Queen Ifrica returns with album after seven years

BY RICHARD JOHNSON Observer senior reporter johnsonr@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, November 25, 2016

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Queen Ifrica is buzzing following a listening party in New York for her upcoming album, Climb, set for release on January 20with VP Records distributing.

The project originally contained 15 tracks produced by Donovan Germain, Patrick "Tony Rebel" Barrett, Clive Hunt, and Rick Warren. But the artiste told Splash there are last-minute plans to include a bonus track.

It includes Trueversation, a collaboration with Damian "Junior Gong" Marley, a video for which was shot in Miami last week and should be ready by early January.

"Anyone who knows Queen Ifrica knows that my music is always message-based and the topics always have you thinking. So basically, it’s me keeping it fun, keeping it Queen Ifrica...message with a vibe."

Climb is her first album since the critically acclaimed Montego Bay, released in 2009. That contained tracks such as the popular Lioness on The Rise.

Four singles have already been released from Climb. These are Ask My Granny, Love is Not Blind, Lie Dem A Tell, and I Can’t Breathe which was inspired by American actor Samuel L Jackson.

"During the period of time with police violence where there were a lot of black people dying in America, Samuel L Jackson did a Facebook post in which he was pleading with artistes who were taking part in the ice bucket challenge, saying that as crazy as they were about the ice bucket challenge, they should be crazy about the poor and sing about the violence that was going on in America, and he sang a chorus. I took his chorus and wrote the rest of the song around it. Because he put it up on social media, we have to give him credit. He hasn’t heard it yet," she said.

Queen Ifrica noted that the preparation for Climb had challenges, but stressed that it is worth the wait.

"I love the title track Climb. I did that during the Tivoli incursion. I wrote it on the night of the incursion when the people were crying and bawling. I was actually moved to tears because it was so sad to see all the women, and the fact that their children died and they will have to pick themselves up and climb out of that situation; not necessarily out of the community, but out of the situation and hope for that better day. I see myself as a social worker in music. So whenever I pick up my pen to write something, I can either go commercial or message, and message always wins," she explained.

"I try to keep it simple. I don’t want to say I am the peacemaker or the person who can fix it all. But understanding the power of music and how it impacts the world in general, it’s always important that you give a little more than you get from it."

Queen Ifrica states that the world craves authentic reggae music and that is what she intends to prove with Climb.

"Right now reggae is in a destructive commercial state. There is no music for the upliftment of ghetto yutes. The artistes are not talking about it anymore; they have forgotten the cry of the people. But like water, the music will turn around and replenish itself."

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