Elijah Rocq finalising new single: There For You
ELIJAH ROCQ- Photo credit Allyson Lone.

Singer-songwriter Elijah Rocq is anticipating new career success when he drops his latest single There For You on all major streaming platforms later this fall.

The new single, described by the artiste as "dancehall Afro-soul- infused with elements of reggae", is self-produced and was recorded with Atlanta-based Red Eye Media Studios.

In an era of female empowerment and greater appreciation for the importance of women in our personal lives and the wider society, Elijah Rocq believes the timing of the single is especially significant.

"Well, I have always been a romantic at heart," he said, "but even though these lyrics speak very much about how a particular woman grabs my attention and literally blows my mind, I think the song speaks to a wider appreciation of the female gender — their beauty, their strength, their mystery, and their ability to capture and hold our attention."

The song marks the latest milestone on a musical journey that began several decades ago growing up in his large family, first in Brooklyn, and subsequently in Jamaica, after his mother married his Jamaican stepfather and moved there when he was 10 years old.

His mother's love for music, and her desire to share it with her children, led to her giving them musical instruments and turning her family into a band. Elijah would listen to his mother sing while they played and decided at an early age that he would make singing his profession.

"I can hardly remember a time when there wasn't music playing in the house," he recalls, "and I grew up listening to the likes of Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway, The Chi -lites, Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, and Steel Pulse, just to name a few. When my family moved to Jamaica, we settled in a small district in the hills of St Ann. I can remember running around barefooted, catching fish, and fetching water and really appreciating the natural habitat of the land, where there were always melodious sounds from the water, the wind, and the chirping birds. Those natural sounds brought sweet melodies to my ears and, as a result of that, even today I compose my music psychologically."

His love of singing led him to performances at hotels, family outings, weddings, and ultimately to the formation of his first music group, Access, with some of his friends during his teenage years. Along with another member of Access, he eventually formed the group Two Soul and, working out of UB40's studio in Oracabessa, St Mary, they released two songs — Freedom and Kumbaya — of which he remains very proud.

An invitation to join the Black Male Band from Kingston led to an opportunity to sing at the 2006 Air Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival and, fortuitously, at National Heroes Park with the great Dean Fraser. It was then that he received the phone call that would ultimately alter the course of his life and career.

"After seeing me perform with Dean Fraser, the leader of the band Live Wya called me and asked if I would join them as their lead vocalist. It would turn out to be a life-changing opportunity, because after accepting their offer I toured all over the USA, Europe and Japan; literally seeing the world for the first time. I had the honour of sharing the stage with legends such as Marcia Griffins, Sanchez, Buju Banton, Lee "Scratch" Perry, Sly & Robbie, and Gregory Isaacs, among others.

"Working with Gregory Isaacs was almost surreal, because I grew up hearing my mother play his music in our house, not knowing that in later years I would eventually meet him and actually tour with him. And so I've always felt the need to pay respect and homage to my mother for her love of music, which essentially gave me my passion and my career."

Elijah Rocq went on to have some success as a solo artist, with songs such as We Must Go On, Guess You Didn't Know and Tell Me What You Want, which was released last year and distributed by VPAL.

He feels that the energy around There For You is different this time around.

"I just think this particular love song will really strike a chord with many people as an anthem of love to women and a kind of healing balm to gender relations while speaking to what it means for women to have the love and support of a great partner. We are just putting the finishing touches on the single now and I can't wait to see how it's received in the near future. I really do believe it could be a major success for me."

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