Words by Ronnia Cherry
Royal Blu, also known as “El Fuego,” has been setting Jamaica ablaze with impressive music and innovative visuals over the past few years. Born in Spanish Town, Blu has delivered remarkable features alongside artists Runkus, Ras-I, Iotosh and Khxos. He also appeared as the featured artist on Natural High Music’s “Reap What You Sow,” the inaugural release from record label Delicious Vinyl Island.
Recently, another Spanish Town talent, reggae sensation Koffee, listed Blu among her musical peers and inspirations. Now, the hip-hop X reggae lyricist returns with “Style and Pattern,” on Delicious Vinyl Island, his first solo release since 2017’s Foresta-produced Sing with God EP.
A series of original artworks by Jamaican illustrator and designer Ikem Smith, unveiled on social media, has created the perfect introduction to “Style and Pattern,” an inferno of a track filled with Blu’s signature, smooth hip-hop x dancehall flow, which he weaves beautifully with a confident reggae hook over a riddim produced by JLL and QuickKeys.
We asked Royal Blu to share the creative process behind the track, and here’s what he had to say:
“‘Style and Pattern’ is meant to break the normal structure and pattern of how we think songs should be arranged. So, where you would expect more of a reggae delivery, the rhythm breaks down and my flow changes into a different style. Where you would expect the chorus to come back, there’s a different melody. This is to show I don’t have to restrict myself to a certain style and pattern. It’s a chance for listeners to get a break from the norm and have a little musical, mental exercise.”
If it hasn’t been made clear yet, Blu is cut from a different cloth, marching to his own beat. His confidence and cadence evolve with each record, and he manages to shine on every track while projecting a humble image that keeps attention fully on his music and message.