On their latest album, In the Moment, top-selling American band Rebelution collaborates with three Jamaican artistes to help connect listeners to their message of global positivity.
The 15-track set, released June 18 via 87 Music/Easy Star Records, features Places Unknown with Keznamdi, 2020 Vision with Kabaka Pyramid, and All of Nothing with dancehall veteran Busy Signal.
Eric Rachmany, lead vocalist and guitarist for the four-man outfit, said their inclusion was strategic.
“First and foremost, we are huge fans of these artistes and really respect their work. We have always wanted to collaborate with them,” he explained.
Rachmany shared what it was like working with the Jamaican artistes.
“It was different because it was all done by sending tracks back and forth so there weren't in-person sessions. But they nailed it the first time so that made it really easy,” he said.
Kabaka Pyramid spoke to the Jamaica Observer's Splash about working with the California band, one of the bestselling and touring acts in contemporary reggae.
“Rebelution has always been a band I've taken notice of. They worked their way to the top of the US/California reggae scene by being very consistent sonically, and their business model is superb. I'm happy to be a part of this latest album with the song 2020 Vision where I bring a different vibe vocally and lyrically as always,” he said.
Rachmany's bandmates are Rory Carey (keyboards), Wesley Finley (drums) and Marley D Williams (bass).
They previously worked with Jamaican acts on 2012's Peace of Mind which features the track Good Vibes with Lutan Fyah, while 2014's Count Me In has Don Carlos on Roots Reggae Music. The Grammy-nominated 2016 release Falling Into Place featured Protoje on Inhale Exhale, while producers Winta James and Donovan “Don Corleon” Bennett worked on 2018's Free Rein.
To promote In The Moment, Rebelution will begin its Good Vibes Summer Tour 2021 on August 5. Keznamdi, Steel Pulse, The Green and DJ Mackle are supporting acts.
The trek will make stops in California, Oregon, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Washington, Utah, Texas, Mexico, Nevada, Georgia, North Carolina, and New Jersey.
“It's about 40 shows across the US and we can't wait to get back out and perform! It's been a while,” Rachmany said excitedly.
He addressed the message behind In the Moment.
“The concept is how we don't have much time on this planet and we need to be very aware of how we spend it, but also in some respects we hear so often that we have a lot of time to do something. The concept is the contrast between those two things,” he said.
With the coronavirus impacting the music industry worldwide, Rachmany said the project was done during lockdown in California, a state hit hard by the pandemic.
“We made this album in quarantine and without having seen each other for a really long time. We worked with our touring guitarist Kyle Ahern to send tracks back and forth and build the songs individually, versus all of us being in the room together. We really had to change our entire concept of making an album and it helped us to be more experimental and adventurous,” he said
Formed in 2004, Rebelution is the most successful of the American West Coast reggae bands. Nine of their albums have topped the Billboard Reggae Albums Chart.
Though they earned a Grammy nomination in 2017 for Best Reggae Album in 2017 for Falling into Place. Rachmany said winning awards are not their priority.
“It's not our primary goal to win awards. To be recognised by your peers for your art is always appreciated, but it's not our driving force. We want to create music that people connect with and bring more positivity into the world.”