Words by Jesse Serwer
Jesse Royal is at his most lyrical on his new single, “Silent River.” The track, which opens with a sample of Horsemouth’s speech from the classic Jamaican movie Rockers, features notes from an all-star cast of Jamaican musicians including drummer Kirk ‘Kirkledove’ Bennett, keyboardist Llamar ‘Riff Raff’ Brown, guitarist Mitchum ‘Khan’ Chin, trombonist Nambo Robinson and sax king Dean Frazer, and background vocals by singer Chevaughn. Produced by Kareem “Remus” Burrell and mixed by Collin “Bulby” York, it’s the second single from XTM. Nation’s upcoming Living Heart Vol. 2, a follow up to the original Living Heart compilation album released in 2014 in tribute to Burrell’s late father, Philip “Fatis” Burrell.
Artist Ikem Smith, who designed the cover artwork for “Silent River,” tells the song’s story through a series of illustrations bringing Royal’s lyrics (We step through the Valley of Death without fear/Lion nuh join squabble with eagle and bear/Real cavalier, rare like trillionaires) to life. Today being Election Day in Jamaica, Jesse is asking his fans to vote on which illustration they would want to see animated in a 15-second Instagram video.
Make your pick in the comments section on Jesse’s Facebook fanpage, and run “Silent River” below.