LargeUp: How did you get your start in music?
Jesse Royal: Music for me has always been key. My grandmother was actually the choir director down at the church that we used to go [to] and she used to play the organ. My mother also has been singing on her church choir’s forever. But then I grew older and my bredrin named Daniel, who is like my brother from another mother, Ziggy Marley’s son, met [me] because we ended up at the same school, same class and everything, and me and him just click on a different level you know, as bredrin, and because we a play ball together. From those times, we always used to not imitate but do our version of Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers, because we got a lot of the music fresh off the press. So we just set up in the background and “Everyone Wants to be the Cowboy” and “Small People Turn into Big People” and you know “Conscious Party” and “Head Top” and dem tune there.
You don’t even know that is leading to all of this, because wherever your life leads you, that’s where it’s going to lead you. Some people reach the tree, and a carpenter look at the tree and see a chair. You probably look at the tree and see a painting, I probably look at the tree and see a song, a next man look at the tree and see everything that’s wrong, a next one sees everything that’s right. So you know that every reason have a season, and that was our little nurturing season. So me and Daniel, from those days until now, most of the music that we make is living room music. We were still young cubs, so it was a privilege to go into a studio them times. We just have to make our own music while listening and still do our own thing and you young, and that’s why I tell people its good to be young because you don’t really have many hindrances. You don’t even know [to] say probably you can’t do it. You just do it, and try. The older people get, is like they’re more afraid to try. To do things, because the older you grow, you get so fit into the system that you feel like if you step out of line your going to get fine or your life a go on the line. So even today, me and Daniel we still make living room music. Where we just knock desk and make music.
LU: You’ve been doing music for what seems like most of your life, but when do you think people really started to hear Jesse Royal from a mainstream standpoint?
JR: I really even couldn’t tell you, because anybody that knows me knows that we just do what we are doing. You see the thing is that anybody who hear this ago rock to it. So that was the outlook from day one. The beautiful thing about it is [it’s] not like me deliberately go out there. Is a friend tell a friend, who tell a friend, who reach many women and men. So there so is the movement of I and I music. I and I music a people music, is not no big guy going put I and I music on top. Is not no capitalist or no guy with no great influence or money. I wish I could have a straightforward answer like yes I put ten thousand CDs there and I took it around there and I met this fellow and this fellow… No. And truly when you check a stock… what is mainstream? Cause I and I not really mainstream, there’s still so much work left to be done because when your mainstream that mean you a wonder whose team you on then, because if you main you with them. So I mean it’s tricky.