Curtis Campbell, Gleaner Writer
Reggae artiste Iba MaHr is spreading his musical wings in Europe, following several requests from European promoters to have him on their festival line-ups.
The artiste, who recently performed at the record-breaking Rototom Sunsplash in Benicāssim, Spain, is now plotting to produce and release his debut album after coming to the realisation that Europe is calling for one.
Iba MaHr executed a month-long European tour in August called 'Let Jah Lead The Way'. This tour saw him performing from what is now a quickly growing catalogue.
According to the artiste, songs like Great is H.I.M., Will I Wait in Vain, Sound A Alarm, Burning, and Let Jah Lead The Way have compensated for not having an album thus far.
"We don't know what we doing in Europe, but we doing it," Iba MaHr said.
MaHr admits that he was intimidated by the prospect of the tour without an album under his belt. But his angst was unfounded and turned to amazement when he saw how much his music was welcomed by fans in Denmark, Germany, Spain, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Belgium, and Holland.
"I was quite surprised at times at the songs that people wanted me to perform. Some of these songs were recorded as far back as 2009, when I initially began my musical pursuits," Iba MaHr told The Gleaner.
The reggae act credits his reception in Europe to the far-reaching impact and influence of Jamaican music on the world stage.
He, along with Chronixx, Kabaka Pyramid, Droop Lion, Jah Bouks, Jah9, Nature, and Protoje, among others, have been credited as the acts to propel local reggae music into the new era. The artiste is, therefore, asking Jamaicans to put more effort into the preservation of the genre.
"I beg that we nurture and preserve the positive aspects of our own culture, and as for this Reggae Revival movement from out of Jamaica, it is a blessing to the genre, and I am happy that I am a part of it," MaHr said.
The European experience has spurred on MaHr and he is now approaching the production and release of his debut album, a project which he hopes will be completed by the end of 2013, with more zeal.
"It was very clear throughout my whole Europe experience that what fans, promoters, and the media wanted most was the album. So now, it has become my top priority," he revealed.
For the upcoming album, MaHr has joined forces with the iconic Tuff Gong studio and has recorded tracks with Jermaine 'Lenky' Edwards and Roland 'Rollie' McDermot of Born Rollin Productions.
The artiste is also filming the music video for his new love song, Love You Girl, on the 'In Transit' rhythm, produced by Wayne 'Unga' Thompson.
MaHr is expected to leave for the United States leg of the 'Let Jah Lead The Way' tour, starting in late October and ending in November.