Tue | Jun 2, 2020

A spiritual awakening cometh

Published:Thursday | January 18, 2018 | 12:00 AMKimberley Small/Gleaner Writer

Roots reggae fans and followers of the doctrine of Rastafari may readily recall Two Sevens Clash, Culture's debut album. Released in 1976, the album was produced following a prophecy of Marcus Garvey that posited there would be chaos when 'sevens met' (presumably July 7, 1977). Spiritual is motivated by a similar reverence to great teachers of the past. He is also into numerology, with seven being his favourite number.

"I come from seven. I do things in sevens. My knowledge comes from the seventh son of Adam, who is the first prophet, Enoch, the Ethiopian. I was born in the seventh month, the seventh child of my mother. I was born on 27 Hitchen Street. I have seven children," Spiritual said. He even has seven members in his band.

Two voices to which Spiritual has been likened are Burning Spear and Joseph 'Culture' Hill. The reason, he said, is because he grew up in their company.

"I'm here not to change anything, but to make a difference. We didn't come here to change anything, because we are from the beginning," the emerging artiste told The Gleaner.




Before entering the music business, Spiritual worked in several professions, both in Jamaica and the United States.

"God give man dominion over all things, so nothing is hard to accomplish anything you need. So I was very fluent in anything I want. I didn't look for no special stuff." He recalled working as a security officer, and once holding a position at the Ministry of Labour. He said that he spent time in the United States and worked as an interstate truck driver.

"I didn't know that [people] respect Rasta culture until I was in the States. I see a show keep with Burning Spear, my first time in the Statessomebody took me, and before the show start, me say 'these people going to Burning Spear show?' When I go inside, I nearly cry fi see Burning Spear on the stage in Carnegie Hall. When I look, I could count the few black people on two hand. The show pack! I never see these things in Jamaica," he said.

He recalled an occasion that Culture had an open-air show in the states.

"Is not they coming to see Culture and somebody else. Just Culture gonna be there. Those things build me," he said.

Spiritual grew up in Allman Town, Kingston, where he got the opportunity to rub shoulders with great Jamaican artistes. He said that he often went to Culture's house to pick mangoes. "I didn't have a mother or father; that's how I met musicians. I'm not controlled by a mother and father, so I'm free to go in this man yaad," he told The Gleaner.

"Allman Town had all the singers - Karl Dawkins, Dennis Brown, all of them just over there by Jones Town - so I was right in the heart of music. I would wake up in the morning from where I'd sleep and run out a find somebody; because I was surrounded with musicians. They were my teachers, so I come up with knowledge of how Rasta is and what it's supposed to be," he said.

Following the path paved by the teachers before him, Spiritual writes lessons in song. With this album, Awakening, the roots reggae artiste plans to awake sleeping giants by reintroducing true Rastaman philosophies in a tone reminiscient of past reggae greats. He told The Gleaner that he aims for his audience to learn from his performance, as he did from the musicians of Allman Town.