Interview with J Written: “People have the power every day to change the way they look at themselves”

Today we have interviewed a new rising star from Jamaica: J Written. The young Artist Jason Rasheed Wright, stage name J Written, was born in 1994 and he was destined for musical prowess from an early age.

Growing up with his mother, father and two sisters, J Written’s life was blighted by financial instability and constant moving around various areas of Kingston, Jamaica.

“I was unable to socialise with my peers because of my parent’s fear of negative influences,” says Written.

“I was forced to stay inside the house with my sisters. This is how I found out writing and reading was an easy way to escape the grey reality. I wrote daily journals and personal articles on the wall of my homes.”

Writing poems, speeches and essays helped sharpen the tools he uses today. He joined the debate team at his high school Bridgeport High, which gave him the confidence he needed power.

He later discovered a talent for dance even forming a squad at the age of 16. The troupe known as the Acez Dancers took Kingston by a storm.

Despite those moves, he felt there was something missing in his life. He was still writing but dancing and writing was not enough.

I was also studying for my flying pilot’s licence and completed the first part of my training but was unable to complete the process due to economical pressures.

So, at the age 18 he started to fiddle with his old broken-down computer at home, selecting and building beats. Then he started to sing on his own riddims putting a title to one of his productions called “Top Floor Music”.

His passion for music continued: he was often visiting various prominent studios in Jamaica, including JAMINS in Trench Town.

JAMIN studio Fifth Street Trench Town has become his camp where his career began to take a new socially conscious shape. His first notable release was as lead singer with the Right Band. The track is entitled “Remember December”, which focuses on the economic stress of Christmas.  Next up he got a major release featuring international Recording Artist Alborosie entitled “Fear to Understand” that gives a different highlight in J Written’s musical journey.

Gege Vibes: Hi Written what’s up? At what stage is your musical journey?

J Written: I just observe what I see happening around me, then I transform it in lyrics of my songs. I’m also lucky cause right now I have a support team who is managing me and I’m trying to achieve the highest standard in what I do.

G.V. About highest standards in your career, what about your experience with Bunny Wailers? How did it start ?

J.W. We became connected through King Calie and Dre Tosh when they brought bredrens who I was with at that time to his museum to rehearse for a couple of shows. Over time his son and I became close, but the family did not know me as a singer, I was just the bredren around the musicians. Now they appreciate my artistic skills as well.

G.V. : What do u think is the biggest result you actually achieved during your career then?

J.W. To be honest I’ve done so much in my career, but the real highlight of all if it was when someone reached out to me saying that somehow I helped to make his burden lighter. He just listened to one of my songs. I think that’s what all artists should aim for. It means to make a positive impact on someone’s life.

G.V. You just talked about positivity. In your opinion why is it important for the new generations to keep doing positive reggae music?

J.W. I believe in all the positive music, no matter what the genre is. I found over time that I express myself better using Reggae, but whatever style is used to bring across the message is a thumbs up for me.

G.V. What’s the message beside your single ‘Fear to understand’ featuring Alborosie? And how was to collaborate with him? 

The song “Fear to understand” is showing the people who believe that they are a failure that they have the power every day to change the way they look at themselves.

G.V. Are you planning to release any official album?

J.W. Albums and more projects are always at the forefront of my mind, if I even tried to slow down and stop it would be like trying to bottle the sea. There’s lots more projects coming soon. I am currently in studios  working on my EP due to be released early next year 2021. I generally just go with what my energy tells me.

Eugenia Conti

Interview with Nerry: “I’m the voice of the oppression we faced from the Government for years.”

Hailing from Westmoreland (Jamaica) Nerada Brissette, known with the stage name of Nerry, has been around since the mid-90s and performed at most of Jamaica’s major music festivals. Nerry not only sings, he’s also a player of various instruments. But there is no other instrument close to him than the “bass”, according to Nerry’s personal opinion. He’s currently working on his first album, which he is producing as his solo debut entitled “Call Me Nerry”. The singer toured in Europe, to be exact in Germany and Austria, back in 2008 with Freddie McGregor. He’s been touring the USA since the beginning of the pandemic early this year. Nerry is the perfect representation of reggae music and its demands. He maintains an authentic sound and never fails to captivate his audience. His soulful, smooth and raspy vocals are rarely heard those days. His last single “Babylon have the nerve” featuring Gentleman and Freddie McGregor is actually getting a great forward all over the World. We have interviewed him.

