Paul Rivers Bailey
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Paul Rivers Bailey

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"Hot! Hot! Hot!"

Paul Rivers Bailey

Photo: Jennifer Esperanza ©


By Gabe Gomez

Paul Rivers Bailey is as relaxed on stage as a seasoned music veteran.

At a recent gig at the Santa Fe Brewing Company, his face fills with an easy smile as he presses the button on his music player to reveal the bass-heavy groove of a track titled, “The Beginning” from his new and independently released record, Innerchild. Bailey enters the song gingerly, above the recorded music. He closes his eyes and begins to lift and bind a towering melody with a controlled and crafted voice. This singing stops all movement in the room, save for dancing and bobble-head neck thrusts. His next song, “Guardianship” is a punchy groove-heavy jam, but it’s not until his sixth song, “Salvation,” the one he nails after another tune “Human Family,” (a ringer for Curtis Mayfield’s Roots-era vocals) that Bailey draws a collective gasp from the audience as he expels an assured, crystalline and howling voice that can drill right through you.

The music Bailey creates is soulful, restless and ready for audiences that stretch well beyond the Santa Fe music scene. With an impending tour and a clear and undeterred focus, Bailey is poised to claim his spot on the national stage.

Bailey, 29, who is originally from Queens, NY, moved to Albuquerque as a senior in high school and eventually enrolled at the College of Santa Fe in 2001. There, he earned a degree in—surprisingly enough—film.

“I’ve always loved film and television,” Bailey says with a laugh. “I had the TV schedule down, man. I would be the type of kid who would stop playing outside to come in and catch a show.”

His father, Seta Majkia, a music producer in New York, exposed the young musician to the inner workings of making music.

“I grew up in a recording studio,” Bailey notes of his father’s home studio where he tracked demos. After moving to New Mexico with his mother, who served as his informal vocal coach, Bailey’s passion for film began to take shape and his musical inclinations began to take root. “I think of music visually,” Bailey says as his mind trails off into distant thought. He’s pensive, affable and has lived well beyond his years. At the age of 20, he married and had two daughters, Mikayla, age 9, and Nalani, age 4. He divorced a few years later and is now engaged to Mizahn Jackson, a dancer and the choreographer of his live show.

“It’s life music. It’s music about how people live. The message is more important to me than a certain sound or a niche market, because it can resonate in people’s lives.”
Bailey is optimistic about the future and his new album and is equally excited about his adopted home.

“I want to be able to do something musically for this region of the country as an artist that came from here,” Bailey says. “If an opportunity arises to live in other places then great, but home is here. I would always find a way to get back to Santa Fe.”

Releasing records isn’t new territory for Bailey. His former hip-hop group, Duality, a partnership he had with Josef “JD” Branch, released a self-titled record in 2005 after Bailey graduated from CSF. The duo performed around town, worked in youth programs and quickly made a name for itself in the small but vibrant local hip-hop scene. Through a meeting with Seattle music producer “Buddo,” Bailey decided to head in a new creative direction, “I wanted to create a sound that sounded nothing like Duality,” Bailey says.

Although the sound for Innerchild isn’t that distant from the soul-infused hip-hop of Duality, it’s enough of a departure to be considered a reinvention. The album blends a variety of styles with a soul and R&B foundation and gives Bailey the opportunity to flex his vocal talents. In fact, his vocal range is the component of his music that is most striking.

“I have inspirations from a lot of different artists from the past, but the sound is updated. It’s hip-hop based, there’s some jam band kind stuff, a popish ballad and hip-hop. It’s all over the place, it’s like eclectic soul,” Bailey says, as he struggles to define his music.

In the end, Bailey is most concerned with the message behind the music and it is that on which he focuses. He uses his experiences as a basis for his songs and hopes to positively impact the lives of young people. According to Bailey, the album’s title reflects his youthful optimism.

“It’s life music. It’s music about how people live. The message is more important to me than a certain sound or a niche market, because it can resonate in people’s lives.”

The migratory patterns of musicians leaving New Mexico for greener pastures would rival any gaggle, flock or clutch of birds, so it’s a relief when Bailey, whose talent is unquestionable, realizes that his home and his source of strength are tethered here.

Back at the Brewing Company, the pre-recorded music Bailey has been using has worked well. And his humble demeanor easily wins - The Santa Fe Reporter


2005-City Dont Sleep - Single from Macklemore's Language of my world
2007-Inner Child



Paul Rivers Bailey is a soul, R&B, and Hip Hop artist From Santa fe N.M. by way of Queens New York. "The music Bailey creates is soulful, restless and ready for audiences well beyond the Santa Fe music scene. With an impending tour and a clear and undeterred focus, Bailey is poised to claim his spot on the national stage"( Gabe Gomez, The Santa Fe Reporter).
Innerchild is the Debut Album of Paul Rivers Bailey and blends many different styles with a soul and r&b foundation. The songs tell a story of the journey to find love and peace by connecting with the youthful spirit inside us all. When asked to describe his music Paul said, "Its life music. Its about how people live. The message is more important to me then a certain sound or niche market because it can resonate in peoples lives".
Paul understands how music can resonate in a persons life because of how it has affected his. He grew up in a musical family were his dad produced and wrote songs for artist such as Kool & the Gang and A-train. So as a child he spent a lot of time in the studio learning and even attempting to make his own music. "I started singing when I was four and made my first song with my sister when I was seven", says Paul about his musical roots. But, at seven his parents went through a divorce that was painful for the whole family. As a result, when Paul got older he rebelled against making music because of what he thought it did to his family, and with his family’s blessing went to college to study film making.
It wasn’t long though before music came back into focus. In 2004 Paul released a CD with friend and band mate J.D. as part of the Hip Hop group Duality. The disc had some success in the western region of the country and lead to Paul rediscovering his love for songwriting. It was during this process the vision for Innerchild came to Paul through his spiritual practice and a relationship that had him seeing the world through new eyes. With J.D.’s blessing, and the help of executive producer Jeffrey Bronfman, producers Budo, Boywonder, his friends Tito & Gary, and his dad Seta Majkia, Paul Began work on this solo project that as he put it ‘Could finally heal the hurt he felt from his parents break up, and touch people with songs of his journey to feeling divine love’. Innerchild is a work of love offered in the hope of spreading healing through a message of peace and love in music.
Paul will spread this message of love and peace through the airwaves of college & Community radio and Promotional Performances in selected cites. He will be joined in this effort by his Band Human Family. Human family is Tito Rios(guitar), Gary Lombardo(Percussion), Lindsey Haughton(drum Kit), James Maldonado(bass), Budo(Keys & Trumpet), Amanda Lange & Juniper Jackson(Background Vocals), Mizahn Jackson & Alys Perrin(Dancers) and BoyWonder(DJ). Keep coming to & for more information about promotional shows, his upcoming tour and to buy your copy of Innerchild. Innerchild is also available on iTunes, Rhapsody, and Emusic beginning October 5th. Blessings, and may the journey continue.