Brandon Rootz nurtures his roots-reggae sound
A son of the Northern California wine country, Brandon Rootz feels just at home in Kingston’s grittiest communities, which have helped nurture his roots-reggae sound.
That sound can be heard on Without The Greed, his song with Luciano.
Released November 7, the self-produced single is the American singer’s second release with a high-profile artiste in two months. You’re Like an Angel, his digital duet with Gregory Isaacs, came out in September as part of the King Jammy Presents Gregory Isaacs – Rebirth of The Cool Ruler album.
For Brandon Rootz, who first came to Jamaica in 2015, it does not get better than rubbing shoulders with artistes like Luciano, Capleton, Buju Banton, and producers such as Lloyd “King Jammy” James.
“It means the world to me to get the respect and recognition here in Jamaica, from across the garrisons with the people to also the most iconic names who are working with me. My mission is to capture the hearts of the Jamaican people, that they will support my mission, which is to bring glory to all,” he told the Jamaica Observer‘s Splash.
Recording sessions for Without The Greed took place in 2021 at Mixing Lab and Tad’s International Records studios in Kingston.
Brandon Rootz and Luciano, who first met days earlier, did the song with drummer Kirk Bennett, bassist Glen Browne, and saxophonist Dean Fraser.
A fan of Bob Marley’s music, he struck up a friendship with James whom he first met at his Waterhouse studio in 2016. He considers the legendary producer a mentor who has helped him build ties with artistes, musicians and engineers.
“Honestly, when I first came to Jamaica I didn’t know much about the artistes, but, of course, heard of some of the names from going to Reggae Rising Music Festival. There’s Beres Hammond, Tanya Stephens, of course I was very familiar with Bob Marley and his sons, but I wasn’t too deep into knowing the culture and making the connection to the Jamaican music industry,” Brandon Rootz explained.
He continued: “After living in Jamaica for about 50 per cent of each year for many years, I really dove deep and learned and know about all the Jamaican artistes, and also discovered the new Jamaican dancehall sound, like what’s hot in Jamaica.”
His biggest project, a debut album recorded at Tuff Gong studio, will be released on December 1.