3gypt brings truth from Omaha

Entertainment

3gypt brings truth from Omaha

By Howard Campbell
Observer senior writer

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

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Located in the heart of America's Midwest, Omaha, Nebraska, has produced some big names, the most famous being Malcolm X and Warren Buffet. Buddy Miles, Jimi Hendrix' drummer, was born in that city which has a diverse music scene, but not a lot of reggae.

Singer 3gypt, who is from Omaha, discovered Jamaican culture there through her parents. The love she has for reggae manifested in Phoenix Rizing, her first album, which was released in Kingston in February; her current song, Pure Lies, came out in August.

Like Phoenix Rizing, Pure Lies is distributed by Tuff Gong International. The single is produced by Orlando “Jallanzo” Johnson, bass player of the Dubtonic Kru band.

“It feels great being here in Jamaica...I feel a huge connection. Everything just feels natural and you can hear it in the music,” said 3gypt.

Phoenix Rizing and Pure Lies are the result of sessions she did in Jamaica with musicians including Johnson and guitarist Earl “Chinna” Smith. The album includes 10 tracks comprising vocal and dub versions.

Prior to coming to Jamaica, 3gypt lived in Seattle and the United States west coast where she “did some reggae songs but they were never released”.

While performing at the Malcolm X Sol Food Festival in Omaha five years ago, she met Jamaican dub poet Ras Takura, organiser of the annual Dis Poem event in Portland.

It was he who encouraged her to visit Kingston and check out the music scene.

3gypt was born Egypt McKizia to African American parents whose roots are steeped in the American south. She remembers her maternal grandmother, who was from Arkansas, listening to the blues while her parents introduced her to Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Black Uhuru.

Outside of her home, there was little reggae. The Nebraska airwaves was dominated by rap, rhythm and blues and country; her personal playlist included songs by Sade, Erykah Badu, Muddy Waters and Destiny's Child.

For 3gypt, coming to Jamaica for the past five years has helped find her musical identity.

“I feel there is a greater opportunity for my music. Being here has definitely helped me grow,” she said.


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