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Interview : Jamelody

Interview : Jamelody

Interview : Jamelody

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An encounter with Jamelody, an up-and-coming Jamaican singer with a style in the same vein as Jah Cure, inspired by Garnett Silk, who has just released his debut album.



Jamelody (born Michael Williams, Carenage Trinidad) is an up and coming artist with an emotive vocal style and accessible roots reggae meets R&B sound. His debut album Be Prepared is out now on VP records and he talks to Angus Taylor about how it all came to pass…

How did you first get into music?

Well I first get into music through during my youth days. Going to church with my mum. I started performing in the Song Service and then I start voice singing.

Did you parents encourage you?

Yes a lot, but it was after then y’know? It was a time in life when you’re experiencing a lot things that it was in my mind to be a artist and to be a performer. It so happen in secondary school that I fell into a group named Brothers With Voices and the music settle and develop y’know? And I love the music and became a singer and it so happen that I am… Jamelody!

Tell us a bit about growing up in Trinidad for your European fans…

Growing up in Trinidad is one of my greatest times because it is where I experience most of my life because most of the things in my life happen right here in Trinidad. Trinidad is a place I will never actually leave out of, because if I in future make a lot of money I will stay back in Trinidad.

When did you choose the Rasta path?

It had to be around 17 years of age. It was richly spiritual y’know? And everyone have to go thru these things in life but it was just my time and to feel the vibes and accept the faith. And it was a good choice! (laughs)

How did you get the name Jamelody?

The name Jamelody was like… chillin’ out with some of my brethren… some of my people and they use to say I have a lot of melody in my voice and I should go and sing for the people and let the melody bawl! And I say, it not really my melody… it just Jah own. And some day it just hit me in my mind – Jamelody – and I call my self Jamelody and we just go and praise and we give the praise and that’s how Jamelody come about.

There is a long tradition of people from Trinidad involved in reggae from Lord Creator right through to Queen Omega and Marlon Asher. What do you bring to reggae as a Trinidadian?

(laughs) I would say… reggae is very popular here so just being a reggae artist from Trinidad I know reggae is international. We live like Jamaica and we do the same things they do and they give me a lot of love and respect and from there I know reggae is not just one type of thing its an international thing.

Now other parts of the world are getting involved – Bermuda, Germany, Italy, Brazil – what do you think of this trend?

(laughs) It is a blessing from the almighty! Because what will be will be… if Jah reveal and touch the whole entire universe it will happen because he says so. So that is how it go. A lot of people try to take reggae and turn it into a scandal but the bible also say where there is good there is bad. So all in all it is a good thing and no problem.

You’re a big fan of R&B – can the two types of music be friends?

Yes! Yes! As long as you know what you doing. It not just something you just throw together. A lot of people just try to do their thing to survive and that is what is important. So it shouldn’t be difficult to mix the reggae and R&B. It’s wonderful and it is what I do and how it do it.

What are your biggest US influences?

Well y’know back in day, it was artists like Prince and Michael Jackson and they were so popular back then that you come home every night and watch TV and you don’t wanna miss it – and you watch how the American artists perform and do their thing. R&B music is something international and so touching and so professional and if you want to be a singer or artist you have to understand that level. So when we go party and in a dance an listen in car we listen R&B music – you hear the vibes- and from there it is an inspiration. Because R&B music make a mum and make a dad (laughs) make love and thing and so it was inspiration!

Jamelody - Be PreparedHow did 'When The Saints Go To Worship' come about?

It was during my time in New York with Mr Newt Edwards from VP and he help me put the album together because I was struggle to put the album together and put the songs in the right order. And the song was his idea to put the song on the album and the choir and all those things. And trust me it was a good idea to put it on the album because 'When The Saints Go To Worship' get a lot of good response especially in New York.

Where you there when the choir was singing?

Yeah I was right there because I went there to give the choir support and strength love and confidence so they do what they supposed to do and it was nice, the whole vibes everything was nice y’know? So after that I see a future for that on the album it was a great experience for which I give thanks.

Songs like 'Joy' and 'All That I Prayed For' are very radio friendly songs. Are you a pop artist, a reggae artist or both?

I am just an artist y’know? I am a artist with a skill for doing any type of music. If you give me a chance to do what I want to do with just my vibes and express my feelings it’s no problem to do it… its music! The world create music and Jah create music so why should I refuse to do it!

The album is like a journey that starts with reggae, moves away and returns. Was that the concept you wanted?

It wasn’t actually my concept, it was Newt Edwards as well. It was his concept. The whole structure was his work. He put together the whole vibe. Because we didn’t actually record specific songs for the album… we record a lot of songs… a lot of hit songs to choose from and it was like we just put the whole album together like a puzzle and it come together man.

When can your fans see you play on stage?

Well I would say very soon y’know because the album is going be in stores on the tenth of May and released the sixth of May and from there it gonna catch on, don’t know, hopefully! So I’m going to be in Europe ends and that side and I’m going be there for sure… not necessarily a concert but I’m going to do some promotion and just hope that I can go on tour and it will be my privilege.

What have you learned from making your debut album?

What I learned is being someone important and someone recognised give you a lot of mind to think you can do what you want. But I learn that it’s not just about being important… it’s about being chosen to do this work. So I feel happy that the lord give me that privilege to be given that strength to do what he want… because it’s something actually I love which is singing - I didn’t love it at first but I love it now - because knowing it is the work of the almighty and I am doing his work. So the thing I learn is to be strong and to have confidence and to do it in the right way.

Do you think reggae music needs to adapt to survive?

I say reggae doesn’t actually need to adapt to survive but the people who actually support reggae need to adapt the reggae music. Because Bob Marley music never dies no matter how long it just keep on. It is from way before my time, Bob Marley, but listen to the record and music still live today and people still love it. So as I say there is many type of music coming out today is more like energetic more modernised, is kind of dance hall, is more corrupted – I don’t want to say that too much but at same time I want you to understand exactly where I’m coming from. People need to adapt y’know to a righteous state of mind and if you have a righteous state of mind, a good mind, you will understand music. Because a lot of people don’t understand music. You listen to music you get a lot of high… a lot of vibes… a lot of feeling – music have a lot of different feelings to it y’know and so you have to adapt more.

Who are your favourite reggae artists?

My favourite reggae artists (laughs) so much name to call! To be specific, Mikey spice was one of my favourites, Luciano, Sizzla Kalonji was one of my favourites, Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Dennis brown… those kind of music, but a lot of artists I listen to trust me!

And who are your favourite reggae artists right now?

Jah Cure I would say. And Garnett Silk give that inspiration.. that kind of inspiration to do what I’m doing to day. His music touch me in a lot of way…the range and the style… so when ever I sing reggae music I hear Garnett! (laughs) So it’s all good.

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Read comments (1)

Posted by PET on 07.29.2010
I really love the album. I love the way it goes from Raggae to RandB and then back. It is very different. His voice is awesome, I love the sweet spirit in his voice. To Jah we praise and for Jah we live. My prayer is for another album for you that all the world would know about Jah

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