Sat | Dec 15, 2018

US-based reggae artiste says music should take on new topics

Published:Saturday | August 18, 2018 | 12:00 AMShereita Grizzle/Gleaner Writer
Tenor Blue

American reggae artiste Tenor Blue is batting for reggae music to tackle new topics in order to be more successful. According to the US-based R&B act-tuned-reggae star, reggae has made positive strides internationally, but he believes local artistes limit their success by recycling content.

"To be real, there's not a lot of honest music in the business today. A lot of the culture music out there is very repetitive. That's one reason I think Chronixx is so successful. You listen to his music and lyrical content, it's thoughtful and real and not clichÈ, and because of that people connect," he said heaping praises on the Grammy-nominated singer. "I'm not down with clichÈ lyrics or music. As an artiste I want to have a voice, a voice that puts a unique stamp on every tune where people will say that's a Tenor Blue joint."

The artiste urged entertainers to create music with more depth instead of releasing songs with what he describes as 'frivolous messages which have no lasting effect on listeners'. "There's not a lot of 'genuineness' in popular music. The themes are mostly about money, sex and selfish desires. This is not what life is about - the human experience is about more than these things. I want to give the world music that brings people closer to their own humanity and let them know it's ok to be human, to be vulnerable and to love," he said. He added, "I'm about lyrics, melody and feel. I'm bringing something unique to the table that has depth and really pulls a listener in. I'm not a cookie cutter type of artiste that you can listen to and say that sounds like most of the other stuff out there today. When you listen to Tenor Blue, you're gonna get a different vibe."

Tenor Blue also spoke about the practice of entertainers creating lengthy EPs in the hopes of achieving some amount of musical success. He says the musical landscape has made far too many transitions for artistes to be relying on EPs to catapult them into success. The artiste believes the practice is archaic, and points out that the international market is now driven by the sale of singles.

Now promoting a new record titled Bless Me, which he hopes will land him the elusive commercial break in Jamaican reggae market, Tenor Blue has been working to perfect his art with Jamaican and foreign-based producers, including the likes of Jason Farmer of J-Vibe Productions, Sergio Cavalieri, Jermaine Reid and Vinni Hamilton. He also expects to release collaborations with South Florida recording artiste Paul Anthony and veteran Grammy award-winning singer Peetah Morgan of Morgan Heritage.

Tenor Blue tasted success under major record label RCA Records (known for their work with international acts like Elvis Presley, Chris Brown and Taylor Swift). He traded his R&B style of music for reggae after tuning in to the likes of Bob Marley and Black Uhuru. He is also a fan of Third World, Steel Pulse, Dennis Brown, Sugar Minott, Peter Tosh and Gregory Isaacs. He is now looking to make an impact on the reggae scene, hoping the local market will be receptive to his music and support his craft. "They should support my projects for no other reason than that they feel what I'm doing. The only thing I ask is that people not try to compare me to someone else or try to put me in a box. Listen with open ears. Music is music, and there's good music and bad music. But know that Tenor Blue is here to bring light into a dark world," he ended.