Gege Vibes: How did u approach to your musical journey?

Nerry: Music is in my blood as long as my father is also a singer and a player of instruments. It all started singing in church, where I also learnt to play different musical instruments. In the high school I sang with a group called “Soul 4 Soul” then I started singing at the hotels and at the end in the concerts.

GV: It was a long race. What do you think is the biggest result you actually achieved during your artistic career? 

N: The greatest thing I’ve achieved is the vocal respect I got wherever I performed and also the immaculate comparison I get between other great international vocalists. It’s an honour for me.

GV: You are a reggae singer. Why in your opinion is it important for the new generations to keep doing reggae music? 

N: Throughout the years reggae has been the best way to uplift spirits. Personally, it means the expression of myself to the fullest. That’s why the new generations need to keep this musical genre alive. I believe the whole World gravitates around reggae music.

GV: What’s the message beside your new successful single ‘Babylon have the nerve’ featuring Freddie McGregor and Gentleman?

N: The message in this song is all about the oppression we face for years from the Government in terms of legalization of Marijuana.

GV: I could feel this topic really touchd you. What are other topics you prefer singing about?

I don’t really have a favorite topic. I just write and create what comes to my mind depending on the way it makes me feel.

GV: Are you planning to release any album and in general what are your future projects?

N: I have an EP ready and we were setting up to release it in December 2020 along with two album release parties but the whole plan got delayed due to the corona pandemic. It’s a 6 track album titled “Call me NERRY” though. My team also realized 4 official videoclips out of the six tracks that I will be launch online very soon.

Eugenia Conti

Interview with I-Taweh: “My dream is to live long and healthy to see the unification of this human race”

Donavan I-taweh Cunningham was born in the hills of St. Ann, the same parish in Jamaica where the great Marcus Garvey, Burning Spear and Bob Marley all rise from. Like most successful artists, he comes from humble beginnings. Raised in the farming community of Prickly Pole, he spent most of his childhood farming alongside his father and four brothers. As a young child he played music on handmade instruments crafted together from bamboo and sardine tins.
It was the move to Kingston in 1992 that jump-started his musical career. Living between the communities of Mall Road, Grants Pen, Portmore, Rockfort, and Duhaney Park, I-taweh found comfort in the ghetto at the Community Center of The Mystic Revelation of Rastafari.

This was extremely influential for his music and his mission, where he was amongst some of the greatest musicians in the industry including Dizzy Johnny Moore, Earl Chinna Smith, Nambo Robinson, and Bongo Herman. During this time he was rarely seen without his guitar, and was given the nickname Danny Gitz. Along with the name, his skills and reputation as a musician began to grow, until the legendary Sugar Minott took him under his wing as his guitarist and harmony singer.

In 1998, I-taweh became the youngest member of The Mystic Revelation of Rastafari, Jamaica’s most influential Nyahbingi, religious and cultural group. With Brother Sam Clayton as the leader, they toured Europe extensively until 2007 presenting traditional Jamaican music and educational workshops.
I-taweh produced and composed his first solo album, Overload, which he released in 2011. He has since gone one to self-produce two more albums, Judgementwhich was released in February 2017, and his latest project, Reload, released on January 3rd, 2020.  He is currently promoting his new single “One too many” that is denouncing the brutality of police against black people in the World. He composed this tune after the tragedy of George Floyd, happened in USA. The Artist underlines that every human being deserves the same justice and human rights otherwise there will be never any peace without any justice.

