Wed | Dec 8, 2021

Roots Percussionist explores his ‘Ups and Downs’

Published:Wednesday | October 13, 2021 | 12:07 AM
‘Roots percussionist’ Hector Lewis (left), and producer Jean-Andre ‘JLL’ Lowell Lawrence.
‘Roots percussionist’ Hector Lewis (left), and producer Jean-Andre ‘JLL’ Lowell Lawrence.
Having recently release ‘Ups and Downs’, Lewis is eyeong the future and says he plans to make every beat count.
Having recently release ‘Ups and Downs’, Lewis is eyeong the future and says he plans to make every beat count.

Ups and Downs is the newest release from ‘roots percussionist’ Hector Lewis, and it tells a relatable story. Lewis tags it “one of those upliftment songs which comes from a place of being down”, and he is delighted that he was able to team up with producer Jean-Andre ‘JLL’ Lowell Lawrence, the beatmaker whose golden touch has translated into hits for artistes, including Drake and Chronixx.

“When I heard the rhythm, I immediately wanted to communicate with the streets about my reflections of ups and downs. A lot of it had to do with my mom and how Rastafari came into my life after her death. I felt like I grew a sound that could connect. Mom would definitely have loved this song. She loved the beauty of words,” he said, paying tribute to legendary ‘70s singer Barbara Jones, a former background vocalist for reggae icon Jimmy Cliff, who later carved out her own niche.

Last year, Lewis, the animated percussionist and background vocalist with Chronixx’s ZincFence Redemption band, announced his intention to make his voice heard in a new and exciting way with the release of the single, Love Saviour. Last Friday, he continued the journey when he dropped Ups and Downs.

“This is my first musical project with JLL. He has a good ear and [a] vast amount of sounds. He knows what’s happening in the space and is very fresh and up-to-date. We use to see each other in the spaces and eventually connected at Soul Circle studio to do this project. I am glad to have worked with him,” Lewis shared.

For JLL, this project was a great experience. “From the first original idea to the final product, Hector kept good energy throughout the whole process. It was also a great experience working with the musicians involved that brought this track to life,” he said.

“I think the track is very indicative of its name, Ups and Downs. There are a lot of melodies and segments that go up and down to bring home the message even further. Also, with Hector’s inspirational lyrics, it really gives the song a inspirational theme that could help anyone through a difficult time,” JLL added.

Now signed to Soul Circle, an outfit which he credits for nurturing his growth, Lewis is the owner of a few firsts.

“I am the first act signed to Soul Circle, and I am in a space of gratitude. It was Daddy Barnes, my manager, who brought me to Soul Circle, and I am being nurtured organically by the label. I am satisfied and humbled by all that is happening for me. I was in New York recently doing some sessions and being involved in writing camps. I am a newbie with a lot of work to do,” he stated.

A creative who has a keen sense of who he is and what he wants to become, Lewis says it is important to “know when to empty your cup and learn to become”. Having taken that journey alongside Chronixx, where he vividly recalls “seeing the world fall in love with Chronixx,” Lewis says he intends to have everything aligned business-wise and make sure that every beat counts.