The Evolution of Jahranimo

Observer senior writer

Monday, March 05, 2018

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IT has been 10 years since singer Jahranimo released his previous album. During the 10-year gap, he recorded a flurry of songs for producers in Canada and Jamaica.

Many of those songs can be heard on Evolving, his third album, which was released February 1 by Kushites Records. Twenty-one songs are on the set.

“It was never a plan to put so many songs on the album but after recording over 40 songs, a group of friends and radio DJs helped to pick out 30 and we were supposed to pick 14 out of 30. But when we got down to 21 no one could make a decision to cut any more songs,” he told the Jamaica Observer. “Plus, I didn't want to cheat the fans knowing times are hard, so I just give them something special, 21 bangers on one album.”

There are several collaborations on Evolving, including Broken Promises with Chrisinti. Some of the songs were recorded live while others were done on digital beats.

Having kicked off his career as dancehall artiste Apache, the Vancouver-based Jahranimo said he is comfortable working in either format.

“I am a vocalist, not a producer, so the beats were coming in from different producers left and right and the ones that talked to me I recorded on them,” he explained. “If a beat doesn't talk to me, I leave it alone. I love live beats and rhythms but also I don't mind voicing on the digital/computer beats.”

Born Anthony Smith, Jahranimo grew up in St James where he was influenced by Bob Marley, Marcia Griffiths, General Trees, Garnet Silk and Super Cat. He was known as Apache in that parish's dance scene but it was not until 2005 that he kicked off his recording career.

Moving to Vancouver in 1992, Apache embraced Rastafari nine years later. To reflect his faith, he had a name change to Jahranimo and released Real Life, his first album, in 2004. That was followed by Praises, his second album, which came out in 2008.

Currently, Jahranimo is promoting Holding On the lead single from Evolving, in his adopted hometown, which he says has a strong roots-reggae following.

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