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» BREAKING NEWS, GUEST RUNDOWNS, NEW RELEASES » KINGSTON-BASED REGGAE SINGER IRIE SOULJAH, TO RELEASE HIS DEBUT ALBUM “IMMIGRANT”

KINGSTON-BASED REGGAE SINGER IRIE SOULJAH, TO RELEASE HIS DEBUT ALBUM “IMMIGRANT”

 Irie Souljah—

THE lights went out just minutes before Irie Souljah was scheduled to take the stage last Thursday to launch Immigrant, his debut album.

As patrons drifted out of the darkened Nanook venue in St Andrew, the disappointed Spanish singer hung out with sympathetic colleagues.

Another launch is expected at a date and venue to be announced.

The self-produced Immigrant, Irie Souljah told the Jamaica Observer, is inspired by his time in Jamaica.

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“Is about the journey that I face, sorting out my papers, things like that. It was a challenge, still is,” he said.Irie Souljah, 24, was born Joseb Grau in Barcelona, reggae’s epicenter in Spain. Influenced by Dennis Brown, Beres Hammond and Garnet Silk, he came to Jamaica in January 2014 and has been recording songs and backing artists on guitar at live shows.

Immigrant is a 10-track set. Musicians including Sly and Robbie, trombonist Nambo Robinson, the Pentateuch band, and his own Black Army band played on the album.

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Its songs include the title track, Inna The Mood (with Kabaka Pyramid) and Jah Jah Children Rise Up, which he did with Jesse Royal.

Before the blackout, the Rockers International and Roots Uprising bands gave spirited, well-received performances.

The former did Wake Up Dread, a rootsy, one drop number; a version of Marley’sZion Train and New Life.

Uprising Roots delivered a solid acoustic, Nyahbinghi-inspired jam that includedBlessings, The Brightest Light, and an impressive Afro-jazz take on Skyfiah, from their first album.

Immigrant will be distributed by Reggae Shaker, an independent company from Madrid, Spain.

— By Howard Campbell

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