Fyah Harp keeps flame burningTuesday, April 09, 2019
For the last 10 years, Fyah Harp has been a fixture on the Atlanta reggae scene, opening for headliners like Sizzla and Luciano when they perform in that American city. He has played a similar role for established artistes in Oregon and northern California.
On March 29, the Montego Bay-born singer took a major step into the spotlight with the launch of Can't Quench, his first album. It was released at Ginger Bay Café in downtown Hollywood, Florida.
The Oregon-based roots artiste has been recording for 20 years, but said a lack of cohesion with previous producers he worked with, prevented him from recording a full-length project.
“Mi waan mek a statement through Haile Selassie an' some people wanted to change dat, an' I sey 'no', 'cause yuh can't change di truth,” he told the Jamaica Observer.
Can't Quench is produced by John “Jon FX” Crawford, a Jamaican who lives in South Florida. Crawford's stocks have risen in recent years, working with rapper XXXtentacion whose platinum-selling albums he helped produce.
Fyah Harp met Jon FX seven years ago through a mutual friend and began a working relationship shortly after. Their initial sessions resulted in message-strong songs like Bondage and Firm in This Gideon, which are on Can't Quench.
Growing up in Montego Bay, David Somers (Fyah Harp's real name) was big into soul singers like James Ingram and Jeffrey Osbourne, as well as New Jack era acts such as Boyz II Men and Shai.
It was while travelling to Kingston and hanging out at recording studios including Jammy's and Penthouse that his focus changed.
“Wi start listen Jimmy Cliff, Bob (Marley) and (Peter) Tosh, di real revolutionaries within the di world sound,” he recalled.
He migrated to the United States in the late 1990s, living in South Florida where he recorded his first songs, One A Way and No Argument, for producer Troyton Hinds.
Crawford, who has worked with Sizzla and Jahman from the United States Virgin Islands, said he enjoys working with roots artistes. He welcomed the opportunity to direct Fyah Harp on Can't Quench.
“The core of our success stems from working with artistes from the foundation of each individual's culture. In my case it's reggae. XXXtentacion was once an underground sensation, hence it's important to stick to your roots,” he said.
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