Entertainment

Kiihjano roars with Lion Paw

By Kevin Jackson
Observer Writer

Thursday, November 14, 2019

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While working as a club DJ in Stockholm, Sweden, six years ago, Kiihjano was introduced to reggae and dancehall music by a colleague. His interest in Jamaican music and culture grew to the point where he began recording songs, five of which are on his first EP, Lion Paw.

The mini-set was released on November 8.

“The EP has different types of songs, from rebellious to uplifting and socially-conscious,” Kiihjano said in an interview with the Jamaica Observer.

He is in Jamaica filming videos for songs from Lion Paw , which include Dem A Gwaan, Warrior, Hail Di Lion, See Dem Thru and the title track. They are infused with the traditional reggae feel the singer is drawn to.

“I used to be a fan of rap music but when I was introduced to reggae and dancehall music by a colleague of mine who worked in the club, I was instantly hooked. Eek-A-Mouse's Ganja Smuggling was the song that got me really interested in Jamaican music,” Kiihjano explained.

The Swedish reggae/dancehall scene is vibrant, though not as big as other European countries like Germany and France. Stockholm, the capital, and Gothenburg are main centres for live reggae and venues where Jamaican music is played.

Ace of Base, a Swedish pop/reggae act, had international hits such as The Sign and All That She Wants in the 1990s. Jamaican singer OMI scored a massive hit there with Cheerleader in 2015, which topped the national chart and sold over 280,000 copies.

“We have a few festivals here and there, but the few who are into reggae support the shows and the smaller events, especially in Stockholm,” Kiihjano shared.

He made his recording début in 2014 with the song Respect, and records mainly in his native tongue. Recently, he collaborated with veteran drummer Sly Dunbar on the song Me Nuh Fraid which is produced by Cortes from Sweden.

“I want to take the music as far as I can. I have been working hard on this EP and now it is finally here. I just want the world to hear the musical vibrations coming from Sweden,” said Kiihjano.


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