Jethro Sheeran's rap on reggaeMonday, January 18, 2021
BY KEVIN JACKSON
BRITISH rapper Jethro “Alonestar” Sheeran has a long love affair with reggae music and that passion led to his involvement in multiple compilation albums.
The former model/actor has songs on the Tropical House Cruises to Jamaica, Tropical House Cruises to Jamaica: Reggae Collector's Edition and Jamaican Garrison Christmas collections.
The Jamaican Garrison Christmas album was released in December by Contractor Music. It has three songs by Sheeran — Crossroads, featuring Planb and Strik9; In My Arms with Wayne Wonder and Herbert Skillz; and Outlaw which features Tim Starr and Contractor.
Sheeran, who is a cousin of British singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran, explained how he was introduced to reggae.
“I grew up in St Paul's, Bristol, a West Indian community in the United Kingdom. My whole community was 95 per cent Jamaican and I lived next to a reggae dance club, Ajax. I heard the pulse and beat of reggae music everyday all my life growing up. My family used to play Hugh Mundell, Bob Marley, and a lot of Jamaican music,” he recalled.
Sheeran moved to south London as a teenager, and later resided between Trinidad and the United Kingdom. He presently lives in Denmark.
“The first project that I worked on was a song called Outlaw with Trinidadian rapper Tim Starr and Contractor,” he shared.
Contactor is music producer Sean Edwards, the man behind the Billboard-charting Tropical House Cruises to Jamaica and Jamaican Garrison Christmas.
Outlaw, Raise Em Up and Real Life (both feature Ed Sheeran) are on the first Tropical House Cruises to Jamaica album, which sailed to number one on the Billboard Reggae Albums Chart.
Sheeran worked on the I'm A Star (remix) track which features his famous relative and American rapper Da Baby.
“The I'm A Star (remix) has two of the biggest stars in the world right now, and its on its way to a million streams. Its success has caught the eye of major labels in the United Kingdom that I am in negotiations with,” he said.
A Latin remix of the song is scheduled for release next month.
Prior to music, Sheeran worked as a model in London for 15 years. He appeared in several commercials, music videos and ad campaigns for Calvin Klein, Armani, Coca-Cola and Budweiser.
He also wrote and produced songs for Ed and was in the movie Judge Dredd with Sylvester Stallone.
Sheeran's production credits also include songs with rapper The Game and British outfit Massive Attack.
He shared his thoughts on contemporary reggae.
“I personally still listen to a lot of old reggae. I love Damian Marley; he is one of my fave artistes. I feel like artistes such as Popcaan and Mavado aligning with major artistes in the United States has expanded the reach and listeners of reggae, but the scene in the USA has slightly diverted the course of the spirit and essence of true historical reggae, in my humble opinion. This is just how I feel,” he reasoned. “Watching Snoop Dog/ Snoop Lion for instance converting to Rasta and doing reggae music for one summer chanting 'Jah guide we and Rastafari' was disappointing and a gimmick — and for me that didn't sit well.”
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