Houston-based reggae band wants to make mark in Ja
There is a new band in town hoping to have an impact on the reggae landscape. They call themselves Roots From the Clay, and although they may not be based in Jamaica, lead singer Aria Wilson believes the band has what it takes to make its mark on the local music circuit.
Wilson, who is Jamaican, told The Gleaner that the group is hoping to make a mark on the local reggae scene even as they continue to make inroads in Houston, Texas, where they are based. Pointing out that the former may be difficult, especially since the band has only been operating officially as a unit since May 2017, she says the group is ready for the challenge as they have a voice that must be heard.
"Our intention is to not just be a Houston-based reggae band. We're trying to get the attention of people across the globe, and particularly in Jamaica - the birthplace of reggae. It's going to be a little difficult trying to make an impact in Jamaica, but we have to start somewhere. We're trying to grow, and we believe we have messages that people need to hear in these times," she said.
She continued, "We're really big on message music. We find that conscious music is something that's rare these days. People tend to gravitate towards music that is degrading, than be driven towards a positive, uplifting vibe. We look up to bands like Raging Fyah and EarthKry, who are making positive music popular again. We are along the same lines, and we want to make just as big an impact."
The band which consists of five members, including Wilson's husband, also includes a bass player, a guitarist and a keyboard player. Although they are a young band, they have already caught the attention of VP Records. The recording label through their musical arm, VPAL, are the distributors of the band's debut album, No Struggle. Wilson notes that the faith of the company is an indication that they are capable of influencing the reggae landscape.
"We did a small tour back in September, just to start getting some traction going, and that is when we caught the eye of VP and their distribution department. They redistributed our debut album as No Struggle. They could've just passed us by - because nobody really knows us. But we're grateful that they've decided to help push us out there. We're not a big band yet, so they're just wetting their feet with us, but nevertheless, we're thankful that they see potential in us enough to help us gain some traction."
Wilson is confident that the band will get where they need to be as long as they remain focused on making good music, as the market is out there. "The market that likes live, roots reggae is alive and well. The people who are into this kind of music will get wind of us no matter where they are in the world. So once we get into that circle, everything will start to happen organically," she said. She added, "Everything in music is a circle, and making a link in one place can make everything else fall in line."