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New project, clothing line from Dre Island

Published:Thursday | September 24, 2015 | 12:00 AMDavina Henry
Toni Ann Reid (left), assistant brand manager of Red Stripe; Nanda Dukharan, brand PR manager; and Teika Samuda (right) welcome performer Dre Island to the Jamaica Beer Festival.

With his new trapment sound on the first single off his latest project, artiste Dre Island is ready to release his sophomore project to the world.

Fresh off the 'Reparation Tour' with fellow artiste Chronixx, Dre Island is now focusing his attention on Project Now I Rise.

"I'm currently working with a producer named Mini of E5 Records. They are the ones who are introducing trapment music to the world with my new single, M-16. This project has more songs than an EP, but fewer than an album. It's the first project since I released Rastafari Way in 2013," he told The Gleaner.

Describing the new project as giving of himself to his fans, Dre Island believes music lovers will see him in a new light.

"I'm playing the piano. I'm just giving my fans the real Dre Island. It's about bringing people back to their roots and culture. I also have a single featuring Assassin, titled Bounce Around, on the project," he said.

Sales of albums have been decreasing in recent times; however, Dre Island hopes that Internet platforms such as iTunes will assist in bringing his music to the masses.

With the relative resurgence of vinyl in recent times, he also plans to release a limited number of records with an exclusive bonus track.

Fairly new to the mainstream reggae audience, Dre Island attributes this to not spending enough time promoting himself in Jamaica.

Overseas fanbase

"I don't really classify myself as an underground artiste. Fans know my name but they might not necessarily know my songs, but after leaving my concerts, they love my music. I'm more underground in Jamaica because I never spent a lot of time putting myself out there. I got more opportunity to travel abroad so that was where my focus was," he said.

With Project Now I Rise nearing completion, Dre Island also plans to release a clothing line to coincide with upcoming tours.

"Whenever I go on tour, the fans always request tangible Dre Island products, and I've always held myself back from doing these things, but it's my time now, so I'll be releasing tams, shirts and wristbands."

Promotion for the clothing line will begin in November, but in the meantime, the artiste is busy promoting other singles such as My Love, Hideaway and Way Up.

entertainment@gleanerjm.com