Jamaicansmusic: What specific elements do you think characterises your growth as artiste from your 1999 debut Trodin On to New Day Dawn that we'll hear on the album?
Gentleman: I am more confident in the things I do and I am simply more experienced when it comes to song writing, stage shows, picking the right riddims and creating music. I know more than before what a song needs to reach people's heart. Every time had its own quality. The vibe of a newcomer is incomparable and the sweetest time is when you about to buss. Now I appreciate things more and the longer I stay on a certain level the harder it is to get me out. All hard work will be recognized one day.
JAmusic: With every album that an artiste releases they intend to tell a specific story. What is the tale being told on New Day Dawn?
G: New Day Dawn stands for a new beginning, another episode. With every "new day dawn" God give us another chance [and] I think that humanity is at the verge of change. Either we mess it up or we finally get wiser and we become able to make this world a better place. It is often a matter of perspective. With every "new day dawn" we can decide through which perspective we see things. Is the glass already half empty or is it still full? I see a lot of ignorance, devastation and darkness in this world, but I am still optimistic and believe in the light. I believe that there is an energy which is God, who holds everything together. There is still morality and people still have a conscience. I believe in balance. It is in our hands to change things for the better and I still believe in the good within us.
JAmusic: When you look back on the journey you took in creating this album, what lessons did you learn along the way? Be it about yourself or musically and why would you describe this as your "purest album" to date and what made you decide to not have any features/ collaborations on the project?
G: 'New Day Dawn' is my first self-produced album. A lot of the music was manifested in my studio and I learned more and more to play the piano which gave me inspiration for musical ideas. With Ben Bazzazian, Giuseppe Coppola and Danny Brownie, I completed a lot of my ideas to finished songs. Every riddim is customized to my vibe and my key. It is also the first album without features. I love to work with other artists and I did a lot of collaborations before but this time I felt all the songs were already complete. Concerning the lyrics, not all of my songs are 100% autobiographic, but I can definitely say that they all reflect my personal thoughts. It just felt right to manifest my personal experience through a certain episode of life in music.
JAmusic: With 'You Remember' being the lead single for the album, could you talk a bit on the concept behind the song?
G: 'You Remember' is about things in the past that I miss and things in the present that I appreciate. We got opportunities nowadays we never had before. The social network got a very strong positive and very strong negative side. Information is accessible for almost everyone. Through YouTube, wiki-leeks and other platforms it is much harder for governments or regimes to hide the truth and the net can bring people together but all these good things are also misused by 'bad-minded' people who spread their propaganda. There is a very strong other side of the coin. What I also miss in this fast developing world of globalization and technology is the real communication. I see a potential danger that people neglect to physically meet, share, reason and laugh together. I miss the unique the individuality and the personal aspect. This is what 'You Remember' is about.
JAmusic: What song(s) on the album do you hold closest to your heart, that you simply can't wait for everyone to hear and why this particular song?
G: Every song on this album means a lot to me. There is no particular song what means more or less to me. I can't compare one song to another because every song has [its] own story and background.
JAmusic: As a creative individual, you have to be faithful to your own vision, to art and self-expression. What were the biggest discoveries that you about yourself while putting the album together?
G: I see myself as a vessel and I just have to be open to be able to manifest thoughts, vibes and experiences into music. There are also very special moments and the art is to recognize these moments. A high level of creative energy is not a permanent state for me. I more and more acknowledge that no man is an island and the definition of success is the right surrounding. To know which people give you energy and who takes energy from you is very important because without inspiration nothing is possible.
JAmusic: What do you hope listeners will take away from New Day Dawn?
G: I hope listeners will feel that album the way I feel it and I hope I can uplift people's heart and mind and reflect people's thoughts with my music.
Tracklist for New Day Dawn
1. The Journey
2. Road Of Life
3. Walk Away
4. New Day Dawn
5. You Remember
6. In My Arms
7. Where Is The Love
10. Wings To Fly
11. Another Drama
12. Humanitys Glory
13. I Keep Going*
14. Closer To The Light*
15. Push Come To Shove*
16. Heart Of Rub–A–Dub*
*Limited Deluxe Edition