Jesse Royal promises melodies, lyrics on new album
Internationally renowned Jamaican artiste Jesse Royal will release his first album, 'Lily of da Valley', via Easy Star Records on October 6. After multiple successful singles and mixtapes, including the breakthrough song 'Modern Day Judas', which has more than 10 million YouTube views, the 14-track 'Lily of Da Valley' marks Jesse's debut full-length release.
Recognised by Vogue and Vice for his vital role in the current burgeoning Jamaican reggae scene, Jesse Royal's music carries an impactful message built to resonate with the millennial generation and beyond. Life as a globetrotter has opened up Royal's world view, which shines through in his lyrical stylings.
The 28-year-old Royal uses his music to push for positive changes, returning to the roots first planted by legends like Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, and Jacob Miller, in a pop-culture climate that seems to praise and reward narcissistic, material-driven personalities.
The album title draws reference back to an old church hymn written in the late 1800s. The song, which Jesse learnt from his grandmother's time in church choir, has been a source of comfort and reflection for Jesse through hard times, and serves as a personal reminder that "Christ came as an example, not as a deity", encouraging a deeper overstanding of the concept of Christ beyond just the idolised "picture on the wall". The album comes at a major turning point in Jesse's life, celebrating new life in the form of his first child, while at the same time having to cope with the tough loss of his mother.
Recording for Lily of da Valley took place across many studios, from the Applehead Studio in Woodstock, New York, to the legendary Tuff Gong and Big Yard Studios in Jamaica. The source material for the album arose organically with Jesse keeping loads of hooks, melodies and lyrics on hand until he was ready to come with a full album's worth of strong songs. Studio assistance from studio masterminds Llamar 'Riff Raff' Brown, Kareem 'Remus' Burrell and Kurt White aided Jesse's vision of pushing the genre forward while still paying respect to those who paved the road prior.