There is nothing more musically appealing to Binghi Blaze than roots-reggae songs about the tenets of Rastafari and beauty of Africa. Every now and again, however, the singer tips his hat to the ladies.
Which is what he does on Rastamance, a self-produced song that was released last week. It is a departure from most of his recent songs such as the message-oriented One True Friend and Put it Down.
“This song is to really uplift di ladies yuh nuh, mek dem feel good; mek dem feel like a part of us. It’s still roots but it’s complimenting di women of di world,” Binghi Blaze told the Jamaica Observer.
Rastamance is an appetiser of sorts for his first album which is scheduled for release in late July. That set is produced by Dennis “Jah D” Fearon, a veteran keyboardist whose work as a session musician goes back to the 1970s.
The yet-titled set also features Fearon’s son Dia on keyboards and Prince Manning of The Abyssinians band on drums and percussion.
Binghi Blaze said he met Fearon four years ago and immediately struck up a friendship. They began production on what evolved into an album, two years ago.
“Wi a Rastaman, so most of di songs is roots an’ Rasta, not necessarily entertainment. It’s word, sound an’ power,” he explained.
Born Gary Williams in Manchester, Binghi Blaze’s family were members of the Mount Carmel Gospel Hall Church where he also played drums. In his teens, he developed admiration for the rebel sounds of Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Dennis Brown but at Knox College, his alma mater, he was more taken with sports and represented the school at ‘Champs’ in the 800 metres.
Athletics continued to play a big role in his life while attending G C Foster College where he competed at inter-collegiate level over 1,500 metres.
While he shows a different side on Rastamance, Binghi Blaze is back to his comfort zone on the upcoming album.
“I think it show a new level of maturity. Wi jus’ want to keep it roots,” he said.
— Howard Campbell
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