Alborosie: 20 years in reggae, new album, summer tour Image

by Biko Kennedy

Reggae has now gone beyond race and nationality, just like the Rastafarian culture. It is Jamaica's gift to the world and Planet Earth loves it – not just for those irrepressible rhythms, but what the music stands for.

It is therefore no surprise to learn that fifty years after its birth, reggae's current elite includes a singer from Sicily – one turned Jamaican national, and whose artistry has continued to grow and develop with every release. Alberto 'Alborosie' D'Ascola is a multi-talented Italian reggae singer with a unique story. In addition to his talents as a singer and deejay, Alborosie writes the majority of his own material and plays virtually everything we hear on his records.

He is the modern-day Renaissance man – a global citizen who demonstrates mastery of traditional reggae whilst pointing the way forward for himself and the genre. Evoking classics of old, his music does not just sound great; it has meaning. Alborosie may not be Jamaican by birth, but he promotes reggae music in its truest sense. With dreadlocks almost touching the floor, he is a proud Rastafarian armed with rebel philosophy and consciousness.

The "Kingston Town" singer welcomes a new milestone, this being his twentieth year in the music business. To mark this new achievement Alborosie will release his fourth studio album and embark on an extensive European summer tour. The latest album Sound The System is a real landmark. He describes the album as "a new chapter," and says he called it that "because people can expect good music and learn real lessons." "It's an Alborosie album and so if you're expecting something different, you'll be disappointed," he says with a knowing smile, "except I really go all out where the songs are concerned. They are revolutionary in terms of the message, which is supposed to make you feel better and they could even change your life around. I really believe that."

The 16-track album will be released on the Greensleeves label and features collaborations with Italian singer-songwriter Nina Zilli, Kymani Marley, Nature and the legendary Abyssinians. Sound the System will be released on July 1, just in time for his summer tour that will see the artist performing at over 36 venues in Europe and for the first time in Israel. The first leg of the tour runs from June 27 to July 28 and the second leg from August 15 to August 31. One of the main highlights of the tour will be a video shoot for the Nina Zilli collaboration 'Goodbye' in Bologna, Italy.

In  2011, Alborosie copped the MOBO award for best Reggae Artist. With over twenty years in the music business his music is in high demand worldwide and is internationally recognized as one of the first Italian reggae artistes. A 'rebel' in his own right, he insists on following his own path and has kept on evolving, whilst retaining the warrior instincts that have become his trademark.

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