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Interview: Pentateuch

Interview: Pentateuch

Interview: Pentateuch

By on - Photos by Pier Tosi - Comment

"We share different spiritual beliefs but we are united in the music"      

Sampler

With Biblical references as the name of the band and their debut album title 'The Genesis', Pentateuch is one of the most spiritual of the young bands coming from the so-called Reggae Revival scene in Jamaica. 'The genesis' is full of militant and spiritual messages but the band is also showing  a very listenable approach with some pop sounds here and there in order to spread their issues to a wider audience.Their fresh sound is connected to the foundation through echoes of Rico Rodriguez and Bunny Wailer but the results are highly original. Pier Tosi's interview took place in a very spiritual place: on the front yard of Bob Marley's Museum at 56 Hope Road in Kingston. The lead singer Kevor Williams answered the questions in the presence of all the others band members, the drummer Brady "Jah Bradez" Robinson, bassist Andrew "Worm" Ayre, keyboardist Andrade "Dradi" Bowen and guitarist Garth "Duckie" Forester. After the reasoning the band invited Pier at the rehearsals at Bootcamp Studio in Harbor View, home of their mentor, the legendary producer Computer Paul Henton. Their next show at Jamnesia was being prepared and Paul as gave fruitful advice to the band while listening their sound in the room.

Pentateuch

What is the meaning of your name?

Pentateuch is the five first books of the Bible so that’s Pentateuch means…

So you’re very inspired by the Bible because your debut CD is titled ‘The Genesis’

Yes, this is our first album and for us is a new journey and the title ‘The Genesis’ it means fresh and brand new sounds…

What is more or less the age of the components of the band and what are the previous musical experiences of them?

The average age of the band is 24 and we formed the band in 2008, we all went to a music school so we have that experience and a couple of guys played with other artists.. Andrade play with Queen Ifrica and Garth with Alborosie… we were playing a lot around Kingston and I was doing a lot of writing for other artists… we come from the Edna Manley School Of Arts and we have to say nuff thanks to Michael Ibo Cooper from Third World because he’s really the engineer behind all these new bands coming from Edna Manley so we have to thank him a lot for that.

Michael Ibo Cooper from Third World is really the engineer behind all these new bands coming from Edna Manley

‘The Genesis’ does have roots sounds and militant messages… it’s not the sound you’re expecting from very young people from Jamaica in which the young people’s music seems to be the dancehall… what are your main influences as artist?

Personally my first and foremost influence is The Almighty… we’re inspired by artists like Bunny Wailer, Burning Spear, Bob Marley, Third World, Peter Tosh, Steel Pulse, Black Uhuru… all these guys, I have to mention I Wayne that is keeping carrying a strong message of love and unity, we respect all these guys and look up to them…

In your lyrics you have these very strong black history references as being proud of being black or learn your African heritage…

As we all know the history of black people and it’s sad because we are in this year 2013 and there’s a lot of black people struggling with their identity because they don’t know their roots, it makes them difficult to show love to other people because they don’t love themselves and they don’t know where they are coming from, so Pentateuch is really for empowering black people to love themselves and not just black people but people in general, to love yourself, to love who you are, appreciate yourself, be proud of yourself, so Pentateuch is about self uplifment, and the guys who came before us and talk to us about these things… I’m talking about people like Marcus Garvey, the Mahathma Gandhi… all the other people who came before us and did show us the right way and the right path to walk which is love and oneness… we can’t go around that… there’s no way to go around love and unity, that’s the only way for mankind to survive…

All the band members are Rastafarians?

We have different beliefs… I’m a Rastaman but we all are spiritual people who believe in the Most High but we don’t make religion coming between us because all we believe is love… an important thing about this band is to share different beliefs but we are unite in the music..

There’s a lot of black people struggling with their identity because they don’t know their roots

I did notice you’re mentioning Rastafari in the lyrics but your spiritual concepts are wider than that..

Yes, it’s spiritual and uplifting music in general terms, my religion is my personal belief and I will declare the name of the Most High wherever I go but I am not gonna force the other people to do it, all a we together work well as a team no matter our personal beliefs and I like that because our main focus is love…

There’s this new scene of bands and artists and a lot of them are coming like you from Edna Manley…are you completely feeling part of it or is there something that is making you different from the other bands?

We are part of this new movement…Pentateuch can’t do it by themselves…we have to unite our hearts in the music together, because it’s not for self-gratification, it’s a team…we want to see a change in the world, it’s not necessary to become famous and to do big money, if we want money we should have studied as engineer, medicine or something like that, we have our talents and there’s something is moving us within our spirit, that’s why we are doing what we’re doing.

If we want money we should have studied as engineer, medicine or something like that

Again about this new scene of bands: going around in Kingston in these days I noticed a strong sense of togetherness about the young musicians like meeting all together at the concerts, the record presentations…how this sense is expressing itself day by day?

We all move together on daily basis, we have connection between each others and when there is an event we support each others, we are not alone in chanting down Babylon, it’s a team, you see? It’s a whole force coming at you, we affi go unite as a team.

About your lyrics: in ‘Change’ you’re talking about a commitment about you and your family in order to change the world. What would be in your opinion the first thing to be changed in order to better the society on local basis but also on worldwide basis?

