Hinds's pulse beats for JA

By Richard Johnson
Observer senior reporter

Monday, March 11, 2019

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For the British reggae band Steel Pulse, Jamaica remains the core and driving force for reggae music. The band's lead singer David Hinds was unequivocal in his support for the potency of the Jamaican brand when the Jamaica Observer caught up with him at the recent staging of the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA) Honour Awards at the Little Theatre in St Andrew.

Hinds, who was frontman for the band on major hits such as Rally Round, Chant a Psalm and Bodyguard, stressed the importance of Jamaica and the local music scene to their music and sound.

“What brings me here officially is that actually shooting a video for a single for our up-and-coming, long overdue album titled Mass Manipulation. The track we are shooting the video for is called Cry Cry Blood. We have had a fantastic experience over the past couple a days shooting this video and also meeting people. The professional aspect that is going on here in Jamaica with regard to the film industry ... I have been so impressed,” he said.

Hinds reiterated that the time was just right to bring the video shoot to Jamaica at this time.

“ We've been absent from the industry and Jamaica for quite some time, and no matter how we want to put it, the reality of it is when it comes to the music and to get approval for the music it is still right here, whether we like it or not. We know the tides are changing in the United States but that how it is, the politics within the industry itself. So we just wanted to make a difference and just want to be part of this whole experience here once again and take the music that we have within us and carry it to the world,” said Hinds.

The album Mass Manipulation has been in the works for a number of years. Many of the tracks Hinds explained were originally recorded right here in Jamaica. He said due to the absence of major backing from a record label, once the band was able to generate the finances the recordings were done periodically utilising local studios, producers and musicians.

“Getting those local musicians, especially bass, drums and horns really adds an authenticity to the recording of reggae music,” Hinds added.

Steel Pulse was formed in 1975 in the Handsworth area of Birmingham, England, which has a large number of Afro-Caribbean, Indian and other Asian migrants. The band originally comprised David Hinds (lead vocals, guitar), Basil Gabbidon (lead guitar, vocals), and Ronald McQueen (bass); along with Basil's brother Colin briefly on drums and Michael Riley (vocals, percussion).

Steel Pulse were the first non-Jamaican act to win the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album for their project Babylon the Bandit. Mass Manipulation is Steel Pulse's first album in 14 years.

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