I absolutely love finding new songs. My friend shared this song with me a week ago and I love the old school vibe. Lemme know what you think!
Protoje had been hinting that new music was coming our way for a while and this week he finally fulfilled his promise. On Tuesday, he tweeted that he would make a link to his new song available on Soundcloud until midnight. Unfortunately, I didn’t see his tweet until the next morning. Mi seh mi did vex! My anger was short-lived though because on Wednesday evening, Diggy went live on Instagram and mi did deh-deh pon mi yiylash. Following the live stream, his new song “Truths & Rights” was made available on Soundcloud. Check it out!
The song was produced by Winta James and is on a riddim that one can’t help but skyank to. At first, it seems simple, but there are so many things happening that each time I listen to it, I hear something new. For example, it wasn’t until my 20th time listening that I noticed a group of people having a discussion in the background of the intro. Mi nuh know a how mi did miss dat! Then there is the trumpet solo at the end that seal di message while adding nice flare to the song. Time and time again Winta manages to find the sweet spot between the riddim and the lyrics as through it all, he makes it clear that the lyrics are the main focus . Big up yuhself every time Winta!
You remember how every time Katz from Courage the Cowardly Dog appeared in the series, he had his own theme song? Well, every time I see Protoje now, I’m going to hear the “Truths & Rights” dub playing in my head. Why? Because the song embodies the musician’s mission. Protoje has been promoting new and young creatives from photographers, to artists, to musicians , to bloggers for as long as I can remember; this song was just his way of letting his fans know that he didn’t plan on stopping any time soon. He will continue to give a voice to those who have the most to say but are constantly overlooked “until the day that his soul takes flight.” Diggy, we hear you loud and clear!
Yes, we know from long time seh Protoje a big bad awtiste, so right now I want to bring some attention to Mortimer. I first heard him in “Protection” on Ancient Future where he more than proved his vocal abilities with a chilling chorus. In “Truths & Rights” he sings the chorus and parts of the second verse and every time I listen to it, I find myself looking forward to hearing him. Unnu hear how di man voice sound sweet? Mortimer’s voice is smooth like honey with an underlying hint of raspiness that gives the song an added edge. I’m looking forward to hearing more solo projects from him. Him get di Lexxi Stamp of Approval, him a guh far!
Well, that’s all for now friends, but hopefully you won’t have to wait long for the next review. That’s right! Protoje says new music from Lila Ike and Sevana will be coming soon and you can rest assured that as dem drop, mahguh let you know weh mi think.
Remember when I said part 2 was coming soon… I guess I lied but it’s finally here! It would seem I was waiting for a sign and while I was walking along minding my own business, di sign gimme a rahtid lick. When I caught my breath, di sign drop kick mi!
First I got this notification on Twitter:
Although it’s not really him, friends, mi hawt cudn’ tek it! Then today as I was walking to class, I walked by a very good looking red-headed fellow and I knew today was the day I’d write Pt. 2
I wouldn’t say I’m overly superstitious but sometimes you come across just the sign you’d been looking for and you can’t do anything but jump at it. Well, the week before my birthday my classmate mentioned how Ed Sheeran was coming to Charlotte in two weeks and James Blunt, whom she fancies, would be his opening act. She was upset she couldn’t buy the tickets yet because her daughter might have a football(soccer) game that same day. Without skipping I beat, I told her to buy me a ticket when she bought hers. This opportunity was not to be missed.
Just like that, I was going to see Ed! It didn’t feel real. It still doesn’t feel real.
On September 3, my classmate, her two daughters and myself drove for two hours blasting Ed Sheeran and James Blunt tunes from Greensboro to the Spectrum Center. Once there I joined the lengthy souvenir line. Of course I had to get a shirt… and an armband.
I missed half of Jame’s Blunt’s set, but of what I caught he’s gotten himself another fan. Check this song out.
Once James Blunt left the stage there was an everlasting break to take his band of the stage and replace them with… A LOOP PEDAL! *squeals!*
Yuh eva smile suh haad yuh lip split? A me dat. I had watched this chubby red-head perform my favorite songs on my computer screen so many times and now here he was in front of me in person. I can’t find the words to describe how magical the moment was.
