Jah Bami Makes A New Album of Conscious Thought and Musical Arrangement
After releasing the Suave mixtape, Jah Bami and Suns of Dub will release “Riddimentary” on April 28 with VP Records. In addition to this high output of music and preceding a tour of Europe and The United States, Jah Bami released one of his best solo albums to date, “20/20” this month. Album Review After The Jump
Album Review – Track by track analysis of 20/20
On the 20/20 album, Jah Bami and Producer, Tim P-Dub from Predator Dub Assasins and Dub Life Muzik, create a musical experience that allows the listener to reflect on the lyrical content and relate to the thinking process behind the lyrics. The unique sound of this album cannot be ignored with special dub treatments, Addis Pablo’s Melodica composition and the chromatic pitches of steel pan. In the introductory track, “Dem A Wonder,” Jah Bami expresses that he seeks God first in life. The next song “Time is Precious” is a remake of Simply Red’s “Holding Back The Years,” a smash hit off the debut album, Picture Book. “I’ll keep holding on” in the chorus is changed to “Time keeps moving on” and the verses advise that one should be careful with time because it is priceless. This song is followed by a slowed down, dub version in “Dub is Precious” featuring Addis Pablo. In the album title track, “20/20 (Devil in Disguise)” Jah Bami pours his soul into song lyrics, reflective of a broken heart. The album takes it up a notch with “Dub in Disguise.” The high quality of this dub treatment sounded like a Lee Scratch Production. “Minimal” and “Medical” are conscious songs addressing oppression and marijuana prohibition, respectively. The album ends with the song “Warrior” and “Warrior Dub,” the later features tenor steel pan and melodica.
Interview – In-depth interview with Jah Bami regarding new album 20/20
Angel: Bless up Jah Bami
Jah Bami: Blessed Love Angel
Angel: This was an interesting album, tell me about this cover art
Jah Bami: P-dub from Dub Assasins, had the idea to have me looking at a mirror image of myself on the cover. It’s a reflective album where I am really thinking about my experiences and the experiences of other people I know.
Angel: How did you come up with the title 20/20?
20/20 represents the strongest vision and with this album our goal was to create music that is before it’s time. A sound with forward thinking and perfect vision.
Angel: Okay let’s take a closer look at the 9 tracks on this album. Tell me about “Dem A Wonder”
Jah Bami: A lot of people see that I travel and tour without having a major hit and number one and wander how I am still doing things that artist with these accolades do. I just put Jah first and let him take the lead and thats how things fall into place for me.
Angel: I really appreciated the song, “Time is Precious” and it’s dub treatment, “Dub is Precious”
Jah Bami: That song is about real experiences and I actually wrote that song awhile ago. I dedicate that to my Grandmother and my favorite Uncle; both situations where we were talking making plans to see each other and because I was touring so much, I never got to see them and spend that quality time as I had promised. They passed away with me not living up to those promises I made to them.
The first verse describes a guy who is always working and has no time, neglects his children and how that affects his family.
Angel: Sorry about the loss of your Grandmother and favorite Uncle. Would these verses be a mirror image of yourself?
Jah Bami: Yes I am reflecting on my mistakes in life.
Angel: It’s admirable to share that vulnerability with others; that you are not perfect with everyone.
Jah Bami: I’m reminding myself and others not to live careless because time is precious.
Angel: Great message. You went in on that title track and dub treatment.
Jah Bami: Yes I speak of a scenario with a girl that I saw as one image and over time that view was distorted. The dub version is real nice, Addis does his thing on that one too.
Angel: The next two tracks are more general than personal
Jah Bami: Yes, in “Minimal” I really focused on how the working class works for little pay and also the culture vultures making money off of Caribbean people and killing off the heritage and tradition. “Medical” is me promoting a new vision of a worldwide prescription for marijuana.
Angel: The album ended really strong lyrically with “Warrior” and “Warrior Dub.” Do you play steel pan in the final tune?
Jah Bami: Yeah, “Warrior” reminds that you can’t go through life making your failures or mistakes define you. You can’t let past memories rule your life today or you will continue to fall. I’m playing the steel pan in “Warrior Dub,” you know I don’t play when it comes to my first love instrument, the steel pan.
Angel: Great lyrics and sounds Jah Bami! I was really impressed with this album and thank you for sharing with Boomshots Magazine.
Jah Bami: Thank you, It’s really an honor to be featured again in Boomshots for this year, feeling great about that.
The 20/20 album by Jah Bami is an introspective album with a creative and thoughtful musical arrangement. With the album’s nine tracks, three of which are special dub treatments, one can meditate on the transparent lyrics and live instrumental. At times the high caliber dubs sound like a Lee Scratch Perry Production. This mastery of sound and reflective thoughts on life shows the evolution of this artist both musically and personally.
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