Winta James and his Overstand Entertainment label return with a brand new juggling called “Gratitude Riddim,” featuring versions by Jaz Elise, Samory I, Mortimer, Kumar, Naomi Cowan, and Ras-I. Today Jaz Elise releases the titular track for the project: ‘Gratitude’ alongside the visualizer shot by Yannick Reid.
The track is an ode to remaining grateful in the face of trials; when giving up feels like the best option. “I remember writing this song pre-pandemic and the sentiment stands true even now.” Jaz said. “Sometimes in the thick of it it’s hard to see light and see a way forward. This song is a reminder for us to keep pressing on and see our journey for what it is – a journey. We nuh done yet. We still a press on. So, I feel we can always find something to be grateful for when we really take a little time to see how far we come even while recognizing we still have more to do and more hills to climb. It’s a motivation to keep going and notice the blessings along the way.”
The direction for the juggling was set by Jaz Elise’s version as the project began in the early stages of the pandemic. “Over the first year of the pandemic the project got delayed as social distancing and other measures were put in place, but we got back to recording in 2021, and the other songs just developed organically with a great level of introspection from the artistes.” Winta James said. “I think the past couple years have been hard for everyone, yet we all still give thanks for the little things that bring us joy and hope, and I think this came across in the lyrics that each artiste wrote for their song.”
The ‘Gratitude Riddim’ is a contemporary reggae one drop riddim, featuring traditional drum and bass from the legendary duo, Chris Meredith & Wilburn “Squidly” Cole. The songs, recorded during the COVID 19 pandemic, find the artists in a reflective mood, with their lyrics centering around themes of gratefulness, love, faith, and self-awareness. It is a nod to ‘juggling’ culture, a traditional aspect of Reggae and Dancehall music.