Prozzäk

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Prozzäk
Origin Montreal, Canada
Genres Pop, alternative rock
Years active 1998–present
Labels Sony Music (Canada)
Hollywood Records (USA)
MapleMusic Recordings (Canada)
Epic Records (Canada)
Members Jay Levine (Voice of Simon)
James Bryan McCollum (Voice of Milo)
Past members 2002: Kirk Broadbridge (Milo) – guitar, Jeremy Tracz (Simon), Felecia Goulbourne (Miss Felecia) – DJ/Scratch, Todd Prescott – drums

Prozzäk was a Canadian pop music virtual band that consisted of Simon (voiced by Jay Levine) and Milo (voiced by James Bryan McCollum). The name Prozzäk was inspired by the drug Prozac. In an interview with the New York Times, McCollum mentions that their music makes people feel good and happy which is an effect of the drug Prozac.[1] Their music tells a tale of two friends who are in search of their true love. Their music videos feature full animation of the two characters Simon and Milo.

History[edit]

Originally members of The Philosopher Kings, Levine and McCollum never got along, yet they both agreed that the direction of band was restricting the type of music they wanted to produce. While on a European tour, the two created a comedic song titled "Europa" in which they sang in a British accent.[1] The song did not fit in with the music produced by the Philosopher Kings, but the band's record company, Sony Canada, enjoyed it so the two set aside their differences and created Prozzäk in 1998.

Their first album, Hot Show, was released in late 1998. It featured their platinum songs "Sucks To Be You" and "Strange Disease". Their second album, Saturday People, was released in 2000 by Epic Records and also went platinum with "www.nevergetoveryou" and "Be As". Hot Show and Saturday People were both nominated for Best Album at the Juno Awards in 2000 and 2002, respectively.

Prozzäk resurfaced onto the music scene in 2005 with a new album and a new look. In 2005, Cruel Cruel World was produced from MapleMusic. Simon and Milo appear to have gotten older and more modern and their music has taken a more adult subdued theme.

Simon (voiced by Jay Levine)[edit]

Born in Montreal, Quebec, Jay Levine is the lead singer of Prozzäk and the voice behind Simon. Simon is the skinny character with jet-black hair and no neck who is often depressed and loveless. Through the music, Simon tells stories that represent Levine's actual life. For example, the song "Ana-Lisa" makes reference to his parents' divorce. Jay mentions that, "everything that Simon goes through happened to me." He has a tendency to fall in love too quickly just to have his heart broken so Levine is bitter with regards to relationships.

Jay is currently focusing on the business side of music with his company Lefthook Entertainment that helps artists market their music. He is also currently an artist under the name Today Kid and his music can be listened to for free on YouTube.

Milo (voiced by James Bryan McCollum)[edit]

A contrast to Simon, Milo is a muscular blond character that accompanies Simon to find true love. The man behind Milo is guitarist James Bryan McCollum. Also born in Montreal, Quebec, McCollum's creativity gives Prozzäk its unique sound.

In the song "It's Not Me It's You", McCollum incorporates a Tchaikovsky melody into the song. In an interview, McCollum once jokingly claimed that the Tchaikovsky melody was in fact of his own creation, and that Tchaikovsky had appropriated it for his own works.[2]

McCollum is the founder of UMI Entertainment based in Toronto, Ontario. He is currently the guitarist for Canadian artist Nelly Furtado.[3]

The Story of Simon and Milo[edit]

Prozzak are two animated characters named Simon and Milo. The creation of Simon and Milo initially began with accents suggested by the other members of The Philosopher Kings during their road trips.[4] One thing led to another and the cartoon characters became a part of Prozzäk.

The friendship of Jay and James brought together through music is referenced with the origins of Simon and Milo. The two are over 200 years old and were enemies in a previous life. Simon and Milo fought each other in a 20 year old war called "Ochiyaki". During their battles with each other, a man in the sky came down and told them they were to be best friends. Sent to the 21st Century, they were given a mission. That mission was for the two to find true love through music.

In their music videos, Simon is in constant search of his true love believing that the perfect woman is out there. "Simon runs the full-gamut of cartoon emotions. He believes that there is a perfect girl and that's part of his problem." Jay Levine stated in an interview with Teenmusic.com. As a result, Simon ends up feeling depressed. Their introduction in their album Saturday People mentions that they visit many nightclubs and bars hoping to find their true love. Simon having given up hears a voice from the heavens telling them that they have lost their way. Their music thus represents their social journey to find their true love.[5]

Discography[edit]

Prozzäk released four albums between 1998–2005. Of the albums released, Hot Show and Saturday People received nominations for the Juno Awards in 2000 and 2002. Prozzäk joined with Disney to increase promotion and released the album Ready Ready Set Go, also named "Simon and Milo". It is a compilation of songs from their first two albums along with a new single, "Get a Clue" which was written for the TV movie, Get a Clue starring Lindsay Lohan. In their latest album, Cruel Cruel World, Simon and Milo both receive a facelift. Milo is more proportional and less bulky while Simon is older and more depressed. Cruel Cruel World was released on an independent label and did not receive as much promotion as their first two albums, and did not achieve the same success. As well 2 songs were released through the internet in 2006, "DJ-J-Vox" and "DJ (Calibe Remix)".[6] In 2008 the band released a song titled "Chloe the Chicken" on a kids' album titled Roll Play.[7]

Albums[edit]

Singles[edit]

Year Song Chart peak Album
CAN
[8]
1998 "Omobalasire" 50 Hot Show
"Sucks to Be You" 25
1999 "Strange Disease" 52
2000 "Europa" 45
"www.nevergetoveryou" 42 Saturday People
2001 "It's Not Me It's You" X
"—" denotes a release that did not chart.
X.^ The Canadian Singles Chart did not exist when this single was released.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Strauss, Niel (August 19, 1999). "THE POP LIFE; These Two Singers Sure Are Animated". The New York Times. 
  2. ^ Lamb, Chris (February 9, 2001). "Prozzak Gives Us 'Saturday People'". Teenmusic.com. Retrieved 2008-10-16. 
  3. ^ UMI Entertainment http://umientertainment.ca/aboutus.html
  4. ^ Reaney, James (March 6, 2000). "Prozzak: Catchy Toon". Canoe.ca. 
  5. ^ Lamb, Chris (February 9, 2001). "Prozzak Gives Us 'Saturday People'". Teenmusic.com. Retrieved 2008-10-16. 
  6. ^ http://www.playlist.com/searchbeta/tracks#Prozzak%20DJ
  7. ^ http://www.amazon.com/Chloe-the-Chicken/dp/B00171M40K
  8. ^ [1]

External links[edit]