Orisha Sound makes African connection
Curtis Campbell, Gleaner Writer
Musician and reggae artiste Orisha Sound has collaborated with African producer Alexis Faku of Gravity LLC label and Black and Yellow Entertainment to produce the roots reggae album, One Reggae One Rhythm. According to Faku, he wants to get the more authentic reggae music into the African market, and producing an album will help to make that dream a reality.
The One Reggae One Rhythm album will see Orisha Sound collaborating with African reggae artistes including Jah Seed, DJ Teba, Yvonne Chaca and Thandiswa Mazwai. The album will have 12 tracks.
"We also developed a chemistry with Orisha from working with her on the Beenie Man collaboration," Faku said.
Orisha's Jamaican manager, Shell K from Black and Yellow Entertainment, said he is working assiduously to spread reggae to new audiences. He hopes the young generation of music enthusiasts will treat reggae music like it is their social responsibility, to keep it fresh and thriving.
Young audience, new ideas
"There are not a lot of young people pushing reggae music right now, and we are a part of the young audience with new ideas. We want to take reggae music around the globe, and we will not be doing this through hip hop and R&B. I am from Jamaica, Orisha is from Europe, and Alexis Faku is from Africa, so we have a wide audience," Shell K said.
Orisha Sound's debut performance in Jamaica was in 2012. She told The Gleaner that she has been singing since she was four years old. She hopes the One Reggae One Rhythm project will win her a new set of reggae fans as well as cement her place in the Jamaican music industry.
"I did my first reggae show when I was 14, so I am not new to reggae at all. But being in Jamaica took my music on a different level. Growing up in Europe we take reggae music as our music, because we grow up listening to it. As a touring musician, I was always looking for that hub or home, and Jamaica became that place for me, and I live here now," Orisha said.
"I play 15 musical instruments, so I have always been versatile, and I had the experience of playing with Snoop Dog, Anthony Hamilton, Stevie Wonder and all the best musicians. So the industry sees that value in me as a product and as a musician, so I have been welcomed to a lot of places. But Jamaica is where my heart is and it is the perfect place to create from," she said.
Orisha Sound has performed on Jamaica Jazz and Blues, Reggae Sumfest and the reggae segment of Sting 2014. She describes herself as a reggae fusion artiste, as she dabbles in different genres.
"The One Reggae One Rhythm album will be African-fused, and we will also have a section for dancehall, so it is going to be musical ... . We want to be that global international reggae power coming out of Jamaica," Orisha Sound said.
Alexis Faku has worked with Beyoncé and assisted with the musical production at Nelson Mandela's funeral, while Shell K has done productions for I-Wayne and Sizzla Kalonji.
A One Reggae One Rhythm African tour is also in the works.