Pree dis! After his first song, Ed had a heart to heart with us. He told us how he’s been to concerts before where he felt like he had to hold back because he didn’t want anyone to judge him. Then he told us to look at the person beside us and said we’d never see them again so we were to sing as loudly and as off-key as we wanted to because we paid to have a good time.
I didn’t need to be told twice! Mi seh, mi gwaan bad ussi. I swear it’s like he knew I was in there. During his performance of “Don’t” he teased a sample of “New Man”, one of my favourite songs from Divide (because Ed speaks in patois <3). A little later in the set he says
“I’m going to play what I think is one of the best love songs I’ve ever written. I don’t normally play this one but it’s Labor Day tomorrow so why not.”
Then he started playing “Hearts Don’t Break Around Here”, my absolute favourite song on the album. Did I cry? I can neither confirm nor deny.
He played songs from all of his albums but the highlight of my night had to have been hearing him say “They say I’m up and coming like I’m fxxking in an elevator” live. Monumental! Stupendous! Amazing! Teddilicious! Sheerantastic!
Alright, I’m done fangirling. The whole show was phenomenal, but I don’t think I’ve met my Ed Sheeran quota. I need to see him live a few more times. I really can’t believe this happened. To this day, I occasionally stumble upon a video or recording from the concert and my heart skips several beats. I was there. I saw him. I must see him again.
(Fun-Fact, YouTube’s autoplay just started playing Ed Sheeran’s “Tenerife Sea”, weh mi tell yuh bout sign?)
I guess I’m feeling a bit homesick today, so I’ve been daydreaming about the wonderful summer vacation I had. Can’t wait til I’m back home!
This summer, my mom, my dad, a couple of good friends and I loaded into the car and set off on a journey across Jamaica. Our destination was Boardwalk Village for the tday.tmrw concert featuring Protoje, Sevana and Runkus. We left home at noon, and arrived in Ocho Rios at about 2. We splashed around for a bit at Dunn’s River, did touristy things, had lunch and then we embarked on the second leg of our trip. Next stop, Negril! *cue music*
Yo, Negril far enuh! We were in the car for 3 hours straight and it did feel like wi neva wudda reach. We made it to the concert just in time to see the first act, Runkus, take the stage and it was a fantastic show but that’s not really what this post is about. The day after the concert, we become full-fledged grung tourists. I had only been to Negril once when I was 5 and after the long ass car ride, I don’t think I’ll be back anytime soon so I had to make the most of it.
Every stop we made reminded me; Jamaicans know how fi live! We are a resilient people and that is what this post is about.
7 Mile Beach, Negril
First up was the craft vendor on the 7 mile Beach. So we were walking along minding our business when this man walks up to my father and says: “Long time mi nuh see yuh!” Mind you they had never met before so technically he was right. The man then guides us to a shady spot and starts promoting his friendship bracelets.
Friends, I kid you not, two seconds into our conversation I looked down on my wrist and one of his bracelets was on me. When I looked back up he was asking me for money. I forgot the word no existed. I paid the man his money and four months later, as I sit here typing, I still don’t know how the bracelet ended up on my wrist. But eh, artisans haffi mek a money too and dis man, did know how fi live.
Middle Quarters, St. Elizabeth
Now you can’t pass through St.Bess without stopping at Middle Quarters for peppa shrimp. Our car pulled up on the roadside and they were off! There was a mad dash to the car and hands holding bags of shrimp poked into our window.
Da one ya fi ‘undred
Then our minds had to work overtime to connect that voice to one of the ten hands in front of us. Oh the chaos! I LOVE IT! So then we tried to support everyone but there was only so much cash. We had to tell someone no 😦
Yuh really nah buy from me? An’ a me run di hardes’? Mi all nearly jap
We’ll carry more money next time, but I’m not worried because the vendors at Middle Quarters all know how fi live. I mean seriously, dem run afta speedin’ cyar like dem tink dem a iron man.
Melrose Hill, Manchester
Somewhere between St. Bess and Manchester a hell rain did buss. Mi seh ,wi drop inna one
pothole crater that was masked by the rainwater and di drop did sound expensive. Brejin, mi neva know pothole cudda mek suh. But I digress.
Because it was raining so heavily, we thought our stop at Melrose Hill would have been much more tame than our Middle Quarters stop.
