On June 12, singer Soul Rebel launched her EP Drama at The Garden in Lauderdale Lakes, South Florida. It took some time to complete, but she appreciates the effort to ensure a quality product.
Several of the musicians who played on Drama are from Linstead, her hometown, which made the sessions even more special.
“The production was spearheaded by (her father) ‘John Screw’ Samuels, foundation drummer from the Studio One’ era [and] now CEO of Tabbath Productions. Collin ‘Bassie’ Ellis, Peter Pan Williamson on keyboards, the late Ronald “Privy“ Clarke on rhythm guitar section with a host of other legendary musicians such as (guitarist) Eugene Grey, (saxophonist) Dean Fraser, (songwriter) Hopeton Lindo, (bassist) Zemroy Lewis, Lambshade Music and others. This work was not rushed. It is a testament to my appreciation of reggae culture,” Soul Rebel told the Jamaica Observer.
Drama has five songs including the title track, Put Down The Gun, Pushing Thru and a cover of Natural Woman, made famous by Aretha Franklin.
The mini set comes 10 years after Soul Rebel (real name Julian Samuels) began her recording career. She paid her dues performing on shows like Reggae In The Hills and The Breadfruit Festival in Jamaica, as well as the Haitian Festival in Miami.
While her main influences are The I Three (Rita Marley, Marcia Griffiths and Judy Mowatt), Soul Rebel points to lifelong respect for the Soul Defenders Band from Linstead which made a name at Studio One during the early 1970s. Clarke and Samuels were members of that line-up.
As much as she enjoyed the production process, she is relieved to finally get it on the market.
“Releasing this body of work makes me gleeful. It’s a culmination of soul-searching and an exhibition of who I am as a roots-rock-reggae artiste. It means getting results and feeling the satisfaction of bringing the ideas of this reggae opus to life,” said Soul Rebel.