The cover art for the upcoming Samory I album, Strength

While many may have a mouthful to say about the state of dancehall music, recording artiste Samory I says all the themes explored in the genre should be explored.

This comes ahead of the release of his solo debut album, Strength, set for release on November 17.

"Music is music at the end of the day. I don't bash dancehall music because certain things push di youths dem fi sing di way dem a sing," he told the Jamaica Observer.

It was only last year that the Broadcasting Commission of Jamaica issued a ban on broadcasters airing music that promotes or glorify illegal activities.

Samory I

Samory I explained that art merely replicates reality.

"If I man wasn't used to poverty and hurt and pain, then I wouldn't be singing about poverty… it's the same thing — the youths inna di ghetto know 'bout gun violence. His example wasn't a doctor, lawyer, or nurse or an aunt who was a school teacher, it was the scammer weh have the most girl and the most money. A dem ting deh di ghetto youths idolise," he said.

Strength will be released via Overstand Entertainment and Easy Star Records. The 11-track set follows his collaborative album, Black Gold (2017), with Jamaican producer Rory "Stonelove" Gilligan, which helped make Samory I a household name in reggae.

Over the past year, Samory I has teased us with singles from his forthcoming LP, including Blood in the Streets, Crown, and Wrath featuring 2023 Grammy award-winner Kabaka Pyramid and dancehall legend Capleton.

Strength is produced solely by prolific reggae producer Winta James (Protoje, Chronixx, Damian Marley) and will also feature guest appearances by Jamaican reggae artists Lila Iké, Jesse Royal, and Mortimer.

Samory I further said that he has remained consistent in curating tracks that will be relatable to a wide cross section of listeners

"Dem type a music yah now a fi reach fi di juvenile dem — di ones dem weh nuh associate demselves wid reggae music. We nah try fi just touch di people dem weh nuh know di music already. We a try fi mek music fi all ears," he said.

BY KEDIESHA PERRY Observer writer

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