Clatta Bumboo shares inspirations for debut album ‘Make Way Rasta’
A self-proclaimed student of reggae, Clatta Bumboo favours the roots-reggae sound that found a global audience during the 1970s. It is the dominant feel on Make Way Rasta, his first album, which was released in November.
Based in Rhode Island, he recorded the 12-song set there and his native Westmoreland, working with local musicians. He co-produced Make Way Rasta with Jamaican Garfield Gabay and Americans Djim Job and Ray Gennari.
Clatta Bumboo, 46, wanted the songs to reflect his heroes.
“Admittedly, I take influence in the different styles and fashion in the genre. My staples are Peter Tosh, Burning Spear, Bob Marley, Prince Far I, Soul Syndicate (band), Steven Marley, Raging Fyah, Morgan Heritage, just to name a few,” said Clatta Bumboo. “I am also very keen to label sound (like) Channel One, Rockers International, Tuff Gong, Channel One UK, Prince Jammy and Taxi Gang; I love the Black Uhuru Sound. Where there is a solid drum and bass chemistry, I look in that direction.”
He wrote all the songs on Make Way Rasta with Michael Odabashian who, like Djim Job and Gennari, are part of the Rhode Island reggae scene. The title song is its first release, while Calling to The People and Give I Strength are driven by current affairs.
“At first, writing was a way to cope with the stress of navigating the USA. I put on a dub album and my lyrics come to life. The system is what it is and will continue to find ways to keep control; I am inspired by the need for change in our culture, Jamaican culture. I am inspired by the calling to stimulate and enlighten my people, Jamaica people, and the prospect of unity among African people,” Clatta Bumboo stated.
Born Sheldon Townsend in Savanna-la-Mar, his first real taste of the music business came while he worked at Sandals Negril as an entertainment coordinator. He was also a disc jockey with WSNG88.3 FM, the hotel’s radio station.
It was in Rhode Island, where Clatta Bumboo has lived since 2008, that his recording career began six years ago. His EP, Future Water, was released in 2019.