Entertainment

Long time coming for Ras Haitrm

By Howard Campbell
Observer senior writer

Friday, September 29, 2017

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In April 2016, singer Ras Haitrm made the long trek from Mozambique to Jamaica to fulfil a dream: to record an album with the country's best reggae musicians.

He did just that, cutting a number of songs with the Firehouse Crew at Anchor studios in Kingston.

It's Not For Long, the first of those tracks, was recently released. It features singjay Jahbar I.

“The song is to remind people that there is still good over evil, and that what is gonna save us all is not another nation or super power but Jah, at the right time,” Ras Haitrm told the Jamaica Observer. “The song tells about the actual social injustices that go on all over the world, and reminds people that all the crimes against the human race will be soon over.”

George “Dusty” Miller, the Firehouse Crew's drummer, produced It's Not For Long. Jahbar I, who has been recording professionally for three years, is his son.

Ras Haitrm said he linked with the band through a mutual friend in Germany. He contacted Miller who agreed to direct him on songs he compiled for his fourth album.

“The feeling was great working with Firehouse Crew and musicians like Dean Fraser and Bopee (guitarist Winston Bowen). I didn't expect to meet the Firehouse Crew as it was not planned from the beginning. So, it was a very big shock for me and still is until now, to realise I was accepted, in a way, into their circle,” he said.

The album is scheduled to be released soon.

Born Rui Paulo Matavele in Maputo, the Mozambique capital, 37-year-old Ras Haitrm is one of the southern African country's top reggae artistes.

He grew up listening to hardcore acts like Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Burning Spear, who were heroes of Mozambique freedom fighters in the 1970s when they were battling Portuguese colonisation.

His first album, Be Strong, was released in 2002. His second and third albums, Zion Bridge and Serious Times, came out in 2013 and 2014, respectively.

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