Roots reggae is once again relevant in not just Kenya but the world all over and a group of young artists is revolutionizing the genre in a new wave, yet controversial dubbed ‘Reggae Revival.’ Chronixx just performed in Nairobi and now another member of this group, Jah9 is set to launch her ‘9’ album in Kenya. The vocalist from the west edge of the island of Jamaica promises to bring a revolution once again.
Jah9, the singer who grew up on the island’s west coast, daughter of a Baptist minister and social worker, emerged from a chrysalis of poetry, dub and spirit to become a powerful femiNINE energy within a universal grassroots movement of consciousness as her bio reads.
Inspired by the open spaces in the instrumental dub of 1970’s Jamaican roots music, Jah9 sings with a voice that belies the dimensions of her physical body, from a soul much older than its current vessel; “reminiscent of that darkly operatic wailer for truth & justice, Nina Simone.” Her philosophy–profoundly spiritual, and her style–Jazz on Dub.
A staple on Jamaica’s underground poetry scene by 2009, in instrumental dub she found a place where her words could live, and the songs she started to write found eager encouragement. Jah9 began recording with renowned keyboardist and flautist Sheldon Bernard and her demos caught the attention of the legendary Beres Hammond, who then began helping to develop her recording technique. She later teamed up with popular producer Donovan Bennett of Don Corleon Records and released her first 2 singles in late 2010.