Royally Speaking with the Small Axe Jesse Royal
Usain Bolt Tracks and Records “Behind the Screen Series”
July 30, 2013
The evening dubbed “Royally Speaking” showcasing the talent and music of the one and only Jesse Royal was hosted at the Usain Bolt Tracks and Records restaurant this Tuesday July 30, 2013. For most patrons who started arriving at the venue at the hour advertised, they had felt the irresistible need to be present and not miss the opportunity to have a full set done by the Royal One. I could not be excluded from this very exclusive opportunity.
While most early birds were liming, enjoying the ambiance of the bar and eats offered by the very popular spot in Kingston, made famous by its affiliation to world’s fastest man, many could be seen milling around anticipating the start of what was expected to be an unforgettable night.
Special mention should be made of the XTM Nation team who were visible, as well as what I am sure were supporters, clad in In Comes the Small Axe shirts. Other noteworthy supporters were No-Maddz, Jah 9, Suzie Q, Kelissa, Chronixx, Raging Fyah and Keznamdi.
Photographers took the opportunity to capture the moments unfolding. The vibes definitely building with sounds of notable names in Reggae pumping music in the venue, the like of Romain Virgo, Iba Mahr, Jah Bouks, Sizzla and Chronixx. The Band arrived in place at minutes after 11 starting their sound checks.
It was after 11:30 pm when Donisha Prendergast MC of the show greeted the already almost full to capacity filled venue and welcomed all to the beginning of Royally Speaking. She quickly introduced Jah 9 to open the stage.
Jah 9 made her entrance with New Name, extending blissing and greetings in word, sound and power. She was well received and as usual delivered a soul stirring performance. In reflecting, it seems she performed a blessing of the stage, paving the path for the entrance of Black Royalty, Jesse Royal. He joined her on stage to the sounds of drumming, chanting ‘So Long Ras Tafari a call u so long?’ He was greeted with whistles and hoots from fans obviously pleased that the show was finally underway. He began with Hotter the Battle which brought instant vibes.
Simply dressed the one proclaimed as the Small Axe delivered Modern Day Judas, which got resounding musical shots from fans who sang along with him. Jesse had his usual fun with the alliterative enunciations which is noteworthy of his musical style. The ‘Small Axe’ did not hesitate to chop down Babylon fluidly delivering Hatred is Obsolete and Raindrops with quick succession.
Supported by solid musicians the Royal One’s message was positively amplified. Next was One Eye Open and Talk to Me. From Jesse Royal’s message, one consistent theme runs like a universal thread, he is a speaker for the poor and needy, those who have no voice and he is always about the plight of the people. His word sound chants down Babylon who, in his words is “Greedy and robbing from the needy”.
His next segment featured songs like Butterflies and Feel Your Pain with lyrics sugar sweet for the empresses and ‘warriesses’ in attendance. It was a treat to hear Some Day which was delivered in fine style, I glimpsed Alaine Laughton in the audience taken up by the words “I know that it will be ok better muss come around some day, some way”, hands clasped over her heart and eyes closed. This confirmed what I already knew of the enchantment and healing that music with the right message provides. My faith was restored in this very fact that someday, today all would be and is indeed well.
The show then took flight with the upbeat and popular This Morning remixed with Light like a Feather. Jesse Royal proved that he is “light like a Feather but definitely heavy” with lyrical content and ability to “siddung pon a riddim”, much to the delight of his adoring fans. No-one was or could have been disappointed at this point. As I watched him perform I could not help but remember his performance at the The Resistance in December 2012, when Elise Kelly recalled Philip ‘Fattis’ Burrell’s comments about Jesse and how he is “jus royal as yuh look at him”. I smiled seeing the fulfilment before my eyes.
In closing, Jesse Royal’s message was for all to “know your power, hold your power, respect the power you have and the power of the music”, sound words indeed, in a society where many turn away from their responsibility, forgetting the creative power of word sound. With the crowd at this point calling for more, Chronixx, Kelissa and Keznamdi joined Jesse on stage and gave fans an unscripted live on the spot performance. They performed Warrior featuring Protoje from Kabaka Pyramid’s Rebel Music EP as well as Gideon from Kelissa’s Rebel In Disguise EP featuring Keznamdi. It was a beautiful final 15 minutes for unity in the reggae revival. Chronixx then closed the proceedings with Capitalist.
Jesse Royal is Black Royalty personified, the small axe for greedy Babylon and it was certainly an engaging and powerful experience to partake of such a beautiful spread of inspired works. Much Thanks to the artists who continue to show their support and unity in this movement to bring conscious music to the people. Salute to the XTM Nation family, well done and more works to come in the Gideon. It was blissing as always to share in the moment.
BLAK IWA TV
Who am I?