Fri | Sep 18, 2020

Foundation artiste hopes to revive fighting spirit

Published:Thursday | July 30, 2020 | 12:05 AM
From left (top) Nana EQ and Brandon Shakespeare; Irie AC and Papa Biggy.
From left (top) Nana EQ and Brandon Shakespeare; Irie AC and Papa Biggy.

Foundation artiste Papa Biggy will officially release his latest single All Soldiers Rise this week, and he is expecting the song to revive the fighting spirits of listeners.

Commenting on the song for which he teamed up with fellow US-based artiste Irie AC and Jamaica-based Nana EQ, the artiste born Courtney Porteous said it is a “tower of strength and inspiration to all fighting for survival”.

“Whether it is economic, injustice or health battles as I myself have been fighting for over 30 years with diabetes and obesity, all that have kept me going is the fact that mentally I am always reminded of the importance of being a soldier. So in times like these, all soldiers should rise,” he said.

Inspiration for the song, according to Biggy, came one morning about 6:30 while driving and speaking to Irie AC on the phone. He said he started reflecting on all that was happening, COVID-19 was at its peak in New York and Connecticut where he lives and the song, Only the Strong Survive, came to his mind.

“So, I started thinking on how Irie AC served 20 years in the US marines and is a real survivor, that’s when it became clear that we as a society have always depicted strength and resilience and now is the time for us to rise,” he continued.


Papa Biggy said he began making up lyrics and singing them while driving and by the time he reached home, he had the melody and the lyrics all worked out.

He said his next step was a rhythm, which he reached out to Brandon Shakespeare in Jamaica to do. Pleased with the result he wasted no time in getting in the studio with Irie AC, but he said something was still missing, he terms it ‘the strength of the lioness’.

“I contacted Nana EQ, a long-time friend and singer, to do that section of the song. After that, I still felt something was missing. It dawned on me that representation of the youths was not included in the song which I wanted to be different from the rest of the songs, so I wrote a section of spoken words and enlisted Jayden Harris, a family member, and he delivered perfectly,” Papa Biggy shared of the recording process.

Irie AC, born Andrew Lloyd Comrie, said he had no hesitation in teaming with Papa Biggy to record the song as “it is our constant obligation to continue to use our gifts for the betterment of mankind with reggae as the vehicle and our voices as the tool”.