Words by Ronnia Cherry
Mortimer always comes in like the strong yet gentle force that reggae needs. Born in Kingston, Jamaica, and raised in the rural parish of St. Elizabeth, music found him at the tender age of eight, singing choir. His influences include the greats Bob Marley and Stephen Marley, as well as soul singers like Donny Hathaway and John Legend. His voice is both silky and smoky as he blends roots reggae and contemporary Jamaican music together with ease.
Mortimer first introduced himself with a feature on Protoje’s “Protection,” the introductory track from the critically acclaimed Ancient Future project. The two linked up again for “Truth & Rights” off the Grammy-nominated A Matter of Time album.
Blessed by the immaculate production of Winta James, Mortimer released the single “Careful” via James’ Overstand Entertainment and EasyStar Records. David Rodigan called it a “big, heavy tune” on BBC Radio, and the track even landed on Apple Music’s “Best of 2018” list.
Mortimer and Winta James return once again with their newest collaboration, “Lightning.” The track is a powerful love song set on a simple riddim, backed by live organ, rhythm guitar, live steel guitar, horns and synthesizers.
Listen here first, and find the track on all streaming services Friday, July 26.
“Lightning’ is just a little bit of how I feel about one of the most beautiful persons I’ve ever met in my entire life … my wife,” Mortimer shares via email. “She’s the mother of my children, my friend, my inspiration… My soul feels good with her. She’s everything. I wrote this song for her. Like all couples, we have ups and downs, but that’s what life is all about. The sun doesn’t shine brightly everyday. The leaves aren’t always green. Life is balance, and life is relationships, too. We grow as we go, and in my heart, I feel like I’ve found the most perfectly imperfect life partner.”