Katteye looks to Africa


Katteye looks to Africa

Observer senior writer

Saturday, October 17, 2020

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LIKE many Jamaican youth in the early 1970s, singer Katteye appreciated the 'Black Power' message which was a fixture of that period. So, when producer DeLeon “Jubba” White asked him to be part of his Freedom: (The Declaration of Rights) EP, he did not hesitate.

The eight-song project was released in June by Tuff Gong International. Driven by the beat of The Abyssinians classic song of the same name, Katteye contributes the track, African Kings And Queens.

“After hearing Jubba's concept of wanting to honour Black History on his EP, I was excited at the opportunity of putting my thoughts of black people's plight of 400 years to song and how we've prevailed. Thus, the song African Kings and Queens,” he told the Jamaica Observer.

African Kings And Queens was also inspired by Katteye's trip to West Africa and a DNA ancestry test he did last year.

“All my knowledge of the plight of black people were reinforced when I went to Ghana and walked through two slave castles. There is actual footage of the men and women's dungeons of those slave castles in my latest video,” he said.

The Kingston-born Katteye has lived “on and off” for the past 20 years in Portland, Oregon, a city with a lively reggae festival circuit. He has been around the musical scene for over 30 years, recording in the 1980s and 1990s for producers such as Phillip “Fatis” Burrell and Danny Browne.

For six years, he was lead vocalist with the Live Wyya Band from Ocho Rios. After leaving them in 2014, he settled permanently in Portland.

Freedom: (The Declaration of Rights) contains versions of The Abyssinians' 1972 song by The Mighty Diamonds and American singer Aaron Nigel Smith, as well as Concrete Jungle by Frassman Brilliant and Kristine Alicia's This is A Sign.

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