Words by Selector Iscious
Photos by Drew Leventhal
Comprised of five members all originally hailing from Jamaica, the Bronx-based reggae collective called Royal KhaoZ consists of Jermaine “Bama” Williams on lead vocals; Andre “DreTegs” Hawthorne doubling on keys and as the band’s producer; Kavi “Coco” Forgie on bass and guitars; the exceptional Damion “Dam Drumz” on drums/percussion; and Damion “Damiedon” Hawthorne, serving as the band’s manager and DJ.
Dretegs, Bama, Coco, and Dam Drumz formed the group in 2010, steadily building a buzz around New York with a fusion of roots reggae, rock, R&B, jazz and ska and heartfelt, conscious lyrics. Theirs is a lush, rich sound focused on positivity, love, and empowerment.
The group, which released its full-length debut, Life: The Journey, in 2012, and the Release the Pressure EP in 2016, recently dropped a video for “Walk with Jah,” a fan favorite from the EP. Keeping the momentum going, here we have the world premiere of “Show Me Your Motion,” the first release from their upcoming sophomore LP, planned for early 2019. “Show Me Your Motion” is a catchy, dubbed-out love song sure to have listeners bopping their heads to nostalgic lines like, “There’s a brown girl in the ring …cha la la la!” A fun and infectious riddim produced by Dretegs provides a sweet backdrop for Bama to flirt with the ladies and implore them to “show me your motion!”
“‘There’s a brown girl in the ring, cha la la la la’ is a popular childhood ring game we always played growing up,” the band says. “It’s talking about a beautiful brown girl in the circle so creating a song out of this nursery rhyme was only right. It brought a sense of nostalgia as we thought about all of our childhoods. Essentially, the song celebrates our beautiful brown and black women but we also want listeners to feel a piece of Jamaica, a piece of our childhood when they hear it.”
If you’re in the New York area, free up and feel the vibes in person. Royal KhaoZ host a weekly jam session, called Voice Out, on Thursday nights at their recording studio at 942 East 233rd Street in the Bronx. The group encourages and invites all creatives to share in their artistry in a supportive open-mic environment. Follow Voice Out Jams on IG for more information and weekly updates.
“Show Me Your Motion” is available next week on all digital outlets.