Rising Tide creates own waves with reggae, jazz fusion
Kim Pommell, Sherida Sharpe and Faith Waltson, the three Jamaica female lead singers of the six-member band Rising Tide, have returned home with the hope of winning the fandom of their country. The trio are in Jamaica following the conclusion of their 15-date tour of France.
"It's only right for Jamaicans to know what we're doing," Pommell told The Gleaner. "It's a different side of the music, mixing reggae and jazz. It's very rare that anybody try fi touch dat, because sometimes the notes get risky, and yuh haffi love music fi listen to it. The song dem different," Pommell said.
"We're jazz musicians who just love our (reggae) culture, so we fuse it," Waltson added.
Rising Tide began about two years ago as a side project. After the lead singer of the original nine-member California-based band Groundation went on hiatus, the remaining members formed the female-led offshoot. Groundation is an American roots reggae band started by Harrison Stafford in 1999. Two years ago, the band went on hiatus, while founder and lead singer Harrison Stafford established a solo career. The remaining active members of Groundation who make up Rising Tide are Marcus Urani, who is the production lead and keyboardist, Ryan Newman on bass, and Paul Spina on drums.
After the release of their self-titled debut album in March 2016, Rising Tide embarked on their first tour, which took them to multiple venues across France from March 1 to 19.
"Groundation built a foundation for us. Most of the fans we have now are friends and family of Groundation," Pommell told The Gleaner.
According to Pommell, the first time Rising Tide performed was on the Reggae Sun Ska Festival last August, where they opened for Damien 'Jr Gong' Marley in front of 20,000 people.
Sharpe began to craft her performance skills with Cathy Levy's Little People and Ashe, "until Dean Fraser come draw mi outta mi good-good Ashe," she joked.
Fraser's pull landed Sharpe gigs with Luciano, with whom she performed for three to four years. Sharpe also listed Junior Kelly, Tarrus Riley and Richie Spice as other artistes she has toured with.
Waltson was also a part of Little People and Ashe, before moving on to perform backup for Buju Banton, Chaka Demus and Pliers, Richie Stephens, Diana King and Jimmy Cliff.
Pommell's career began with Ashe, where she performed for 12 years. When she moved on, Pommell spent nine years with Groundation.
This year, the band plans to release their first Jamaica-produced and recorded single, with vocals already laid with Feluke.