Roots Percussionist journeys from the ground up - Drops ‘Love Saviour’ single
On several of reggae singer Chronixx’s live performance sets, there is a slim dreadlocks who, at some point, steps into the spotlight as a dancer and unleashes quantum amounts of kinetic reggae energy, which is deserving of rows of fire emojis. Having lit a fire, he then transits back from whence he came, performing his assigned roles of background vocalist and percussionist for reggae band, Chronixx and ZincFence Redemption.
As involved as he is on that show, however, the musician, Hector Lewis, is now ready for another kind of experience. He has stepped into the limelight and is singing his own tune, following the path of his own mother, legendary singer Barbara Jones, a former background vocalist for reggae icon Jimmy Cliff, who subsequently carved out her own niche. Last Thursday, Lewis dropped his single, Love Saviour, and for him it represents the true impact of word, sound and power.
“My whole journey started with the making of the Chronology album (with Chronixx),” Lewis, who has rebranded himself Roots Percussionist, told The Gleaner. “I have been observing Chronixx and watching the world fall in love with him. And he always said to me, ‘One day yuh going to sing yuh own tune’,” the two-time Grammy-nominated musician and Nexxus Performing Arts Company alumus explained.
Encouraged by Chronixx’s work ethics, Roots Percussionist has totally immersed himself in the entire making-of-the-single project and was honest enough to admit that “a nuff time mi want throw in the towel and me nuh reach nowhere yet”. Despite the challenges, he is anticipating embracing that space for himself where he can share his music to a wide audience. The goal is to release music in an organised way, utilising all platforms, including Tik Tok, as he navigates his way around various spaces. With the release of Love Saviour, he mentioned that a lyric video is also in the works.
According to the “percussionist who sings”, his main focus is the pursuit of excellence rather than reaching the top. “I have to keep up a standard. I am 30 now and I started touring with Chronixx when I was 23. I have come from the ground up and I have seen the top. And I know that it is good to be rated and respected for your craft. It’s good to know that somebody like Marcia Griffiths can see you and say, ‘Hi, Hector’, and Bling Dawg see yuh and hail yuh. Some man want ratings for the wrong reasons,” he said.
A graduate of the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, with a degree in music education and performance, Roots Percussionist explains that his name symbolises his intent and approach. Whatever genre of music he is exploring – jazz, Latin, R&B, mento – it is essential for him to delve into the root. He actually started doing his solo work two years ago, but points out that it has not interrupted his flow with the ZincFence Redemption, as he continues that aspect of his musical mission with the same degree of dedication.
“What has happened is that I and I have developed a new relationship with the music community. They know me as a percussionist, and now they are embracing me as a singer as well. We see the love, we see where it can go. It’s not abstract. ‘Come inna di ting, singa’ is what I’m hearing, and it feels good to know that the encouragement is there,” Roots Percussionst said.
Roots Percussionist has dedicated Love Saviour to his late mother.