SINGER Richie Stephens pours his heart and soul into his latest project, Reverse the Curse.
The 14-track album was released on August 26. It features collaborations with singer Nitty Kutchie, Tammi T, Goodboy Elliot and Sly and Robbie.
"I decided to write an album to kinda sing about personal experiences â€” to sing about the blessings, the struggles, the different avenues or structures of life. Valley was one of the first songs that came out. That song resonated with people and I saw how people really felt about the lyrical content," Stephens disclosed in an interview with the Jamaica Observer.
He continued, "I decided to go on further. I came with a song called Reverse the Curse and again, that song resonated with everyone. So, I just decided to create some songs that will speak to people in that manner. We are going through some rough times and a lot of people are finding it difficult to cope, so I created an album that will uplift people spiritually."
Some of the songs on Reverse the Curse include the title track, Valley, Child of God, Born Blessed, Shine On, Heavenly Father, First Love Never Dies, and a cover of the Tom Jones classic Delilah.
Stephens was recently in South Florida promoting the album. He made promo stops in Fort Lauderdale, Port Charlotte and Orlando. This weekend he is scheduled for promotional campaigns in New York, Connecticut and Philadelphia.
The promotional campaign has paid off handsomely for Stephens as the album is currently number 11 on the South Florida and number ten on the New York Reggae Album charts.
"The feedback is excellent. We have two songs out that people already know and we just released the video for a third single, Born Blessed. I've been in music long enough to know that when you dedicate yourself to music or to a project and you put in all the work, I am not surprised at the feedback. I am just grateful," said Stephens.
Sly and Robbie, Stephen "Lenky" Marsden, Othniel Lewis, Courtney Panton, Dave Green and Dubwise are just some of the musicians and producers who contributed to the album.
Said Stephens, "I thank God everyday for blessing me with the love of music. I just love music; music does so much for me. It gives me comfort and solace, and it also clears my mind. It is what keeps me going. I'm really really inspired, and I like to be challenged."
Reverse the Curse is the follow-up to the collaborative album Mother and Son by Richie and his mom, Mama Carmen, which was released last year.
He said working on Reverse the Curse proved to be a challenge.
"Working on the album was a challenge because I am kinda out of my comfort zone with this album. I am known as a lovers' rock man but, at the same time, I also have a few cultural, uplifting and spiritual songs from back in the past," Stephens shared.
Said he, "There are two love songs on the album and all the others are consciously spiritual songs. And it means that now I will have to think out of my comfort zone to come up with those lyrics that are real, that can convince people seh, 'Is yah suh mi heart deh and a dis mi really a seh.' So that was a bit challenging."
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