VP artist celebrates roots reggae revival
Reggae music is no longer confined by race, skin colour or nationality. It always did have a global message, but the culture that it represents has now extended way beyond Jamaica and the Caribbean. Perhaps no one embodies this new international spirit of reggae than VP Records artist, Alborosie. The Sicilian born artist, who has spent over a decade living in Jamaica, delivers revolutionary songs with deep, heavy roots rhythms in his latest album “Freedom & Fyah.” The artist will be taking these real roots rhythms to the Sunshine State next week, as a special guest DJ at DUBWISE MIAMI at Coyo Taco in WynWood on April 20.
The new album, says Alborosie, has “a very strong dub influence, and with signs of dubstep and electronic music in some of the tracks.” Lyrically, he covers the familiar topics of the genre, including love, revenge and – most potently of all – politics and social commentary. Freedom & Fyah delivers uncompromising Rasta lyrics, on blazing roots tunes “Can’t Cool,” “Judgement” and “Cry,” which derides the gunmen who have turned Kingston’s inner city communities into killing fields. Alborosie also brought major performers to do guest features on the album, including Jamaican reggae star Protoje on “Strolling” and Ky-Mani Marley on the love song “Life To Me.” The album also introduces rising artists like Sandy Smith on “Carry On” and Sugus (former back up vocalist for Dennis Brown and Gregory Isaacs) on “Zion Youth” and the Reggae/EDM-influenced weed anthem “Fly 420” – which will be released 15 April 2016 as the first track on upcoming EP “Reggae Dubs & Dabs.”
In many ways, the album and its collaborations are an ode to the Roots Revival happening now on the music scene, for which Alborosie says he happily witnessed and fought for, along Roots Revival stars like Protoje and Ky-mani Marley. When Bashment dominated the charts as he began developing his own sound, local producers insisted that his authentic style of reggae music was just for Europeans,” recalls Alborosie. “’Jamaican people finished with that long time,’ they said, only to see the likes of Chronixx and Protoje change things round, and for roots music to become popular again. I’ve known Protoje from before he became famous but all the people I work with are brethren, and there’s always a special relationship between us. That’s how it is with Ky-mani Marley too, who’s a very crucial ingredient in my recipe. He came to Gee Jam studio when I worked there and we hit it off straightaway. It was just natural between us, y ‘know? He’s a son of the music and I have music in me too, so it was easy for us to do some collaborations.”