VIDEO: Judgement Yard Messiah

BY RICHARD JOHNSON Observer senior reporter

Friday, April 19, 2013

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ON May 28, Sizzla will launch The Messiah, his 70th album.

The 13-track project comes from the artiste's very own label, Kalonji Music, and will be distributed by reggae powerhouse VP Records.

It was a relaxed Sizzla who greeted the Splash team at his Judgement Yard camp in August Town, St Andrew, Tuesday for an interview, to share his views on a range of topics.

"I have been working on this album for some time and worked with a remarkable team of producers including Dean Fraser, Firehouse Crew, Richie Brown, and Robert Murphy. This project is a follow-up on my previous release, The Scriptures," said Sizzla. "I just thought to myself that there can be no scripture with a messiah, and that's why this new project to be released on May 28, is called The Messiah," he added.

But why an album at this time, when global trends are showing a downturn in music sales and the reggae market is feeling the pinch?

An optimistic and philosophical Sizzla responds: "I use the message of my music as a springboard ... I can't stop singing. Whenever I hear these great beats and riddims, I just have to get into the studio and do the work. There can never be too many albums, it's a blessing," he shared.

"I do music to free the people, unite the world, heal the children, so with this album I just decided to put it out there."

The themes covered on The Messiah include the slave trade, world affairs, as well as what Sizzla calls "the way forward" as he seeks to inspire the minds of his listeners.

The man from Judgement Yard has been very busy in recent months, clocking a number of local live performances. This is unlike his mode of operation in the past.

Since he appeared on the Arthur Guinness celebrations in October, Sizzla has worked Pulse's Superjam, a celebration for his mentor and producer Phillip 'Fattis' Burrell, and most recently the Easter meet at the Dover Raceway in St Ann.

The artiste noted that these performances are part of his plan to get closer to his Jamaican audience. Having stayed away in the past and been more selective in the local shows he did, resulted in isolation and misconceptions about the man behind the music.

So what is the biggest misconception about Sizzla?

"The feeling out there is that Sizzla is a violent person and that he has no love for the people. That is why I am establishing a museum up here where people can come and get up close and personal with Sizzla and know the real person," he said. "I am working with the Sizzla Youth Foundation and the August Town community in this regard."

On the day of the interview, Judgement Yard was being used to facilitate a community meeting with members of the Restorative Justice unit of the Ministry of Justice as part efforts by Sizzla to foster peace within the area which has experienced years of violence.

April 16 was Sizzla's birthday. He will be celebrating at the Royal View Entertainment Centre in Portmore tomorrow.





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