set list, they are also expected to roll out their Grammy-Award winning “Who Let the Dogs Out”, which Taylor said, 22 years later still has fire.

Dyson Knight, one of Baha Men’s two frontline singers with Rik Carey, said the group is hopeful as they prepare to take to the road.

“Much of what we’re doing with the tour in general is retesting the market in the world’s effort to return to some normalcy,” said Knight.

“It’s exciting, but it’s also a bit scary because we are unsure of what the market is doing right now. We are hopeful that people are okay with it coming out.”

It will also be Knight’s first official tour experience with Baha Men, which he joined in 2004, which meant he missed out on the “Who Let the Dogs Out” tour in its heyday.

As they head out on tour with “Fire” gripping the market, Knight described the single as their “comfort zone” because he said it’s doing extremely well.

“The producer [Maffio] that we worked with has a really good vibe and a nice following and people are excited to see us working together, and a lot of our fans have been popping onto our socials to comment on the song. We are streaming to over a million people now.”

Knight said the single has been a long time coming in terms of the group being able to work with a producer that appreciates the heavy percussive nature that is the sound of Junkanoo, which is featured but filtered on “Fire” – but at the same time, very much present.

“It’s the most present Junkanoo has been in our final mixes for a long time. It’s always in there, but it doesn’t always make the final mix, so ‘Fire’ is a song that we’re happy the world is going to experience, but we’re proud that Bahamians will be able to identify Junkanoo.”

Knight describes the single as a summer dance song with a lot of swag.

Baha Men has also released an official music video for the single to YouTube via Sony Music Latin.

Approaching their 30th anniversary as a group, Baha Men rode a massive wave of success in the early 2000s following the release of hit single, “Who Let the Dogs Out” which featured in motion pictures and chanted throughout sports stadiums, globally. Baha Men unleashed a revolutionary form of Caribbean pop that permeated American pop culture.

It was that hit that would earn the groups several awards, including a 2000 Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording as well as Billboard Music Awards for World Music Artist and Album of the Year. The group also won a Nickelodeon Kids Choice Award for Favorite Song the same year, then followed it up with another Kids Choice Award for Favorite Band in 2002.

Other Baha Men smash hits include “Move It Like This”, and “Best Years of Our Lives” among others, and “Night and Day”, which was selected to be featured alongside Shakira, Jennifer Lopez, Santana and others on the 2014 FIFA World Cup official album.

The new single “Fire” is the group’s first collaboration with Maffio. The song is also featured on Maffio’s new record, Eso Es Mental.

The music video, shot in Miami, Florida, and The Bahamas features Maffio, and is directed by longtime collaborator of Baha Men Charlie “Charlie Bahama” Smith.

As they prepare for the upcoming tour, Knight said the cities they have booked have always been supportive of Baha Men. He said their challenge will be to ensure everyone knows they are on the way so they can book tickets early and ensure that Bahamians resident in the cities attend the performances.

Knight said Taylor is big on rehearsal in preparation for shows, Baha Men usually rehearses daily for weeks.

“It’s always great to have support from all over the world, but it means even much more to have support from home, so I would ask for Bahamians at home and abroad to follow Baha Men’s social,, pick a platform that they frequent the most, follow that, and go check.”

Besides Taylor on bass, Knight and Carey, Baha Men is comprised of Kenwood McKenzie on drums who replaced the late Ivan Prosper, Herschel Small on guitar, Patrick Carey on lead guitar, Anthony “Monks” Flowers on percussion, and Jeffrey Chea on keyboard.

Baha Men’s success also propelled them into the film industry, where they saw several of their songs featured in movies such as Miss Congeniality, Around the World in 80 Days, Garfield: The Movie, Men In Black II, and The Hangover. The single “Best Years of Our Lives” was featured in the international hit film, Shrek.

Baha Men on Tour

July 14 – EPCOT, Walt Disney World, Orlando, FL

July 15 – EPCOT, Walt Disney World, Orlando, FL

August 3 – Brooklyn Bowl, Philadelphia, PA

August 4 – Jergels Rhythm Grill, Warrendale, PA

August 5 – The Bullpen, Washington, DC

August 7 – Musikfest, Bethlehem, PA

August 8 – Rams Head on Stage, Annapolis, MD

August 10 – City Winery, New York, NY

August 12 – Mulcahy’s Pub and Concert Hall, Wantagh, NY

August 13 – Wall Street Theater, Norwalk, CT

August 14 – Bernie’s Beach Bar, Hampton Beach, NH

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Shavaughn Moss

Shavaughn Moss joined The Nassau Guardian as a sports reporter in 1989. She was later promoted to sports editor. Shavaughn covered every major athletic championship from the CARIFTA to Central American and Caribbean Championships through to World Championships and Olympics. Shavaughn was appointed as the Lifestyles Editor a few years later.

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