Hasani Walters, Gleaner Writer
"A God-fearing Rasta youth who a defend di truth, an a defend di youths," is how Jesse Royal defines himself.
The young musician is one of the up-and-coming faces of reggae from Jamaica, and a firm believer in "if music not alive (live) it dead".
For him, live is always better as, "the amount of energy and souls that are being imprinted on the piece of art" results in a better product. In other words, a drummer, a guitarist and someone on the keyboard equal more musicians, thus more creative energy.
"It's just like red beautiful, gold beautiful, green beautiful, but together they're a masterpiece. We mek live music because our music is alive, yuh haffi feel it. The words only complement it," he shared.
Music is on his agenda, and with it comes a "spiritual and moral war". As such, Royal is busy working with Crash Dummy Productions, XTM Nation, Overstand Entertainment and Bambas Dois to start his 'righteous uprising'.
Uprising because his songs are oftentimes laced with 'burn down political and social injustice' lyrics. But why?
"We this generation waan try and hold this government accountable for what they have done and what they are doing right now. In any sense, music is music, but is more of an awakening music, an enlightening music, to bring about some change in Jamaica because yuh doan waan keep singing sad songs. But the reality is that the people who are in place and making certain decisions are making the wrong decisions or the way they make the decisions a come from a wrong place," he explained.
He continued, "Suh just like how every likkle man is held accountable in his job, the same way they (members of government) must be held accountable. Is a whole system need to change for Jamaica to change."
His latest effort, the sophomore In Comes The Small Axe mixtape, has been doing well, receiving props from listeners and industry professionals alike. Modern Day Judas, Hotter The Battle and Light Like A Feather are a few of the more popular songs.
He breaks from the uprising for Feel Your Pain and Na Na Na for his female fans.
With his Jamaican and overseas popularity growing, Jesse Royal says, "keep your eyes open and your ears cocked, some great things are about to happen that few did expect."