Sun | Aug 9, 2020

Gyptian says ‘Serious Times’ was a real masterpiece - Debut single even more relevant now

Published:Wednesday | July 29, 2020 | 12:00 AM

Recording artiste Gyptian’s burst on to the local music scene in 2005 when he released his debut single, Serious Times. The track, which was inspired by the island’s growing crime problem at the time, topped local and international reggae charts and was even declared the Song of the Year. Fifteen years after its initial release, Gyptian says the song continues to connect with people. Speaking with The Gleaner following his performance at the virtual staging of Reggae Sumfest over the weekend, the artiste expressed that with all the pain and loss the human race has experienced so far this year, the song’s message to be thankful for every day above ground is even more relevant today.

“These are indeed some serious times and even the blind can see. It’s crazy how much things are happening, and just when we think we’ve had enough, something else happens. That song was done for a reason. When me sing ‘yuh see yuh wake up this morning, yuh better give thanks. Yuh don’t know if you’re gonna live to see tomorrow’, a nuh joke thing, man. The way things a run right now, waking up every morning is a blessing,” he said. “Back then when I did this song, some might say they didn’t think there would be a worse time than at that time because so much was happening in terms of crime and violence and so on. But, if you really look at things and compare what was happening then to what is happening now, it has got worse. Everybody can see fi dem self say everything turn up a notch now. It is safe to say that Serious Times will be one of those songs that will forever be relevant.”

Dubbing the track a ‘real masterpiece’, Gyptian said although he could not have predicted how successful the songs would have been, he knew it was something special from inception. “Mi did know it woulda last for generations to come because it’s a song that was well put together, well structured. A real masterpiece. There are certain songs that you just know will hit as an artiste, and that was one of them,” he said pointing out the need for artistes to churn out more songs of substance.

SONGS FOR A CAUSE

He expressed that in order for the music to truly span decades and attain ‘classic’ status, it has to maintain a certain standard. “If yuh check all a di songs dem weh Gyptian sing, dem always relevant whenever dem play. What I do is songs of substance, songs with meaning, songs for a cause,” he said. “Songs that have purpose will never get old, and if we recognise that as artistes, our craft will always be relevant.”

Gyptian, who was one of six performers on festival night two of this year’s online version of the Greatest Reggae Show on Earth, turned in one of the best performances of the night. In addition to Serious Times, the entertainer served up some smooth vocals as he delivered hits such as Beautiful Lady, Hol’ Yuh and a tribute to the late Gregory Isaacs with a performance of his mega-hit, Love Is Overdue.