Oriel Keeps it legal on Sticks and Stones

BY HOWARD CAMPBELL Observer senior reporter

Monday, May 19, 2014

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Dominican singer Oriel Barry has done his share of love songs since he began recording nearly 10 years ago. But for his latest single, he addresses a more serious issue.




On the self-produced Sticks and Stones, it's the legalisation of ganja (marijuana) that gets the love.




"I support legalisation. I think it's at a point where it should be either taxed or regulated like alcohol and tobacco," he said in an interview with the Observer. "It's just a plant...It does less harm than alcohol and tobacco."




The ganja legalisation drive has gathered steam in parts of the United States and Canada. This year, the US state Colorado legalised use of the weed.




In Jamaica, the government is considering following suit after years of debate.




Sticks and Stones was released during a busy recording period for the 30-year-old Oriel. Give Me a Reason, a song he did with singer Richie Stephens, is another new song.




The latter is his latest project with a Jamaican artiste. My Love was done last year with singjay Bugle, while he has produced songs for Konshens, Anthony Cruz and Voicemail for his label, Afar Music Group.




Oriel grew up listening to reggae in Dominica, where soca and the indigenous bouyon are the most popular sounds.




His love for Jamaican music grew when he migrated to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 2001. Four years later, he and friends started the Vybz Machine sound system which played throughout the city.




While he is in to contemporary music like dancehall and hip hop, it's roots-reggae that appeals to him most.




"I listen to Bob (Marley), Horace Andy, Gregory Isaacs, Nasio Fontaine (Dominican singer), Protoje and Chronixx. I really love Jah9's message," he said. "Reggae is a spiritual music, that's what hit a nerve with me."


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