A SOBERING LOOK AT THE HARSH REALITIES IN KINGSTON AND BEYOND
November 11, 2022 – It takes a messenger like Samory I, born and raised in the rough Kencot neighborhood of Kingston, to deliver such a powerful single like his “Blood in the Streets,” capturing the realities of life there (as well as in so many other parts of the world). This newest song, the first from his upcoming 2023 album produced by Winta James (released by James’s Overstand Entertainment and Easy Star Records on November 11, 2022), firmly establishes Samory I as one of the artists to watch in the new wave of Jamaican roots reggae that has been bubbling in the wake of the initial Reggae Revival of the 2010s. He is well-aware of the pairing of “Roots & Reality” that has been a longtime hallmark of the best in the genre; his evocative lyrics and his powerful vocal delivery make this a modern-day sufferer’s tune that will be placed alongside classics of the genre by artists like Gregory Isaacs, Barrington Levy, Sugar Minott, and many others. A video for the song, directed by Ruption of RD Films, and filmed on the streets of Tivoli Gardens in Kingston, which is so vividly namechecked in the song’s lyric, is out today as well. Click here to listen/watch: http://moremusic.at/BloodInTheStreets
Samory I says about the song: “’Blood in the Streets’ is inspired by the reality of Jamaican society today…. How violence plagues the ghetto and rural parts of Jamaica, contributing to bloodshed and the loss of lives. How poverty and desperation forces people into survival mode. They thirst for a better life, resorting to any means necessary to survive.”
In recent years, Samory’s career has been on the rise, starting especially with his collaboration with producer Rory “Stonelove” Gilligan on his debut album, Black Gold (2017). That record helped make Samory a household name in the reggae world, due mainly to the breakout single, “Rasta Nuh Gangsta” (which has over 9M views on YouTube alone), along with other tracks like “Black Gold,” and “Son of David.” Samory also appeared on “High Tide or Low,” from Jesse Royal’s GRAMMY-nominated ROYAL album (2021), and followed that earlier in 2022 with the track “Love and Mercy,” which was on Winta James’s Gratitude Riddim. Most recently, Samory I released the track “Life Is Amazing,” featuring dancehall star Chi Ching Ching, and appeared on Protoje’s newest album, Third Time’s The Charm, on the closing track “Heavy Load.”
Of the video, Samory says, “The video is just a snippet of the various social issues that the song speaks about, and the realities of life for many people living in inner city communities in Jamaica, and around the world. Where good and bad live side by side. Where youths will be playing in the same space that gangsters will be plotting. The juxtaposition of innocence and criminality that is the reality of life in the ghetto. There is a heavy and grimy feel to our everyday reality that is bombarded by news of crime and poverty, and the video gives snapshots of what a day in that world is like.”
“Blood in the Streets” is merely the first salvo of this incredible record coming up. The reggae world should prepare for one of the most original talents to emerge from Jamaica in a while to make his most of-the-moment musical statement, with more singles coming out in the next 6 months. Samory I’s messages of hope, pain, and resilience resonate with the people, and if this first single is any indication, the whole record is primed to be a major release in the genre in 2023.
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