Sizzla Kalonji
Sizzla's on a high

REGGAE recording artiste Sizzla Kalonji could very well be the holder of the record for the most albums released by a Jamaican act. The singjay, who is known for his socially conscious lyrics and has over 90 albums to his credit, is preparing to release his latest project, On a High.

Speaking to the Jamaica Observer's Splash, Sizzla shared that his reason for releasing so many albums has to to do with the message he feels duty bound to share with his people all over the world.

“I just need to get the message out there. Just like how it is the duty of those whose job is in radio, TV and the press to get messages out there to the people, I don't see myself any different... my voice is what I use to educate the people. Furthermore, I love the process of making music. From the poetry of writing to recording and listening back to the finished product, I enjoy it all. I have a lot to say so I have recorded a lot of music so, it is my duty to share,” he said.

Sizzla noted that this project is part of a three-year distribution deal with Def Jam Recordings, which sees him taking a more businesslike approach to his work.

“Over the years my lawyers have been telling me that it is time for business. Yes, I have a lot of songs but it's time to look into things like royalties, wealth creation and the control of my masters. So that's the approach we took since the project 1RPM as well as Million Times, and now this one.”

A 12-track set, On a High is slated to be released on August 6, Jamaica's Independence Day.

He noted that while Million Times was a suite of love songs, his tribute to women and a slight deviation from the flame-throwing, militant stance he has become known for, On a High offers something for all musical palates.

“I call the tracks on this album table songs... it's something that can be enjoyed by all parties, all generations. It's a lot of social commentary and comes out of some of the studies that I have been doing for myself. I looked at the foundation and the culture for inspiration. There are songs like System which is really a cry for the people. Other tracks like Business and Crown On The Head really serve to encourage my people. When they listen to this album they must feel love, joy and happiness and a sense that they can do and become anything they want to achieve,” said Sizzla.

In addition to the title track, the other songs On a High includes are Day Of My Life, How Long, Thank U Jah, Get My Love, Puff, Better Be Careful, Nutten Good To Say, and Lady I Love U.

The artiste is not daunted by the restrictions of the current pandemic and the effect it will have on the success of his album.

“Balance is important. For me, I am never going to stop making music because I know that there are always people listening. There are so many people who are depressed during this time and just need some music to lift their spirits. Plus, the pandemic has caused more persons to be more focused and conscious, so I'm providing the music for them,” Sizzla noted.

Sizzla (given name Miguel Collins) released his first album, Burning Up, at 20. His others include Rise To The Occasion, Black Woman & Child and Da Real Thing.

In 2013 his album The Messiah was nominated for a Grammy. It lost to Ziggy Marley's Ziggy Marley in Concert.

BY RICHARD JOHNSON Observer senior reporter johnsonr@jamaicaobserver.com

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