Life's a blast for Courtney John

BY RICHARD JOHNSON Observer senior reporter johnsonr@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, May 28, 2015

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REGGAE artiste Courtney John continues his Rootstronic project with Live A Blast. The recently released single is from his upcoming album Upthrust.


"This is our second album using Rootstronic sounds. The first (Future: The Courtney John Project) did very well and we scored lots of publicity which served to introduce the sound to the market," he told Splash.


Rootstronic, according to the singer, is a blend of Jamaican music with European electronic sounds.


John said it allows him a level of freedom.


"Because the sound is so different, I can be über creative without any inhibitions. The truth is, when you are doing something new there is nothing to gauge it against... that's the primary reason we can do it without limits as there is nothing to plot against," he said.


Creating a sound does not mean he has forgotten his lover's rock roots. He sees Rootstronic as an extension of himself, "part of the whole that is Courtney John".


He admits that the Jamaican audience is yet to grasp the sound, but he is fine with that, noting that it was always going to be challenging.


"If yuh not into it, yuh just not into it. For me, it's all about being a complete artiste and taking chances not just for the reward but to expand yourself and your audience. Rootstronic is just my way of doing something new. If ever I feel the vibe to go back and do that something that I am known for, then it's always easy," he said.


Upthrust contains 12 tracks all written by John, who, along with music producer The Wizard created Rootstronic.


"Rootstronic also allows me to write differently. I am in a different head space when composing for this sound. With lover's rock you could never hear social commentary, but all of that and more is open to me with the sound. As a result, the tracks on this album are really well written. Plus, I wanted to be true to the music. So the drum and bass, which are the roots of the Jamaican aspect to the sound, were played by local musicians. While for the European input, I drew on musicians from Sweden, France, and the UK," he said.


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