People ran out balancing bwail cawn, roast cawn, roast yam, saltfish , juice and dem umbrella! The vendors at Melrose hill know that come rain or shine money haffi mek! Dem know how fi live!
Times are hard but day in day out my people are doing what they have to to keep food on the table. So if you’re a DJ, musician, artisan, vendor, lawyer, doctor, student, electrician, whatever it is, keep putting in the hard work! Why? Because, Jamaicans know how fi live.
The Universe told me you needed some positive energy today! I’m gonna keep this simple…
Friends, tonight when the sun sets I want you to go outside and find the beautiful moon in the night sky. If you look just above the moon, you will see a star shining brightly. That star, will be the brightest star you see tonight and may even be the brightest star you will see in your lifetime. That star… is me. Mi seh mi ova di moon!
In 2012 while my dad was scrolling through the channels one day, he paused at some award show. I watched as this red headed kid walked on stage with a guitar. He was simply dressed in a green t-shirt and jeans. He looked shy and awkward and I was intrigued. My dad promptly changed the channel. I yelled and he quickly switched back. I had no clue who the kid was but as he sang I knew I had to learn more about him.
And out of all these things I’ve done, I’ll love you better now
I memorised that one line of the song and as soon as he walked off the stage, I googled the lyrics and found out his name was Ed Sheeran. I played “Legohouse” for hours on repeat, but I eventually ventured off to songs like “You Need Me, I Don’t Need You”, “Drunk” and “Kiss Me”. I dived deeper and deeper into his music and then the music gods granted me Ed’s full + Deluxe album on youtube. That night, I fell asleep halfway through the album and got the best sleep I’ve ever gotten in my entire life.
I have never been able to fall asleep while listening to music and somehow this Ed Sheeran kid had managed to knock me out. Don’t get me wrong, the album was not boring, it was the opposite. It was unlike anything I’d ever heard before. He was a musical genius. His songs were beautifully written, his voice was soothing and the instrumentals were dynamic and complemented the meanings and emotions behind each song perfectly. Let’s not forget his accent! Oh Lawd that accent!
In 2014, Ed released x Deluxe album and I decided to buy both it and the + Deluxe album. I played them on repeat and compared them to see how much he had grown as a musician. I knew it was time to see him perform live, so I bumped him up to #1 on my bucket list. Unfortunately, he’d only tour near Rochester whenever I was in Jamaica. I had to settle with watching his concerts on YouTube but I wanted more!
My heart all but broke at the end of 2015 when he tweeted he’d be going on hiatus for a year. I played his albums on repeat and each time a new song became my favourite. A year without Ed flew by quickly and in January 2017 when he tweeted he was back and an album was on the way, I lost it. Fun fact, Divide Deluxe album was the first album I pre-ordered, the love is real.
Each album was better than the last. This summer, I introduced my mom to her future son-in-law and she approved. I told her one day I’d see him live and she told me to start saving. Little did I know, I’d be seeing him one month later and that my friends is why I’m over the moon.
Side note: I didn’t plan for this to be a two part story but then I decided to give the history of my love for Ed and well, now here we are! Not to worry, part two will be here sooooon!
Imagine my surprise when I saw that a Jamaican entertainer I knew was coming to my little college. I wanted to ask him the question so many have asked me: How did you find your way here?
My college was one of the stops of the globalFEST tour. The tour featured performances from Brushy One Sting, a Jamaican man who plays a guitar with one string; Casuarina, a samba group and Emeline Michel, “The reigning queen of Haitian song”. I knew I had to be at the show just to give Brushy my support. However, I enjoyed it even more than I had anticipated.
The show opened with Emeline and even though all her songs were in the Haitian French Creole, her soulful voice conveyed her powerful messages in a way words never could. It is for this reason that I say music is a universal language.
After Emeline and her band left the stage, a small, slender man in a hat took their place. He had no backing band, just one guitar with one string. Brushy One String didn’t need much more. He captivated the audience with his powerful voice and equally powerful messages of love and unity.
Casaurina was last to take the stage. They played and sang traditional Brazilian songs and once again language did not create a barrier. Their music conveyed happiness and sadness effectively. Once they were through with their set, Emeline and Brushy returned to the stage for the grand finale. Together, they sang Bob Marley’s Get Up Stand Up with a Samba twist. They brought everyone to their feet and received thunderous applause for their amazing performance.