Reggae Singer Makes Music For the Spirit
7:00PM ET June 3rd, 2012
Contributor : Malcolm Strong
A Rocky Williform Company
Its easy to be cynical about a lot of today's music. When so many artists seem to know more about their sales numbers and Twitter followers than they do inspiration and sincerity, audiences and critics begin to dismiss what was once riveting art--in their eyes, it's become derivative product.
But in the case of reggae sensation Ginjah, earnest is never in question. The Jamaican singer is an incendiary vocalist who's music practically explodes with passion. And he says there's no other way he could create it.
"It's not difficult for me to express myself musically," he says. "Music is inside of me. The only difficult thing for me is getting the message out there. That's the most intricate part of this journey; to reach the masses of people. It is very difficult. [But] I kept on doing my thing and I'd never stop because I believe in the Most High Creator, its a joy doing what I love."
Joy and pain are free-flowing in life, and they are the life blood of Ginjah's music. A man of faith and commitment, he knew that music was to be his life's work at a very young age. "I started out at age five and that was when i found out I had this passion [for] music," Ginjah reveals. "But later on in life, when i was in high school, I realized this was what I really wanted to do--nothing else. I went to school, i tried to do my best, but i knew that it was music for me and nothing else."
Born in the parish of Hanover, Jamaica, Ginjah was inspired by the giants of reggae--and he even came under the tutelage of legendary singer Beres Hammond. Hammond invited the young vocalist to join his Hammond Harmony House label, and Ginjah opened for Hammond on tour. "He took me in and showed me the community," Ginjah says of his time with Hammond.
There were other major musical influences in Ginjah's life, as well. "Of course, the reggae king Bob Marley [was an influence]," he says. "Many more. I love music. Internationally, I love Sam Cooke and all of those great artists."
Those great artists helped influence Ginjah's passionate approach to music. "I sing with a tremendous amount of feeling," Ginjah adds. "I describe my music as feeling reggae music."
Ginjah is prepping his new album, Urge to Love for release. He says the project has been his most personal, introspective work to date. "That was the first time in my life that i expressed myself in that type of way," he says. "I'm singing about a lot of females and what I've been through. If it hurt my feelings, I'm singing about it. I thought I should just sing about it. Its a very wonderful album."
He's toured with his idols, he's one of the faces of burgeoning clothing brand M DYZN; but for all of his musical accomplishments and ongoing journey, the one event in his life that stands as his most amazing was a trip to The Continent.
"My proudest moment so far was when I went to Africa," he says. "It was like a dream come true. Really and truly. Apart from the music, one of my dreams was going to Africa. That came true. I know that dream can really come true. it was like a most beautiful thing. The joy of going to Africa was like when my son and my daughter were born. It just put me in that frame of mind. That's the best way to describe it. More than words can explain."
"I was born with this," he says. "It was from the Almighty. I didn't grab music, music grabbed me. Its in my DNA. An in-born concept. I got this gift from the Almighty. As I said before I realized that i had this talent from a very tender age. that's why I'm so passionate about the music."
His love of music is intrinsically intertwined with his love of God. And for Ginjah, there is no other reason for making music except to uplift the Creator and inspire the people.
"To maintain the message and the spirituality, first and foremost, that is what music is all about," he says. "Many people use it a different way. I want to go back to he Bible and keep it rooted and grounded. King David was a singer. He always sang songs and the songs he wrote are Psalms in the Bible. Generation to come can get inspired by your music. That's my concept of it."
Become friends with Ginjah at Facebook.com/ginjahmusic