Jah Bouks makes his trod to mama Africa Image

by Biko Kennedy

Jah Bouks' spiral to the top of everyone's radars came as no surprise. His musical persona embodies what a true musician aspires to be; delivering songs that transcends race and social class while ensuring the its underline message is echoed positively through an ever-growing fan base. We caught up with the Angola crooner for an in-depth interview as he readies his set for the upcoming Earth Hour Acoustic Concert on March 29th.

Photo by Steve James

JAmusic: Music lovers globally will always be looking for that new, impeccable sound that can be looked upon as leaders of the new wave of vocalists. How would you define a musical genius that can eventually become a vocal leader?
JB: A musical genius is  one that gets inspiration from situations and/or things in their lives and  their surroundings uses it to make music that expresses their thoughts and feelings  either vocally or with instruments or a combination of both

JAmusic: Some of the most genius artistes have thrived when taking chances and innovating. How important/present is that on the Reggae sounds cape today; from what you've seen and that might have help in composing your singles?

JB: Taking chance is a true test of one character, as if one takes a chance and it works out in his or her  favour it’s all good and if the chance you took goes against you, it should be taken as a lesson and use those experiences to better yourself so I think taking chances are very important. 

JAmusic: How do you think a singles such as Angola positively impacts the mind of the youths of Jamaica and the curious listening ear in general?

JB: Angola’ is a song that expresses what the people need to hear right now. It was composed in a way to captivate the attention of the people especially the children in particular and those who had no knowledge that a country in Africa, of the same name and of what is taking place there. The intention of the song is to educate and that’s why it’s getting the attention it’s currently receiving. It’s truly a song littered with messages and that what people really need to be hearing.

JAmusic: What's the biggest risk you've taken artistically; one that went over surprisingly well and one that might've gone over people's heads?

JB: The biggest musical risk I have taken so far was to enter Magnum King & Queens of Dancehall to gain exposure singing my music and remain positive and staying focus in a Dancehall competition knowing I am a Roots Reggae singer. 

Photo by Steve James

JAmusic: Who’s the artiste that keeps you on your toes? Pushes you to go harder?

JB: Naturally I’m not a competitive person and when it comes to other artistes I am a fan and I respect all musicians , what makes me go harder is the response of the people to my music and if I was to say who I respect the most I would say the real big man himself Peter Tosh.  

JAmusic: When you got into the music business where did you think you'd be today or where did you see yourself fitting in at the moment?

JB: I’m a positive and optimistic person so when I forward on the musical scene I had and still have an intention for my music to be heard and for my musical persona to be respected by others and also to have a name in the business be respected for my music by the people.

JAmusic: What's the purpose on your musical journey? What's the message you're trying to give?

JB: The purpose of my musical journey is to make music that can be played and loved by people of all age, race and class. My message is about justice , love, unity, equality and to glorify the greatness of the motherland Africa. 

JAmusic: What's one song that you hold close to you because of a particular line or better yet what's the most philosophical quote you've heard in a song that you hold close to your heart?

JB: Equal Rights’ by Peter Tosh and not just a line  but the whole song and the message it’s sending. “Everyone is crying out for peace but none is crying out for justice, I man don’t want no peace I need equal rights and justice”.

Photo by Steve James

JAmusic: We live in an era where the average person's attention span is limited to what they want to see or hear. What are you doing differently that will hold their attention?

JB: I’m a man of the people and I am for the people and I listen to what makes them happy and what makes them sad by doing this I am able to be a voice for them expressing thoughts they can identify and relate to, the closer the song is to their reality the more they will want to listen.

JAmusic: With success comes a lot of negative feedback, how do you react or deal with negativity?

JB: I know negativity can’t be avoided but I do my best to block negativity out of my consciousness and focus on positive things while trying not to indulge in discussions that is of a negative nature  and I try to stay away from situations that are negative.

JAmusic: What kind of future plans have you set for yourself as an artiste (to accomplish and maintain)?

JB: My future plan artistically is to make classic music that will be played and loved long after I’m gone. So I’m working very hard on my plans and as it relates to my current musical plan it is to release my album CALL ANOGLA this year.  

JAmusic: What insight can you give on the power of music and its ability to communicate certain messages verbally and non-verbally? And what do you think your music represent?

JB: Music is a very powerful medium of communication filled with lots of expressions that can convey many different messages to the listener. My music represents love, positivity, hope and encourages one to live in love and unity and glorify Africa. 

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