The very first thing a man have to do in life is to find The Almighty for himself, find that love within you, this is the first thing and then you’re on your way to change yourself, and then you can change your friends, and then you can change your family, then you can change a community,  a town and then the word, younno? We really have to change ourselves as first, know who The Almighty is, find that love and that oneness within your heart, find that peace within yourself, that love for umanity and this will make these things work.

The very first thing a man have to do in life is to find the love within you

How your songs are coming?

The songs come together in different ways, sometimes is through reasoning, sometimes through just playing music together and sometimes it’s a divine thing, you’re going in bed and wake up with a dream, and that dream is a song because ‘Black face’ is like that…it just came…the creation side of Pentateuch band is very mystical, we try to live upright so the inspiration of The Most High can flow through us…

It’s Computer Paul Henton who did produce your very first CD: can you talk about this collaboration?

Computer Paul is a legend in this music industry, and he has been around for quite some time, people see what he can do in a lot of works, Jimmy Cliff’s ‘I can see clearly now’, that was one of his major works…as a person he is a peaceful and wonderful person, we have to give thanks of that because it’s not a lot of producers you can find out there who’s in the music for the love of the music and not for cheat you or rip you off, Computer Paul is really a father to us.

What kind of work he did with you? Did he tell you advices about how to change or improve your sound?

No because this is one of the things we made clear from the beginning: our sound is our sound and what you do is what you do and he will never be able to change what we are doing and he clearly agrees with this…His advice is always on a professional level, something like ‘Guys, the song is a little bit too fast’ or ‘is a bit too slow’, on that level he give us advice here and there but, I mean, he’s also confident in our talent, he’s confident in the band so for the most part he give us freedom to create and do what we want to do, but just a little guidance yunno?

Computer Paul is confident in the band so for the most part he give us freedom to create and do what we want to do

In The CD there’s this very touching song that is ‘Cancer survival’: the story can be something true as ill people in their struggle for life but also something metaphorical too… I was wondering if this is coming from a true story like a relative having cancer…

Yes, is actually a true story, I lost a very close cousin that I grew up with, in 2010 she died from cancer. I wrote this song with the intention to help the people who are struggling with cancer so when a man who is suffering from cancer hear this song, him can sing it and uplift himself and don’t feel depressed because he still  have life, this disease has been a menace to humanity, I’m sure you might know somebody who died from cancer so we are all affected by this disease, so what Pentateuch band want to give is encouragement for these people to rise above this evil, to overcome this evil force, and people needs encouragement like this because every day we sing about life and all kind of things but the people are suffering from sickness and they need a lot of encouragement, we donate this song to the Cancer Society Of Jamaica also…

Your debut CD is out since the end of October: what are your plans for the next and your dreams as artists?

The goal we want to achieve, first and foremost we want to see that change we are singing about and to see people really being helped by our music, people changing the way of their life because of our music,…we would like to move around and perform to the people and do more shows and create more positive music and in the future work with some artists who is in the same lineage and doing the same positive music and spreading the message…

Pentateuch

Did you ever perform abroad?

No, we have never been outside Jamaica, we did perform in a lot of places in Jamaica…Jah willing, we would like to go in Europe or in USA..

What about the feedback you had from your audience about your songs?

As you know in Jamaica the masses are slow to take on to our style of music, and for our surprise a lot of people follow Pentateuch band because we come with ‘Black face’ in the time when everybody was bleaching their skin to get brown, so the song came out in that time and we really see the love of the people who want to keep their roots and live right, so the feedback has been great and we have to give thanks for that.

We had our first contact through Facebook so now the technology is very important for a band like you in order to get in touch with everybody but there’s the other face of it like the music as mp3 can be stolen and downloaded illegally… what do you think aobut it?

Well, let the people get our music and download our songs and bootleg it as long as it will be good for spread our message, because at the end of the day Pentateuch is creating music for the people who is suffering and the main thing is for this people…yes, we want to live outta this, we want to be able to provide our families food through music but the main thing is to spread the message to the people, it’s not about making money and getting rich, I don’t want to be a billionaire, I just want to have a roof over my head and some food on my table and my people living in love and unity, that’s all I want in life.

Do you have a particular message for the reggae lovers?

Yes, the message is let’s unite and let’s come together, so all we have to come together in love, it make no sense to divide, we have to come together…one message, one love, one destiny, one Jah. We represent the people so everybody feel free to approach us in the streets or to send us an email, a twitter, we will respond individually, we will talk to the people because we want to feel their energy and their love.

Some people thinks that internet technology hurts the industry, I don’t think so, I think it’s some people who hurts the industry, the people who is greedy

You’re very young but probably you’re aware about the fact that once the vinyl single was the most powerful media to spread the original Jamaican music all over the world, now there’s no 7” anymore here in Jamaica and I think the industry is still suffering the loss of that and in the last year a crisis is going on in the music industry here…I was wondering if you did notice some betterment of the situation recently…

Right now the next serie of song we will record, we will gonna go back to the vinyl because vinyl can’t dead, it is the roots of all things, not because we get new technology we have to throw it away, no, you know? Technology is to help mankind but technology is also controlling mankind…we are supposing to be in charge to use technology to uplift ourselves and better ourselves, so with this new age with internet world and CDs and mp3s, some people thinks that technology hurts the industry, I don’t think so, I think it’s some people who hurts the industry, the people who is greedy, the people who instead of use the technology to do good music, uses the technology to do their pockets better but Jah will get rid of everybody of them one by one…

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