Known for his stanky, freewheelin', in-your-face funk, the first sounds from Tony Ozier's impending EP feel like he's coming out of a hazy, downtempo fog. He's hit snooze one too many times and a voice in the back of his head is repeatedly telling him it's time to: "Wake up, wake up, wake up, wake up... we've been asleep for too long."
"'Wake Up' is the first song I'm releasing from my upcoming EP AutoTone," Ozier says. "It's inspired by our country's intense, continual struggle with race. 'Wake Up' is a cry to my people of color that we have to change how we treat each other first."
The chill vibes give way to "a powerful verse from Rasheed Jamal," Ozier says, who continues the commentary. "Once I had the demo for 'Wake Up' complete, I was listening to it and immediately knew Rasheed Jamal was exactly the right cat for this joint. As soon as I called and told him what was up, he literally came right over and the song happened to fit what he was writing earlier that day! He cut it in about 30 minutes. Magic!"
Recording in his own studio where he makes all his music, "This new album, AutoTone, came about during a burst of creative energy in those deep winter months, where I was able to play in the studio day and night for a few weeks just getting out of my own way and letting the magic happen," Ozier tells. "This is my seventh album where I play all the roles of artist, composer, producer and engineer. If we’re counting the records I have done as producer or engineer for others, well then, the count goes up considerably!"