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Singjay releases ‘The Ganja Song’ to mark 4/20

Published:Saturday | April 20, 2019 | 12:08 AMYasmine Peru/Gleaner Writer

Singjay Diginus is taking full advantage of April 20, or 4/20 (pronounced ‘four /twenty’) as it is known. This is the day that is internationally recognised in cannabis culture for the staging of cannabis-related protests and events and for the consumption and celebration of marijuana.

The New York-based entertainer, whose real name is Terrence Brown, has chosen today to officially release his single, T he Ganja Song - a song which is very close to his heart. Actually, Diginus has had his own encounters with New York City police in relation to cannabis, but happily he has been able to extricate himself from those situations, and is now focusing on moving forward with his career and putting out his EP.

He describes The Ganja Song as uplifting. “It tells exacatly what is going on in the industry with regard to the herb. The weed is finally freeing up, but not for our purpose. It is about teaching the youth that it’s not about getting high. It’s teaching the youth the fact that the weed is now being grown without the seed, and anything without seed is not good for you,” Diginus told The Gleaner. He feels that the youth need to understand that smoking marijuana has to have a consciousness about it, especially now that a major decriminalisation effort is under way in New York City.

Diginus said that he has been receiving strong and positive feedback for The Ganja Song and this is not surprising as he did tests to see which song should be the lead single for his upcoming EP and found that The Ganja Song was the most popular.

Diginus, whose name is a derivative of the word ‘indigenous’, is originally from Golden Grove in St Catherine, now calls the urban melting pot of the Bronx in New York City home. But although his musical inspiration comes mostly from that area, much of his creative energies are fuelled by his early rural experiences growing up in Jamaica.

Diginus lived on a farm, and many of his family members had musical gifts. His own musical journey began in church, where both his grandmothers were members of the church choir.

To seal his musical fate, his father was the owner and operator of a sound system called Black Unity, and he took Diginus and his brother along to parties that he played at across the country.

Eventually, Diginus acquired his own sound system as a teenager in Jamaica, and he continued to soak up reggae music like a sponge while having a tremendous amount of fun playing for parties and social gatherings in his parish. At 17, his life changed when he migrated to Queens, New York.

It didn’t take him long to find his musical groove in the big music hub of New York City, and before long, he had put together his own sound system.

But an old interest in performing resurfaced, and he started performing hits like Sanchez’s Missing You and Amazing Grace to rave reviews at parties across the city. He polished his skill for songwriting, and in a few short years, he had amassed an impressive body of songs. The next stop was the recording studio, first with a group with his siblings called Askelpa and later as a solo recording artiste. Other cuts from his upcoming, not-yet-titled EP are Give Thanks for Life, Many Seas and the motivational song Try. Diginus has taken his unique brand of reggae to many stages, from Negril in Jamaica to performances within the United States, including a gig in the Bronx, NY with Stitchie.