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Interview: Lorenzo

Interview: Lorenzo

Interview: Lorenzo

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"When you work with musicians who know and love the music, it's a great feeling"



Lorenzo has matured on second album

With his debut album 'Movin’ Ahead', King Lorenzo was on top of the game in 2009. But since that release it has been rather quiet around him. Until November last year when his second album 'Stronger' was put out. United Reggae got a chat with this singer who likes to collaborate with European producers.

Ras Mac Bean’s solid debut album 'Pack Up and Leave' from 2004 featured a combination with a singer called King Lorenzo, or just Lorenzo. Forgive Them Jah was the tune. It’s a fiercely intense outing with Mac Bean and Lorenzo taking turns on the microphone. From the moment I heard the song I longed for a full-length solo album from Lorenzo. The wait was long. Five years to be exact.

Over those five years Lorenzo dropped several strong singles for French production team Irie Ites, a crew responsible for both Ras Mac Bean’s and Lorenzo’s debut albums.

“I met Irie Ites in 2001 in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. They came by Prezident Brown’s studio, where we used to hang out and we did some work together. Then in 2002 they arranged a tour with Chezidek, Ifari and myself and we travelled all over France. From there we just continued the works,” explains Lorenzo, who has been singing and performing since his early teens.

Crossed the Channel

On his new album 'Stronge'r Lorenzo has crossed the English Channel to record together with acclaimed roots singer and producer Nereus Joseph, who he met in a studio in London by accident. Jointly the pair produced new and fresh riddims as well as giving vintage classics such as Declaration of Rights and Cottage in Negril a new treatment.

“We went to record some tunes at a studio in London where Nereus Joseph was working too. I was impressed with his work and liked the riddims he made so we started working together. The vibe was right and we created Stronger,” says Lorenzo.

“A song for everyone”

LorenzoOn his previous material with Irie Ites the riddims were usually laid by UK riddim section Mafia & Fluxy along with Jamaican musicians such as guitarist Earl “Chinna” Smith and percussionist Bongo Herman. On 'Stronger' the music is laid down by another UK-based outfit – Ruff Cutt.

“When you work with musicians who know and love the music, it’s a great feeling. Working together was a great experience. Each musician added their own flavor and Nereus would create the right sound to match my style. It's a natural musical vibe,” he says, and continues:

“Stronger is new, fresh with an authentic roots reggae sound. It's a well rounded album with lyrics touching on different subjects from social commentary to personal empowerment. This is the kind of music we want to make. Nice energy, and there is a song for everyone. It's the kind of album every music lover should have.”

Working with U Brown

Just like his debut album 'Stronger' is a roots-based and uplifting effort with room for three combinations – one with his brother Clifford Fyah Henry, one with Nereus Joseph and one with legendary deejay U Brown.

“U Brown is my good bredren from long time and we wanted to do a wicked tune. When I heard the riddim track he came to mind straight away. We came up with the melody for Keep on Rising, linked him up, he heard it and loved it. And that’s how we created this big combination,” explains Lorenzo.

Ready for any challenge

Apart from hosting a few more combination tracks, 'Stronger' is also somewhat more varied compared to 'Movin’ Ahead'.

“On Stronger we got to experiment more. For example, Back to the Roots is an acoustic song, Feel Like Dancing is an up-tempo track and I also made a duet with my brother Clifford Fyah Henry, which we had wanted to do for a long time,” says Lorenzo, and concludes:

“Musically I feel I have matured. My style has developed and I am happy with Stronger.”

Three of the most critical messages Lorenzo want to get across is to give respect, never give up and always be strong.

“Don't let negative things knock you down. Whatever happens, whatever we experience in life only makes us stronger. I personally and musically feel I've grown and feel stronger today than I have ever been. I’m ready for any challenge that lies ahead.”

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