Dre Island set to rise

Music

Dre Island set to rise

BY RICHARD JOHNSON
Observer senior reporter
johnsonr@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, April 03, 2020

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DESPITE the prevailing social and economic times, reggae singer Dre Island is determined to release his debut album Now I Rise on April 27.

The project, which has been five years in the making, is said to represent the growth and development of the artiste who has been closely pegged to the reggae revival movement, which has yielded such popular acts as Protoje, Chronixx, Jah9, Kabaka Pyramid, and Jesse Royal.

During the Digicel-sponsored Online Cameo Concert on Sunday, Dre Island announced that the long-awaited project was finally being given the green light. Speaking with the Jamaica Observer's Splash, he noted that the current time in which we are living provides the perfect backdrop for a project such as Now I Rise.

“This album speaks of arising, growth, new beginnings and emerging from the ashes and at this time these are all the things we need based on what is happening right now. The truth is since 2015 I have been advertising that the album is coming. It has been five years and the time is right. As an artiste and person Dre Island move different. I embrace Rasta but I am not part of any group, no Boboshanti or Twelve Tribes or whatever. I embrace this way of life. I am inspired by life and everything I do is inspired by the father and so I am moved to drop this album at this time because I am divinely inspired to do so. When you look at a song like We Pray I can take no credit for a song like that. Yes I wrote the lyrics and built the rhythm and I voice the track, but it's a prayer, not just a song so how a man fi tek credit for something that come from above,” he said.

The singer is confident that this is the perfect time for this project.

“Despite what a happen around us. Carnival a postpone and all these things and several factors all over the year I just know this is the time. I'm not moving based on money. If that was the case I woulda sell out long time. This time a year is when budget usually read, it's a time when things usually reset and certain calendars start. So, I just want to restore the minds of the people with this music and give love like never before.”

He is also not daunted by the general downturn in music sales for the past few years, point to the notion that it's a changing wind within the industry. With units no longer moving as they did in the past, Dre Island pointed out that it is all about streaming.

“I am inspired by Jah and so I have done what needs to be done in terms of creating the music it is now up to the persons I have hired to take care of the streaming aspect of things because that is where it is at. It is that click to access the music now, so we have to upgrade to that technology.”

For this project, which comprises 12 tracks and an intro, Dre Island drew on some heavy-hitting names with which to collaborate. In addition to himself, the producing credits include Anju Blacks, Winta James, and Teetimus. A number of other artistes appear on Now I Rise. Chronixx, Prajex, Popcaan and Jesse Royal are featured. Be OK, the track with Jesse Royal, will be the lead single.

As for his fans, Dre Island encourages them to observe the instructions being handed out by the authorities as to the best ways to deal with the pandemic.

“Just stay inside. Listen to what the authorities have to say because prevention is the only cure. Listen without judgement so we can help solve the issues and at the end of the day we can all rise,” he said.


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