Sun | Nov 18, 2018

Miami travels lead to Marley connection

Published:Wednesday | May 30, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Irie Souljah

There was a time when Irie Souljah was called Jr. Gong and Protoje by bus conductors travelling between Stony Hill and Kingston. He did end up connecting with the real Damian 'Jr. Gong' Marley, but not in Jamaica. He told The Gleaner that the Jamaican government is very serious about immigration matters, and "to get my papers sorted out it was a hassle." In the process he had to leave Jamaica "a couple time", going to Miami. While there, he connected with Damian and Stephen Marley in their studio.

At the time, Jr Gong was working with Kabaka Pyramid on the 'Kontraband' album, which was just released, and Irie Souljah ending up with an input. "A so Jah work. Him make yu go tru some tings, but it necessary for yu to reach," he said.

While other Spanish reggae artistes have visited Jamaica and done music projects then returned home, Irie Souljah claims pride of place as being the first to live in Jamaica and do music. "I just felt I needed to be here, and right now I feel like I am where I need to be," he said. "But then, we don't know what the future will bring. I can't speak for the future. I can only speak for the present."

Still, having living in Jamaica for four years, the Spanish Irie Souljah sees the three countries Spain, Jamaica and the USA as part of his future, the last especially for business opportunities. "I see my life spending most of my time in Jamaica, working, going home to Spain to visit family, do shows. I would like to have a base in the US. It is a good place for music business. I think my life is going to be around the three places," he said.

melville.cooke@gleanerjm.com