Yasus, Mik keep it simpleMonday, May 17, 2021
BY HOWARD CAMPBELL
FROM Garnet Silk to Black Uhuru, Yasus Afari has done collaborations with a number of high-profile acts. None, however, compare to his latest project.
On Plain & Simple, the veteran poet/activist teams up with his nine-year-old daughter, Mikaya, known as Mik. They co-wrote the song which addresses the need for family values.
“The idea which inspired Plain & Simple is the importance for children, mothers and fathers to make informed choices and informed decisions and to stick to those core principles in making decisions in life and within the family as well as the wider human community. We believe in helping to develop an informed public opinion on the stage of life on which we all operate so that we can be positive agents of change within our nation and within humanity,” Yasus told the Jamaica Observer.
He added that parents going back to basics with their children is even more critical given the high level of lawlessness in Jamaica.
“The Jamaican society is disintegrating and this is at the core of the violence against our children, our women and our families. Therefore, we as artistes, musicians, poets and all other leaders across our nation must do our very best to empower our women and children and all the other members within our family unit. Additionally, we must bridge the generation gap and set an example for the succeeding generation,” said Yasus.
Plain & Simple marks the recording debut for Mik who has attended her father's mediums such as the annual Poetry in Motion in Mandeville. That town was one of the launching pads for his career 35 years ago.
Back then, St Elizabeth-born Yasus Afari struck up a friendship with like-minded artistes from Clarendon and Manchester who transformed dancehall music's image from 'slackness' and violence to consciousness and Rasta.
Among them was the singer Garnet Silk with whom he covered I Can See Clearly Now, originally done by Johnny Nash.
Recording a song with Mik was special.
“We are very close and we admire each other. Actually, in harmony with being her father, we are very close friends. She is my confidant so I consult with her on most things,” said Yasus. “Naturally, I have a interest in what she does and she has a keen interest in what I do, plus we have a great chemistry, so it comes naturally.”
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