SA reggae revival: Mc stirs it up
When Lucky Dube died, it seems he took with him not only his rare legacy, but reggae as a whole.
Few musician even dare to do reggae songs these days and yet it is still a relevant genre because young international musos such as Melanie Fiona and Rihanna are still releasing a reggae song or two on their albums.
The Marley brothers still tour and if Lauryn Hill gets over what made her leave the game, even she could drop an instant reggae hit.
Yet no one on the local scene is willing to try out the Jamaican sound, well, until Mc Norman (pictured) stepped onto the scene.
The Ugandan singer, who is based in South Africa, emerged on the scene when the music industry needed a hero. Let’s face it, we have all the house, rock and hip hop music to last last a couple of years.
With Jah Seed seemingly retired from the music scene it is a little gloomy for the conscious reggae heads.Which is why it is refreshing to have a new voice to the dying genre who is set to change things in a big way.
His album Lover’s Rock boasts 11 tracks that have deep reggae roots yet are tweaked to meet current musical trends.
“I write music from things that I experience in my life,” said the animated singer.
“I write a song so many times as therapy for the things that I go through. As we speak I have about 275 unreleased songs that just came from stuff I was going through.”
If you have a listen to the refreshing Lover’s Rock you will wish you had the 275 cuts on one CD, but for now we have to be patient.
The album starts off with I Remember The Day, a well put together joint that speaks of reminiscing of a time when love first started.
“No matter how hard you try, you can never forget the first time you met the one you love. This is where I took the idea of this song from. The first meeting is always a special one because everyone is still curious and they don’t know much about each other so they enjoy the curiosity,” he said.
For someone who is not originally from Jamaica it is interesting that his patois is on point. You would think Buju Banton or Beanie Man was on the mic.
But being born to Eddy and Rossette Ganja in Uganda in 1975, when reggae and ragga were the staple sounds, there was no escape for the young Mc Norman.
He grew up with a rich background in break dancing and soon shifted his talents to songwriting and singing. After deciding to move to South Africa, Mc Norman soon discovered that he had found a niche with his sound.
“I am not competing with kwaito,R&B, or Afro-pop. I am just doing something totally different.
“People love reggae and, let’s face it, no one is doing it,” he explained.
To make his presence felt and perhaps spread the appreciation of his genre, Mc Norman has been working at incorporating local artists.
“I have been communicating with the Lucky Dube Band and there may be something coming out of that.
“Also, I am working hard at establishing the culture of karaoke in South Africa because in Jamaica that helps people appreciate new music there.”
• Lover’s Rock is available at your local music store.