The LargeUp Interview: Jesse Royal

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Jesse-Royal-Tracks-And-Records

LU: There’s an explosive live music/reggae revival happening in Jamaica right now, what are your thoughts on it?

JR: [Laughs] Well, it’s just the words you use. Cause you know, Reggae is. Reggae is. We just a come put our two cents in the jar, like the elders before us who did so much more great things than today than to just come label the thing. What have we done so far? It’s not about reviving a music, it’s about reviving a generation. Reviving a nation and bringing back the consciousness in a society, what we need to make actual changes happen. Is not about I and I, is about we. In the sense of, what will be our thing that we leave our generation? We going to leave two word? Or we going to leave works? So that is I and I whole thing. Words nice man and you realize that words nice cause, guess what? You have to put words there and then choose words very carefully.

But you know how many people a fight man. I can carry you all down a Jungle, down a Rema, and show you all some little youth man, just a try hold them community together with little or nothing. The man them a make sure that two, three pot cook a day so everybody can have a meal. These are the people who I and I applaud, who a try do something with the little that we have. They are our strength you know, is not we is them strength. We is them light you know, but is them is our strength. So our music must enlighten them and lead them. Our music is not no bragadocious music that you big up, cause that mean say if we not talking for the people then it make sense you call is some other thing because guess what now, when I check a stock and you go throughout the history of the music, is there so it come from.

You think say reggae come from no jump up and everything did nice? When you check a stock man, it is the oppression. Them don’t even have to use fancy words. You feel it in their soul. Cause who feel it, know it—you know? When you hear Bob say, “Them belly full but we hungry, A hungry mob is an angry mob, the rain a fall but the dirt it tough, pot a cook but the food no nough.” Bob never say my belly is full and my and my. We are the voice of the voiceless. The people that need to be heard but are not being heard. So that’s the word, if you ask me. So it’s nice, reggae reviving still. But foremost it’s a consciousness making sure that we, as the children of today, put our things in place for the youth of tomorrow, just like our forefathers did put certain things in place for us today.

Jesse-Royal-Tracks-And-Records

LU: Have you been traveling this year?

JR: We did a couple [US] dates earlier this year. But you see me now, as I say, we come to do something. So is not like mi a go run down no thing, and a man going to say, here’s a little thing, and we run come. No man, because this message must be heard in the right way, and if I can’t walk with who make me, then I not walking at all. And I mean, it might [be] tricky. But them don’t worry about me, because where there’s a will there’s a way. I and I know that none of them can’t stop this train, so we just hold on to what we know, which is that we will reap what we sew. We nah gwaan like we have to chase anything. One thing I know is that perfect is my father’s timing. So all what them think them hear and say and know? The best is yet to come from I an I. There will come a day when them will see and know, “Oh a that him did a talk bout.” But true I and I know already we just easy. Cause Jah never wrong yet.

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