Runkus gets on the inside

Runkus gets on the inside

BY RICHARD JOHNSON
Observer senior reporter
johnsonr@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, January 15, 2021

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Delicious Vinyl Island, the Los Angeles-based record label, launches its first local project in a number of years with today's release IN:SIDE by reggae artiste Runkus.

This album marks the artiste's first outing in five years and kick-starts the label's move to join forces with Jamaican and Caribbean acts in what it calls a partnership arrangement that is expected to bring more long-term success for all concerned.

IN:SIDE continues Runkus's call for more introspection and follows up on the themes explored in his last project MOVE:IN. An impressive raft of producers worked with Runkus to bring this album to life, including Teflon Zinc Fence, Classics from the United Kingdom, Alpha Unit and Walshy Fire. Runks is also credited with mixing and mastering the project as well as playing a number of the instruments on the tracks he produced. Smart Kids Records and Runkus Music are also named in the project.

“The link with Delicious Vinyl came about after they saw me during a performance with Royal Blu. Things really just came full circle and manifested what we have here. Them love our culture and respect it, so we just started off from there. This is really something different for me. I am usually a lone soldier. Meaning, I am generally working with my own people, but this is really a partnership. We have been able to set goals because we are all on the same path, want the same outcome and are working to reach the same destination,” he told the Jamaica Observer's Splash.

His music is described as a blending of the cultural gravitas of roots reggae and dancehall, with the energy of trap and the intricate wordplay of classic hip hop. The tracks on IN:SIDE were birthed during a surge of creativity during the quarantine, which he has channeled into the 10 tracks.

The album contains tracks, including Tan A Yuh Yaad; The Mask: 2nd Wave; 5Gs, a collaboration with Jesse Royal, Kabaka Pyramid, Royal Blu and Munga Honorebel; Everybody Going Live featuring Naomi Cowan; and Quarantine Slide.

Runkus is not concerned about the timing of the project, given the state of the entertainment industry due to the global health crisis caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic. He appreciates what he called the stressful work, noting that music is needed at this time more than ever.

“It is a crazy time for everyone. The world is experiencing something similar at the same time and so we will never forget it. One of the things I want is for people to remember this time and realise that we must get throuhght it. I want my music to provoke thought, raise questions, look into conspiracy theories, find truth and help us all to become a little better with the way we are treating the earth. We haven't been treating the earth too good and so we have to humble ourselves and realise that we are not in charge,” said Runkus.

“The message throughout this project is consistent. It is that simple four-letter word L-O-V-E, not the trivial way of looking at love, [but] rather on that much deeper level. It is what family and Rastafari have instilled in me and I'm here to encourage and share with everyone,” Runkus continued.


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