1. As many great artists you came from modest origins. Could you explain us how did you approach to your musical journey in the first place? 
I started out in a tiny community called Prickly Pole. It’s in St Ann Parrish, Jamaica, just a few miles from the home where Bob Marley grew in Nine Mile. My first real musical approach was playing in the church of my community.
2. Who are your biggest artistic inspirations? 
I would say The Wailers and Kenny Rodgers.
3. You’re a Rastaman. Could you tell us something more about the tour u did in Europe in 2007 to educate people to this culture? How it was the feedback here so far?
 Yah man. I’m proudly a Rastaman. The tours I did in Europe were very good for me especially because I got the chance to visit new places, to meet new people to share my vibrations and Reggae music with.
4. Your last project ‘Reload’ was released on January 3rd. How was working at this project with your team?

My latest album “Reload” was released in the beginning of this year, was a very good experience for me putting it together, I wanna give thanks to all who was there with me for the ride. This album is I-Taweh’s greatest body of work-to-date.

All songs are composed, written, and produced by myself through my independent label Tap Nat Muzik.
5. Do the topics inside your albums reflect any of the main dream of your life? 
The main dream of my life is to live long and healthy to see the unification of this human race. I tried my best to express this message through my latest album.
6. Do you believe in the power of conscious music as a privileged way to give universal messages then? Why in your opinion is important that younger artists keep some great values of the past? 
Yes, I do believe in conscious positive vibes. Since I was a little boy ’till now it’s being a positive uplifting force in my life. Today I’m in a point that hopefully I can reach some young minds and souls with my music.
7. Any Future project as soon as everything will return back to normal?
Well, I am always working on projects, the inspirations keeps flowing which I’m thankful for… so I am constantly in the studio recording new songs. I’ll soon update you.
8. Could you give a special greetings for Gege Vibes Magazine readers?
Eugenia Conti

“Lockdown” / Koffee drops a love song showing her astonishing passionate side

“Lockdown” is the brand new official song and videoclip by Koffee out now. The young Grammy Award winning Artist showed his huge fanbase how she is growing up in her career and personal life as well.

“Lockdown” is a love, passional song composed in quarantine. After the big success of her Ep “Rapture”, we are intensely waiting for Koffee’s debut album. The videoclip, realized in Jamaica choosing some amazing landscapes, is directed by Yannick Reid, co-directed by Habibi and Original Koffee Music. In the shooting there are other special appearances from the Jamaican musical industry such as Popcaan, Dre Island, Skillibeng and more.

Lyrics:

Where will we go

When di quarantine ting done and everybody touch road

Mommy, me go NASCAR

Pull up in a fast car

A nuh false start Mek you and di boss par I know you’re feeling me

You know I’m feeling you

So what now we fi do

Aye fancy How yuh heart stay, it nah no vacancy?

Last time see yuh pon FaceTime Chatting up di place

Bout you nuh want relationship

Me a go put you pon lock down

Put yuh body pon lockdown

Mmm You got me pon lock now

You got my passion unlocked wow

If you love me You should let me

You should let me

You should let me know

And if you don’t now Better fi let me Better fi let me

A better yuh let me go

Pulling up, pulling up, pulling up

Nuh bodda deal wid di bagga long talking

Me know fi now we a chill ina apartment

Hope you don’t mind me asking

Where will we go

When di quarantine ting done and everybody touch road

Mommy, me go NASCAR

Pull up in a fast car

A nuh false start

Mek you and di boss par I know you’re feeling me

You know I’m feeling you

So what now we fi do

Say you want travel

We go Hope Valley

Say you hoping your love a nuh just no tally

Make me heart full, that’s why me love you Totally

Do me own ting and me nu trouble nobody

And we watching out Pon di patio

And di neighbor dem a watch we now

Swing and me nuh miss like Pacquiao

Wa you fiending for? Hot Koffee yow Watch ya now Watch ya now

All yuh want talk bout a matrimony Any ting yuh want

Koffee got di money Me give yuh me heart beg yuh take it from me

Where will we go

When di quarantine ting done and everybody touch road

Mommy, me go NASCAR

Pull up in a fast car

A nuh false start

Mek you and di boss par I know you’re feeling me

You know I’m feeling you

So what now we fi do

 

Eugenia Conti

“Tarantella della Xylella” / Nuovo singolo di Rankin Lele e Papa Leu per denunciare la “pandemia verde” avvenuta in Salento

“Tarantella della Xylella” è il nuovo brano del conosciutissimo duo salentino Rankin Lele e Papa Leu, nonché membri e fondatori di Adriatic Sound, per denunciare il disastro naturale avvenuto in Salento negli ultimi anni. La bellissima porzione di Regione Puglia ha infatti subito un massiccio disboscamento degli antichi alberi di ulivo, che si estendevano numerosi e fittissimi sull’intero territorio, a causa di un fantomatico batterio killer denominato “Xylella”.

