Simon and Milo
|Genres||Pop, dance-pop, pop rock|
|Years active||1998–2002, 2005-2008, 2015-2019|
|Labels||Sony Music (Canada)|
Hollywood Records (United States)
MapleMusic Recordings (Canada)
Epic Records (Canada)
|Associated acts||The Philosopher Kings|
James Bryan McCollum
Prozzäk (also known as Simon and Milo) were a Canadian pop music duo that consisted of Jay Levine and James Bryan McCollum. Their recordings and animated music videos told the tale of two friends, Simon (Levine) and Milo (McCollum), who are in search of their true love. The band received four Juno Award nominations during their tenure. From their formation to 2016, Prozzäk was among the top 80 best-selling Canadian artists in Canada.
In 2019, Prozzäk announced that they were disbanding. They played their final show on November 30, 2019.
In the 1990s, Levine and McCollum were both members of The Philosopher Kings, a Canadian R&B band. After a physical altercation between them, they attempted to smooth things over by writing music together. While on a European tour with the Kings, the two created a comedic song titled "Europa" in which they sang in a British accent. The song did not fit in with the music produced by the Philosopher Kings, but the band's record company, Sony Canada, approved of it so the two set aside their differences and created Prozzäk in 1998. The band name was inspired by the drug Prozac.
Their first album, Hot Show, was released in late 1998. The album featured the hit singles "Sucks to Be You" and "Strange Disease" and was certified Triple Platinum in Canada. Prozzäk was nominated for Best New Group at the 2000 Juno Awards, as well as being nominated for Best Album (Hot Show), Best Single ("Sucks to Be You"), and Best Video ("Strange Disease"). In 2000, Levine and McCollum wrote and produced several songs for Canadian pop group B4-4, including their hit song "Get Down". In late 2000, Prozzäk released their second album, Saturday People, on Epic Records. The album included the singles "www.nevergetoveryou" and "Be As". The album was certified Gold in Canada and nominated for "Best Pop Album" at the 2002 Juno Awards.
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.
Prozzäk's next album, Cruel Cruel World was produced from MapleMusic in 2005. Simon and Milo appeared to have gotten older and more modern and their music has taken a more adult, subdued theme. 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, two songs were released through the internet in 2006, "DJ-J-Vox" and "DJ (Calibe Remix)".
In 2008, the band released a song titled "Chloe the Chicken" on a kids' album titled Roll Play.
Reunion, final tour
After being inactive for several years, Prozzäk performed a reunion concert at the Atomic Lollipop Festival in Toronto on July 18, 2015, where they debuted a new single.
On September 18, 2015, Prozzäk released their first single in over ten years entitled "Baby I Need Your Love (Pussy Cat Pussy Cat)" and announced that new music and a tour were both in the works for 2016.
This was followed by "Love Fools Anonymous" on June 15, 2016; in November that year they released "My Little Snowflake".
On February 3, 2017, Prozzäk released the single "Love Me Tinder" from an album in progress. A new animated music video for the single debuted on March 17. Titled "Forever 1999," the album was released on March 31, 2017.
On September 9, 2019, Prozzäk announced that they would embark on their final tour titled the "Never Get Over You Farewell Tour". The duo played their final show at the Danforth Music Hall in Toronto on November 30, 2019.
Simon and Milo
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. The cartoon characters designed by artist Scott Harder became a part of Prozzäk.
In The Prozzäk Story video, Simon and Milo 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 battle with each other, a Great Unseen Voice projected down from the sky and told them they were to be best friends, sent through time to the 21st century, where they were given a mission. That mission was for the two to find true love through their music. The story is based on the formation of the duo.
In their music videos, Simon, a skinny character with jet-black hair and no neck, is in constant search of his true love, believing that the perfect woman is out there. As a result, Simon ends up feeling depressed. Milo is a muscular blond character that accompanies Simon on his quest. Their introduction in the album Saturday People tells of their many visits to nightclubs and bars in hopes of finding true love, after which Simon gives up, and lies "face down in his own banana milkshake". Just then, the Great Unseen Voice from the heavens calls out, telling them that they have lost their way, and reminds them that only True Love holds the key to their destiny. Their music thus represents their social journey to find their true love.
Born in Toronto, Ontario, Levine is the lead singer of Prozzäk and the voice behind Simon. Through the music, Simon tells stories that represent Levine's actual life; for example, the song "Anna-Lisa" makes reference to his parents' divorce. Levine has founded a company, Lefthook Entertainment, that helps artists market their music. He is also currently an artist under the name Today Kid.
|Year||Title||Peak chart positions||Certifications|
|1998||Hot Show||8||3× Platinum|
|2005||Cruel Cruel World||—|
|1999||"Sucks to Be You"||25|
|"It's Not Me It's You"||—|
|2002||"Get a Clue"||—||Ready Ready Set Go|
|2015||"Baby I Need Your Love (Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat)"||—||Forever 1999|
|2016||"Love Fools Anonymous"||—|
|2016||"My Little Snowflake"||—|
|2017||"Love Me Tinder"||—|
|"—" denotes a release that did not chart.|
- "SEARCH AWARDS". junoawards.ca. Retrieved September 9, 2018.
- "NIELSEN MUSIC & BILLBOARD PRESENT CANADA 150 CHARTS" (PDF). bdsradio.com. p. 28. Retrieved January 2, 2020.
- Strauss, Niel (August 19, 1999). "THE POP LIFE; These Two Singers Sure Are Animated". The New York Times.
- "Gold/Platinum". Music Canada. Retrieved May 16, 2016.
- LeBlanc, Larry (18 March 2000). "Artist Manager Smith Riding High". Billboard. Vol. 112 no. 12. p. 54. ISSN 0006-2510.
- Malyk, Lauren (March 15, 2018). "'90s cartoon band Prozzak set for a comeback". Playback. Brunico Communications. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
- "Aqua, Prozzäk and Whigfield Team Up for Canadian "Rewind Tour"". Exclaim!. Retrieved January 5, 2019.
- Reaney, James (March 6, 2000). "Prozzak: Catchy Toon". Canoe.ca.
- Staff writer (1998). "Prozzäk Story". Prozzäk. Archived from the original on 12 October 1999. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
- Lamb, Chris (February 9, 2001). "Prozzak Gives Us 'Saturday People'". Teenmusic.com. Retrieved 2008-10-16.
- Peak positions for Prozzak's albums in Canada: *For "Hot Show" "Top Albums/CDs - Volume 69, No. 5 May 24, 1999". RPM. Retrieved September 9, 2018. *For "Saturday People" "U2 holds onto top of Cdn. charts". Archived from the original on October 22, 2004. Retrieved April 18, 2020.
- "Top Singles" Archived 2011-09-21 at the Wayback Machine RPM magazine, via Library and Archives Canada