This is the statement. This is the mission. 'I'm from Kingston!' Image

by Biko Kennedy

The cathartic force of 'I'm from Kingston' reverberates throughout the single's entirety, leaving listeners in a 3-minute-long trance which acts as a mirror to the city's heartbeat. Though it's his debut single/video, Adiel Thomas (Diel) has masterfully woven together a track that is certainly replay worthy. We caught up with the crooner to find out more about his beginnings and musical journey.

JAmusic: When you look at your sound (in terms of your production) how have outside producers and musicians impacted your sound?
DIEL: I like bending genres, so working with my producer Richard Spencer has definitely impacted my sound. He’s the most talented musician I know and he understands and interprets what I want in the sounds and the instruments. He’s definitely influenced the music with his own ideas. Music is a collaboration between the artiste and producer really so it’s always a joy to fuse ideas.

JAMusic: Could you talk a bit on some of your previous work and possibly a few projects you're currently working on?
DIEL: I had a gospel group, Ministry, those were easily the best times of my musical life so far. We released an EP and a full length album called 'College Days’ in the last 3 years. I’ve also worked with Sony Music and Atlantis, as a producer and songwriter. Now I’m focused on putting out my solo work, spending most of my time in the studio so lots and lots more music to come. 

JAMusic: Let’s talk a bit about your latest single Kingston. What’s the story behind the song and what’s the message you’re trying to portray?
DIEL: I’m From Kingston is literally my experience in my hometown. I spent most of my life in Mandeville, Jamaica. Went to high school in Kingston, but spent all my other years in the country, so when I came back to Kingston in late 2014, I saw the city up close for the first time ever really, and that experience inspired the words in the song.

JAMusic: When it came to the visuals for the Kingston, was the creative direction your vision or you allowed your team to take lead?
DIEL: Yes, definitely my vision. I wanted to showcase a realistic day in the life of a Kingstonian, so the director for the video Jason “Beanz” Sawyers and the DP Wentworth Kelly from iKon Media just ran with it, and they helped me to chronicle life in Kingston in 3 minutes. A good amount of the ideas were Jason’s as well, so it was definitely a collaboration of ideas to bring the motion picture to life.

JAMusic: With the single inevitably getting rotation on local and international radio stations 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?
DIEL: Music is the second most powerful force in the world, second only to love, so I fully understand the responsibility on my shoulders in putting these messages out and in impacting both the present and next generation. My music represents me you know. I am creative and diverse. But of everything,  I would just say I’m a very positive person, so the music is gonna be very positive and uplifting, also very spiritual, fun, confident and conscious. Outside of that, I'm just like any other human being, trying to figure out life and trying to do what I believe are the right things to do.

JAMusic: What do you consider to be the greatest obstacle that you had overcome in achieving your current status?DIEL: Money, but there are always ways around that.

JAmusic: How do you go about starting a project? Say you found an important topic or you're in a particular mood, do you just play around with varying sounds or you have a clear path as to how you want your work to come out before you begin?
DIELIt goes different ways, but most times I will get the chorus, for example “I’m From Kingston,” and then build the verses around it. 

JAMusic: As a producer, what would you consider to be the greatest contributor to your musical diversity and versatility?
DIEL: I’d say having the privilege to be able to play for church. I've been playing the piano since I was two and have played Gospel music all my life. It’s the only genre with no real form so it borrows from every other as the “Gospel” is really the words and the message. So because of that I have an insatiable desire to make all kinds of music.

JAMusic:  We live in an era where music lives and dies quickly as a plethora of singles are released daily. What are you doing differently that will hold their attention/ear?
DIEL: Coming up with a lot of video concepts and storylines around the music. I write all the music, so it will mostly be real things that I’ve experienced and so that makes it very honest. I think that that realness will translate to the people, because I believe people appreciate realness and honesty more than anything else.

JAmusic: Any final words?
DIEL: Yeah man, thanks for the interview and look out for nuff nuff more music and videos at the highest quality I can possibly release it at. Oh, and check out my website and get one of the official 'Kingston’ shirts featured in the video. They're pretty cool.

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