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Following his nomination for a GRAMMY with his last full album (2021’s ROYAL), Jesse Royal returns with this powerful, rousing track speaking about ways to fight for justice, uplift his community, and move forward. This is the first new song from Jesse (besides some features on other folks’ tunes) since ROYAL, and begins his next cycle of releases with more coming this year. He is joined on this track by Jamaican superstar Romain Virgo, whose reggae version of Sam Smith‘s “Stay With Me” topped the charts in numerous Caribbean countries, and whose 2018 album, Lovesick, hit number one on the Billboard reggae chart. The combination of both singers over a propulsive track produced by Sean Alaric provides one of the most powerful singles you will hear this year.
“My thing is that we are blessed in excess as a little nation [Jamaica] that has caused a huge impact on the world, from music to culture to respecting the herb,” explains Jesse about his thinking behind the track. “This song is just a reminder that we don’t need too much government interference – we just need ‘hope.’ The opportunity to think big and dream big, because it’s necessary on a broader scale for the world. A confident Jamaica to me means a happier world.”
Since his GRAMMY-nomination, Royal has stayed busy on many fronts while working on new music all along: he is an ambassador for Digicel in Jamaica, regularly doing community outreach for the company; he appeared on Protoje’s single “Family,” as well as on songs with Zac Jone$, Konshens, and Kabaka Pyramid’s GRAMMY-winning album The Kalling. Meanwhile, Jesse has continued building up his touring, especially within the US, where he did very successful shows in 2022 with Protoje and Lila Ike, as well as appearances at major festivals like California Roots, Cali Vibes, and Reggae Rise Up.
In fact, this single arrives just as Jesse is embarking some early summer touring, including his own headlining shows in New York City, Chicago, Burlington (VT), and others; festival appearances at Cali Roots and Dry Diggings, and supporting Stephen Marley on four shows. He is also playing Wolf Trap outside of Washington DC with Protoje, SOJA, and special guest J Boog.
So, get ready for Jesse Royal coming at you in 2023, bringing plenty of “Hope” with him.