Il singolo è un grido di liberazione, un inno di consapevolezza e rinascita, rappresenta la sublimazione del dolore per la perdita forzata delle radici più profonde.

Ovviamente dedicata al Salento, in questa canzone i Nostri riportano l’attenzione su una piaga che ha colpito tutta la popolazione locale. Il c.d. “contagio dimenticato” o “pandemia verde” ha stravolto l’identità paesaggistica, ma anche l’esistenza di tante persone, eredi di una cultura e di una economia secolare che in maniera silente e dolorosa sta gradualmente scomparendo da questa area geografica.

I cantanti di Adriatic Sound hanno collaborato in questo brano con Uccio Aloisi Gruppu, per dar vita ad un nuovo esperimento sonoro che scava più a fondo nel solco della tradizione.

Uccio Aloisi Gruppu è una storica band salentina che interpreta musica popolare ed è stato il giusto quid da abbinare allo stile più dancehall/raggamuffin di Rankin Lele e Papa Leu. A rendere tutto ancora più magico hanno contribuito il mandolino del maestro Antonio Calsolaro, l’organetto del maestro Max Pero ed il tamburello di Paquale Pizzolante.

Il risultato è stato decisamente anti-convenzionale, ma dirompente. L’atmosfera della tune è frizzante e gioiosa, rimandando allo stesso spirito con cui un tempo si esorcizzava la paura per un destino amaro. All’epoca si cantava magari per lenire la durezza di un padrone impietoso, denotando che, ora come allora, la musica alleggerisce il cuore, ma è anche lo strumento più efficace per denunciare abusi ed ingiustizie. Il videoclip, non a caso, è stato girato in un uliveto, colpito dalla malattia e ormai privo di vita, in cui danzatrici di pizzica si dimenano a ritmo di questa melodia al fine di descrivere la passione struggente della gente salentina nei confronti della propria Terra.

“Tarantella della Xylella” è il primo singolo estratto dal nuovo album del duo salentino, registrato e mixato a Trepuzzi (Lecce). Tra i musicisti prestigiosi che hanno partecipato pienamente a questo progetto bisogna menzionare il Maestro Garofalo alle tastiere e Fossa Drummer alle batterie, entrambi componenti della band ufficiale dei Sud Sound System.

Eugenia Conti

NEW RELEASE/ Single and videoclip “Dancehall Rapper” by Reddman Uk (Yah man Records Prod.)

The new single and music video “Dancehall Rapper” by ReddMan UK, produced by Morello Selecta for Yah Man Records, gives us one of the deepest sounds of the new year and is accompanied by some of the best views in West London.

As we announced, the scratchy beat was created by the popular DJ and Producer from Salento Morello Selecta and arranged by the virtuous skills of Alessandro Garofalo, historical Italian keyboard player, honorary member of Sud Sound System and Ska Nation Band. The strong voice of the Artist, Reddman UK, spreads a meaningful message for the international Dancehall / Hip Hop musical scene.

“Dancehall Rapper”, song realized by the Salento label, has the aim to retrace the evolution of the musical reproduction, highlighting moments of history and music. Everything started with Audiocassettes, CDs and Mp3s, until the current Era of IG and Youtube. The Artist underlines how each of these instruments  has marked an important part of the global musical history.

The video is directed by Leonardo Urso, who made the viewers fall easily in love with the City for excellence, London City, capturing some magic shootings of a surreal red sky. This song jumps into the analog past to return quickly to the digital present. We could admire in this video the disruptive beauty of nature with the suggestive sunset above the city full of buildings and skyscrapers.

“Dancehall Rapper” is available from June 2nd on all digital platforms and YouTube.

Eugenia Conti