Tue | Dec 5, 2023

Samory I to intoxicate Rootzfest

Published:Thursday | December 19, 2019 | 12:00 AM
Samory I
From left Richard Nelson (guitar), Leon Campbell (drums), Ruel Anderson (bass), Miguel Andserson (keyboards) and Samory I

It is almost a rite of passage for roots reggae singers, especially if they are Rastafarian, to have a song in tribute to marijuana, loosely referred to as ‘weed’. For roots singer Samory I, his ode is simply called Weed, and he expects many chalices to light up tomorrow evening when he performs this tribute at Rastafari Rootzfest in Negril.

In fact, Samory I can’t wait to make his Rootzfest debut. “BlackHeart (band) and I looking forward to Rastafari Rootzfest. Herb festival patrons can expect us to deliver good music and lyrics to uplift the heart, mind and soul,” he told The Gleaner, adding for good measure, “Righteousness exalteth a nation”.

A festival which the organisers say is committed to educating the general public about the health benefits and business opportunities associated with marijuana, Rootzfest also has a musical component, which will see top acts performing over three days this weekend. It is for this reason that Samory I, who is a passionate advocate of the healing powers of the herb, believes it is the ideal place for him to blow some smoke from the song off his Black Gold album.

“Fi di healing of the nation, still lock wi inna station, but the same strands a herb lavish dem plantation. I know the use of it a spiritual meditation calms down the frustration,” he said, chanting a line from Weed.

Samory I, who made a lasting impression at the Peter Tosh tribute concert staged at Pulse earlier this year, was one of the reggae artistes who made Europe his playground during the summer. His European summer tour saw the 28-year-old artiste performing at most of the major festivals on the continent.

Among them were Rototom Sunsplash in Spain; Boomtown in the UK; Uppsala in Sweden; Sziget in Hungary, and African Tage in Vienna, Austria.

The artiste, who has given himself the mandate to entertain his ever-growing audience to the best of his ability, insists on taking his band along with him on these sojourns, rather than singing on tracks. He expressed that he has been exposed to bigger platforms and larger audiences while taking on some of the more established festivals.

This vibrant roots reggae artiste has been present on the local scene since 2015. His debut album Black Gold, which was produced by Rory Stone Love and Black Dub, was released in 2016 and he extended his reach internationally after a 17-day tour to Europe in July that year.

Among the songs Samory I is known for are Rasta Nuh Gangsta, Take Me Oh Jah, Rasta No Gangsta, Black Gold, Son of David, Feeling, Call on Jah, Survive and Just Believe.

Samory I is under the guidance of Bridget Anderson’s Firstborn management.