Mastering the art of Jazz on Dub Image

by Biko Kennedy

With her voice amplified through any microphone, Jazz on Dub vocalist Jah9 mesmerizes and holds your attention effortlessly.

With songs such as 'New Name', 'Intentions' and 'Jungle' as lead singles for her debut album New Name, the opus promises to be a spectacle like no other. Sitting with, the 'Warning' singer shed some light on her debut album and the unexpectations in store for fans and critics alike.

Jamaicansmusic: With every album artistes want to tell a specific story. What is the story you'd like to tell with this, your debut album?

Jah 9: This album is a proclamation of my faith: in the Most High; and in human spirit to overcome adversity. This is the foundation of who I am as an individual and thus as an artiste. It is also to establish the relationship I have found with Roots Rastafari Dub Music and the transmission of positive vibration and healing, through word and sound.

JAmusic: Singles such as New Name, Intentions and Jungle being lead singles for the album are highly commanding to say the least. What would you say is the driving theme behind the album and why this specific theme?

J9: These songs do 2 particular things. They acknowledge the shortcoming and outright failures of the western systems of justice and governance and speak frankly to the position I take regarding submission to these fraudulent and destructive devises. BUT they go further to show how the individual can find comfort in their own potential to create solutions through concentrated effort; proper reverence to their physical bodies; and knowledge of His Imperial Majesty, Emperor Haile Selassie as the example for all mankind (especially those of African decent) who wish to self actualize.

JAmusic: Arguably the masses got wind of the name Jah9 through Protoje's album the 7 Year Itch on the track 'After I'm Gone'. How did you meet Oje and what's the greatest lesson you've learnt from him?

J9: Arguably indeed! I meet Oje when he was just promoting his first single 'Arguments'. He was rehearsing for a show with the Uprising Roots Band. Then we started experiment together on stage at Jamnesia and a great creative synergy developed from there. So it was most natural for me to accept the invitation to be a part of his first album. He is one of those artistes who have a clear vision of the industry within which he operates. His focus and diplomacy have inspired and positively affect my approach to this industry. And being able to learn from his journey with his first album has helped to prepare me for my own.

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?

J9: This process has been a part of a larger journey for me that began when I was very young. It has has led me to find a truth that many people are and will be unwilling to accept because of how we have been taught to see "God" and our place in the world. While putting together this album, I have learnt the importance of being courageous and the invaluable nature of integrity, consistency and patience.

JAmusic: What is your view on persons who crave fame more than mastering their musical craft?

J9: "To each his own" But if fame is the destination rather than a natural byproduct, then the likelihood increases that the standard of one's craft, be it music or otherwise, will be compromised for acceptance and popularity. Mastery of anything cannot be achieved with such a mindset.

JAmusic: What do you see or consider being the greatest contributor to your musical diversity and versatility that led to the creation of Jazz on Dub?

J9: I have been singing and harmonizing hymn and songs since I was a little girl sitting with my mother in church. I've been on every choir available to me, sometime 3 at a time, since I was 9 years old - this was my ear training. Later in life when I was introduced to a wider range of genres I took an immediate liking to Jazz as the perfect vocal style because it was so free from dictated structure, yet so intelligent and emotional. Then Dub provided the depth and intensity, enough to inspire me to turn my personal writing into structured songs and share them as "my music". Thus Jazz on Dub.

JAmusic: What's the release date and what do you hope listeners will take away from the project?

J9: The Album is due for release on February 26, 2013. So much more music on the way but a first album is always very special. My only hope is that those who hear it will spend the time to listen, process and interpret the messages; and appreciate the time and effort Rory and I have put into making this Album musically and lyrically solid.

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