Jesse Royal patiently awaits his break

BY HOWARD CAMPBELL Observer senior writer

Sunday, December 15, 2013

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IT has been a banner year for the so-called roots-reggae revival in Jamaica. One of the players in that movement is singer Jesse Royal.

Yet to achieve that big hit single, the diminutive Rastafarian has been doing the studio and live show rounds.

Patience is something he has in abundance, he points out.

"For me, it's not about popularity. If you care about what people want yuh to be, it's then yuh get anxious," Royal reasoned. "Developing is key. What is a seed without proper nurturing?

Much of Royal's nurturing came at the feet of producer Phillip 'Fattis' Burrell, head of the Xterminator label who died in December, 2011.

Burrell produced Singing the Blues and Long Days and Short Nights, Royal's first released songs, three years ago.

The imposing Burrell, he noted, was more than his producer.

"Him was a mentor. Him give I an' I an insight into living a meaningful life."

Burrell's son, Kareem, has been working with Royal on some of his latest recordings including Hotter the Battle, done for the former's XTM.Nation label.

Modern Day Judas (produced by Overstand Entertainment) and This Morning (Crash Dummy Productions) are other Jesse Royal songs to be released on an EP, scheduled for release in early 2014.

The St James-born Royal (Jesse Grey) has been recording since he was 15. He learned the ropes from 'Fattis' who also helped launch the careers of Ini Kamoze, Luciano and Sizzla.

In 2013, the domestic scene was abuzz with the sounds of Smile Jamaica and Angola, which signalled the rise of singers Chronixx and Jah Bouks.

Jesse Royal is confident his patience will pay off next year.

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