I am just a son - Runkus
While he is proud to be the son of deejay Determine, Runkus says he is also his mother's child. Hence, his new project, Welcome Paula Son.
Determine made a mark in dancehall with songs like Science and Kette Drum. As the child of a musician, Runkus, real name Romario Sebastian Anthony Bennett, was also drawn to music at an early age, recording songs as early as seven years old.
But Runkus insists that he is still his own person.
"Everyone knows my father Determine. Being a musician's son is a blessing and a curse, because people always have certain expectations. I am Determine's son, but I am also Paula's son," he told The Gleaner.
"I sound like my father through genetics, but I have my own sound and my own style. I am just a reflection of what my father would be if he grew up in this generation."
He also mentioned other acts like the Marleys and Tarrus Riley, who have been compared to their musical fathers.
Still, Runkus is not fazed by the comparisons.
"I am not bothered. I love it. I love who I am. I love everything that comes with it, the burdens, the comfort," he said, noting that his father guided him on recording and writing in his early days.
A lover of his craft, Runkus can be seen on the live music scene, having performed with his Old Skool Band at events like Keznamdi Live, Live From Kingston, and the Bob Marley birthday celebrations at the Bob Marley Museum and the waterfront in downtown Kingston earlier this month.
"I am very random on stage. I rehearse the songs and the set, but I can't rehearse the feeling. People can tell when it is fake or real," he said.
not yearning airplay
And although his Bassick Records-produced single Victim and supporting music video had been released in November, Runkus does not yearn airplay.
"I tend to focus on the art. I love radio and I love what radio used to be. It used to be prestigious to be on the radio. If anybody can be on the radio, does it mean I reach? In the studio, I don't focus on the radio. I just keep it real rather than create something that is already out there," Runkus said.
What Runkus is focused on is his 11-track project, Welcome Paula Son, that will be released in March. He said the project will be showcased at Susie's on March 27. It will also feature acts like Royal Blu and Meleku.
"It's going to be an intimate vibe," he said, adding that the venue will be transformed into Paula's living room.
When the public gets a taste of the project, he hopes it will be well received. But he did disclose that some of the songs have been recorded as far back as four years ago.
"The newest thing was recorded last summer. But they are new to the people and they are still relevant," Runkus said.