Paul Day, who is publicly known as UZMAN, is a Jamaican-Canadian rap artist based in Toronto, Ontario. He started making music and performing as a child in the early eighties. By the beginning of the 90s he had studied and mastered recording, editing and mixing, and had also gotten a firm grasp on the songwriting process, as well as an understanding of how music distribution works.
UZMAN’s first musical inspiration was the visuals for Grandmaster Flash’s “The Message.” Both the record and its video captured a time when inner-city youths were becoming more outspoken about things happening in their communities. Although that entire era had an impact on him, it is that record in particular that really made him commit wholeheartedly to a career as rapper. Additionally, his Jamaican roots has always influenced his creativity, so much so that most of his songs are fused with either reggae or dancehall styles.
His love for Jamaica’s music, lifestyle and culture has even led to him collaborating with notable Jamaican sing-jay Jah Mason. In 2013 both men recorded and released the hit single “Night Life.” The song received heavy radio rotation on some of the biggest stations in the Caribbean, North America and parts of Europe; and eventually entered the top ten position on several charts. It even went number one on the NYC reggae chart (Funk Master Flex’s Franchise Record Pool). In addition to collaborating with Jah Mason, UZMAN has also worked with international recording artist Junior Reid, as well as some up-and-coming Jamaican talents.
The story behind the Junior Reid collaboration is as follows. Producer Jahronomo INC, who is well known and respected in the Canadian entertainment industry, did a radio version of UZMAN’s other breakout single, “Wine and Grind.” The song quickly got the attention of world renown remix King DJ Power, who worked on a new mix of the single with legendary reggae artist Junior Reid. The remix helped to propel UZMAN’s career, which eventually led to a monumental performance at the Island’s national music festival in West Kingston, The Jamaica Jamboree. Similar to “Night Life,” “Wine and Grind” was also featured on several charts and was given significant radio rotation.
A few years ago, UZMAN took a brief hiatus from recording and releasing his music, so that he could focus on managing and guiding some emerging dancehall acts.
He turned his attention back to his career in 2021 by sharing a new single titled “Stress Less.” The record addresses the rise in stress related illnesses and deaths stemming from the covid-19 protocols. “Stress Less,” which was created to put listeners in a more positive mood, is delivered in a manner that makes it very easy to digest, even for those that aren’t necessarily into hip-hop.
In a recent article by The Globe & Mail, it was reported that suicides went up sharply during the pandemic. Additionally, there have been countless stories from various news outlets highlighting the rapid rise in depression across North America because of the corona virus. Being an experienced MC, UZMAN was very careful to broach this extremely serious topic in a light-hearted, fun, but powerful way.
UZMAN and his team are now concentrating on promoting the new single, as they simultaneously prepare to head back on the road when live events resumes.