Var Hillsman starts RevolutionFriday, November 20, 2020
By Howard Campbell
For the last two years, Var Hillsman has split much of his time writing songs and trying to establish an organic drink company in his native Portland.
Last Friday, the singer launched Revolution, a song he envisaged on a April morning last year. It is the lead single from his EP, Jah Love, which is scheduled for release in December.
Var Hillsman wrote the six songs on the mini set which have an acoustic flavour. Revolution was conceived on a day when one of the world's oldest landmarks was destroyed.
“What I remembered about the song is the melody woke me up from my sleep about five am, so I took up the guitar and started singing until my brethren came and asked if I release this song already, and I said no. So, he set up the microphone and we did a recording of the song,” Var Hillsman recalled. “What stood out in my mind was exactly after we finish recording we saw the headline on the news of Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral in Paris burning, so we paused for a moment. This was Monday, April 15 2019. I never forget.”
The former lead singer of Pentateuch, Var Hillsman (real name Kevor Williams) was also that band's main songwriter before leaving in 2018. Like his fledgling enterprise, Jah Love's songs have an organic feel; they were written the “old-fashioned way” by acoustic guitar, which he learned as a student at Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts.
Around the time he began writing material for Jah Love, Var Hillsman started Hillsman Organics on his 20-acre farm in the Rio Grande Valley of Portland where his family have lived for generations. Currently, he has three products on the market including a roots tea.
“It is a lot of work, as the music keeps me up at nights and the farming wakes me up at four am in the mornings. But I have the help and support of my workers and my family. It is a great experience so far,” he said of his dual venture.
The Rastafarian artiste produced four of Jah Love's songs. Singer/songwriter Patrice Bart Williams, a Sierra Leonean-based in Germany, produced the others.
Some of Var Hillsman's schoolmates, including bassist Jason Welch of Notis Heavweight Rockaz and his cousin, Shaquir McQueen, guitarist for Kabaka Pyramid's band, played on the EP.
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