Weaned on old-fashioned values and attitudes of rural Jamaica, Lavie Lujah migrated to Canada just over 20 years ago as the social media industry was about to explode.
The Toronto-based singer looks at the impact technology has on contemporary trends in This Generation, his latest song, which is produced by www.smallaxeemp.com.
"When I was growing up in Malvern, St Elizabeth, I experienced a tremendous amount of human love and kindness from the people in my community. People who did not have much were the kindest and most caring. Generosity was such a common virtue. Today people proudly tell you they are 'dog heart'. Being violent is a badge of honour and to be peaceful is a sign of weakness," he said.
Professional and streetside sociologists point to the Internet and its many offshoots to blame for the waywardness of many youth. But Lavie Lujah, a behavioural specialist by profession, does not agree.
"The problem is not technology. Technology is not spoiling the current generation. The current generation is misusing technology by defining themselves by it. It's crazy because that's a recipe for stress, anxiety, and depression. You just can't keep up!!" he noted. "Technology has allowed us to extend ourselves by being more efficient and productive. People believe in things more than they believe in people and that's the problem. It's destructive."
Looking out for one's neighbour was commonplace said Lavie Lujah (real name Laval Wilkinson) about when he lived in the district of Kinowl, St Elizabeth. Over the years, he has seen that benevolence give way to coarseness, as many individuals adapt norms associated with other countries.
With This Generation, he notes that a simple solution is getting back to basics.
"The winning formula is 'people over things'. We were born human, let's be humane. It's the highest achievement to acquire — being a good human. You don't have to be anything else other than what you were created to be, human," said Lavie Lujah.
Since launching his recording career three years ago, Lavie Lujah has won the inaugural Jamaica International Independence Festival Song Competition in 2021 and released his début album late last year.