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Other Side of the Bay

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ALäZ is an independent artist born and raised in the Mactown (Macon, GA). For the two years though, he lived and worked in Santa Ana, CA as a writer, producer, and composer at a branded entertainment agency. While working in Cali he also performed in the OC and LA area pursuing his passion for music. As the story goes with many artists that take the leap for their passion, he battled with homelessness, indecision, poor money management, and lack of communication.

While homeless in Santa Ana, he began writing a song inspired by one of Otis Redding’s greatest hits, “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay”. This year actually marks the 50th

anniversary since it’s release in 1968. Eventually he was invited to live at the home of a mentor and his wife, Jimmy and Lori Smith, so he could get on his feet. Despite his struggles he found a way to go back to Macon every summer to serve youth in his community as a coach for the Otis Music Camp, host of the Real Talk Hip Hop Summit, and Juneteenth Freedom Festival. While home visiting in the summer, he finally finished the song he had started in California one late night in the studio at the Otis Redding Foundation on Cotton Ave.
After 2 years at his job, he was fired because things “weren’t working out”. ALäZ had been hired as a writer and music producer, but his heart and focus was on being an artist.

In fact, while still working his day job, he built a weekly open mic and jam session called the Coollab Project at a local eatery, 4th St. Market, in the heart of downtown Santa Ana. With his legendary emcee skills and an incredible house band, Apollo Bebop, soon artists and music lovers began traveling from all over the state and eventually the country to be a part of the event.

Through the Coollab, he formed lasting relationships with several bands and artists so after losing his job, ALäZ decided to focus on music. He shared his vision for the song and music video he had been working on with two friends, Joe Picard and Understanding Diggs, who where part of a band called the New Hippies. What happened after that sounds like it comes right out of a movie.

A small town artist with big dreams, jumps in a car with his 2 friends, and sets out on a 7 hr road trip to Oakland. On the way they find out that Otis Redding actually got his inspiration in a boat house in Sausalito, CA. When they arrive to meet up with the videographer, Griffin Kabus, they find out he actually lives in a Sausalito....on the same dock where Otis Redding wrote the original song! As they travelled through Oakland, they were able to connect with one of the cities artist ambassadors, Mistah Fab, fashion designer Dyamen Namer, NFL giant Marshawn Lynch, and even got a chance to share the song with NBA royalty Andre Iguodala and Steph Curry. Even though only one makes a cameo in the video, they were happy for all the love none the less. The video features scenes from iconic places like Jack London Square, Mistah Fab’s Dope Era store, Marshawn Lynch’s Beast Mode store, and the Black Panther Mural in West Oakland. ALäZ ultimate goal is to build on the legacy of Otis Redding as an artist and community servant by bridging the two coasts with an annual trip from Macon to Oakland for artists to exchange ideas, art, and community solutions.

The official music video “Other Side of the Bay” made it’s world premiere on Dec. 27th in front of a packed house at the Historic Douglass Theatre in Macon, GA during the annual Youth Night Kwanzaa Celebration and Talent Showcase featuring acts from across the country featuring a live performance by ALäZ on the same stage that Otis was discovered on.

Executive Producer: ALäZ
Music: ALäZ (synthesizer, trumpet, vocals, and percussion), Chris Trimmer (Bass), Zachary Wilson (Keys), Isaac Gibson (choir arranger, tenor), Joynadia Marshall (Soprano), Jordan Ashley (Alto), Justin Williamson (Bass)
Mixed/Mastered by: JosephJams
For more from ALäZ follow @alaz4life on Instagram.