Julian Marley pushes the envelope with ‘Colors of Royal’
New album, video drop today
Julian ‘JuJu’ Marley’s newest album, Colors of Royal, which officially arrives today via Monom Records/Digital Minds, is a whole mood, a vibe and a feeling. Or, as Gen Zers would say complimentarily, “It is giving”.
Positioned as “an exciting departure from Julian Marley’s previous roots in reggae albums” Colors of Royal sees the son of the Reggae King in a collaborative, envelope-pushing mode, while “staying true” to reggae music. He gives songs that provoke thought in some instances, but the overriding theme could simply be: Be happy.
His main collaborator is producer Alexx Antaeus (Earth Wind and Fire, Rolling Stones, Jah Vinci, Yaksta), whose bio describes him as “an award-winning composer/recording artiste/producer with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Music Industry”. Also stamping their sought-after signature on Colors of Royal are prducers NotNice, Mr Sonic, Sean Alaric and Prince Productions.
Marley’s jubilant “journey through sound and colour” comes with eight songs, two of which are remixes of previously released tracks, The Tide is High and Roll. If The Tide is High title sounds familiar, that could be because it is a rework of the John Holt classic of the same name, liberally injected with a light-hearted vibe.
“ The Tide is High is by one of our teachers and great legends in reggae muisc...John Holt. The whole vibe behind that song was just a feel-free vibe. It was brought to me by Alexx Antaeus, who is the producer of the project. We did it off a fun vibe. We love the song and we love the artiste and we seh, mek we pay some respect to our teachers and put out Tide is High,” Marley shared.
In tandem with the song’s release, there was a music video which was filmed at Devon House, and which the album’s liner notes points out “is the mansion built by George Stiebel, Jamaica’s first Black millionaire”. Marley’s team also hosted a competition calling on creators to submit their remix of The Tide Is High by January 20 to win an official release with a custom vocal intro from Julian Marley, plus more than $1,300 in prizes from partners. When the numbers came in, 117 countries were represented and Marley and his team listened to 247 remixes.
In January, the winners were announced via social media. “Bravo to 1st place from the Dominican Republic, El Pentagono & Norris Webb, for their energetic Latin/Dembow remix with original vocals in Spanish! Huge congrats to our 2nd place winner @brino_mann from Cameroon for a Reggaeton remix that slaps. Finally, big ups to 3rd place @active.ability from Sweden for a super creative Funk remix. We hope you had as much fun remixing The Tide Is High as we did listening to your submissions!” Marley posted.
On the album, sitting proud at number eight is The Tide is High (Pentagono Remix). Other tracks include Robbed, Roll, Made for Your Love, Jah Sees Them, Inna Mood and Roll (Rodando, Mr Sonic Remix), which is rolling in ‘happy’.
Also premiering today is the music video for Inna Mood. Of that song, the twice Grammy-nominated artiste writes, “It’s about love and the confidence that she will be my baby. The song’s upbeat rhythm and repeated lines create a sense of joy and celebration around the theme of love and attraction.”
The video was filmed at Wicki Wacki Beach.
Colors of Royal follows Marley’s Grammy-nominated 2019 release, As I Am, which featured collaborations with Beenie Man, Spragga Benz, Shaggy and Addis Pablo.