Kabaka is a believerMonday, February 08, 2021
BY KEVIN JACKSON
KABAKA Pyramid is known for his conscious music, blended with a roots-modern reggae vibe. Songs including Well Done, Reggae Music, Can't Breathe and Nice up the Dance have earned him respect among his peers.
He continues on that path with Believe, which serves as inspiration to whatever setbacks one may experience.
“Well, the song now was really inspired by life experiences over the years; things even me as an individual go through. You have people weh doubt you, and you have people who never believe inna the vision you have fi yuself as an artiste. Is really that inner drive all we fi overcome dem ting deh. A feel is something weh everybody can relate to. Believe inna yuself,” Kabaka told Jamaica Observer in an exclusive interview on the weekend.
Released three weeks ago, Believe is produced by Tip God Music.
Said Kabaka, “Working on the song was a great experience. I had a home set-up at the time and I had just gotten the rhythm and started vibing to it. I didn't write anything down; I just started to record and the lyrics just forward as me a voice.”
Directed by Quan Nelson of Studio9, the music video was shot at Jamaica College on Hope Road in St Andrew. The video begins with students knocking on a desk while performing in a classroom. A teacher interrupts the gathering and questions why they were not in class, while threatening to place them on suspension.
“I feel every student must be encouraged to know something about the music business fi know that music is a legitimate occupation. So we wanted to highlight that with the song. I am very pleased to how the video turned out,” said Kabaka.
For the singjay, the youth is a very important demographic for his music.
Kabaka said: “When the yute dem give we the glory, a the best thing. The yute dem a pree music weh mek them think and that gives me the greatest feeling for sure.”
He added, “For me, music was always about the message cause is the message of music. I talk about Sizzla Kalonji. His music is what inspired me to change my life and walk the trod of Rastafari. I always knew to myself that if I want to do music that would be my main motivation to do that for someone else's life.”
Kabaka Pyramid has been doing music for close to a decade. He said it was far from smooth sailing.
“I feel like everybody goes through doubts in them journey, no matter what you do. Me as an artiste have had times when you get frustrated with the lack of support and certain things like from your peers or from the gatekeepers in the industry, especially if you're doing more conscious music. You kinda get distressed and feel like nobody nuh waa hear no conscious music. But every now and then, you just do a song that transcends everything. Them moments deh when you do a performance and you get rave reviews or you do a freestyle and you get the vibration from the people, it just remove dem doubts deh.”
“Me never really reach to them point to give up, you done know we through the ups and downs and stay focused.”
Kabaka had some advice for persons who may be going through some form of demotivation or on the brink of giving up in pursuit of their dreams.
“Our experiences are what make our lives valuable. Sometimes the rougher the experiences, the more we can learn from it. Once you believe inna yuself, that is the guiding force behind overcoming and achieving anything inna life,” he shared.
Born Keron Salmon, Kabaka Pyramid is from Mona in upper St Andrew. He attended Campion College before going on to earn a degree in electronics and computer technology at Orlando's Devry University.
He is signed to Bebble Rock Music.
In 2013 the EP titled Bebble Rock Music Presents: Lead the Way reached number nine on the Billboard Reggae Albums chart. Five years later, his debut album Kontraband topped out at number three on the chart.
Last year, the singjay released the Immaculate Mixtape. Believe is featured on that project. He is currently working on his sophomore album.