Keithus I embraces new roots

Thursday, January 14, 2016

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Rastafari and reggae became a potent combination at the dawn of the 1970s. It attracted Jamaican youth like Milton Samuels who remains committed to that 'brew' nearly 50 years later.
The Kingston-born Samuels, known as singer Keithus I, is currently promoting his second album Changes. On it, he teams with firebrand singjay Jesse Royal on the song, System Set.
Royal is a key figure in the much-touted roots-reggae revival. Having been part of the 1970s roots revolution, Keithus I empathises with the new movement.
"It’s all about the message and I love all messenger of Jah, so once an artiste is promoting positive message, I can appreciate," he said. "Jesse Royal, Protoje, Chronixx, Jah9, Kabaka Pyramid, among others, are all unique and creative in their own way and they are making good music."
Changes was released late last year through VPAL, the distribution subsidiary of VP Records. Keithus I, who lives and works as a videographer in Connecticut, met the diminutive Jesse Royal while visiting Jamaica two years ago.
They agreed to work on a song and System Set was born.
Dancehall, reggae's colourful offshoot, has surpassed roots music in terms of popularity and sales, thanks to the success of Shabba Ranks, Shaggy and Sean Paul.
For all their appeal at home and in some parts of Europe, Jesse Royal, Chronixx and Kabaka Pyramid, are yet to make a significant mark sales-wise.
But for Keithus I, roots-reggae has never been about the money.
"The inspiration of all these young talents is orchestrated by the most high to bring awareness to the world that love, truths and rights must prevail. This can only be done by the faithful of Jah through roots-reggae music, as was always done by the founders of the music," he said.
Howard Campbell

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