Hempress Sativa set to release second album

June 09, 2023
Hempress Sativa
Hempress Sativa

Rising reggae star Hempress Sativa is set to officially release her second album, Charka, next week. The 12-track project is a reflection of her personal journey and touches on themes of love, self-discovery and social justice.

"I cannot express enough how excited I am to share this album with my dedicated supporters, who have shown immense patience and support throughout my musical journey," said Hempress Sativa, who is known for her soulful voice and conscious lyrics.

Her new album marks her recent return to the stage with songs like Sound the Trumpet, Ghetto Life, Top Rank Queens and Time Has Come, and follows her 2017 debut album, Unconquerebel. The new project tracks showcase her signature blend of roots-reggae, with elements of dub and dancehall. Hempress Sativa said that her fans' "unwavering belief" in her artistry has given her the freedom to "pour my heart and soul into my work, and for that I am profoundly grateful".

The album was made in collaboration with producer Conquering Lion Records, whose roots can be traced to the iconic Conquering Lion Sound in Manchester.

Hempress Sativa, whose given name is Kerida Johnson, has sought to explain that the album's name, Charka, has a deep meaning. A child of Doris-Ray Johnson and Albert 'Ilawi' Johnson, she was born prematurely -- at seven months. She said her parents' strong Rastafari and Pan African background led to her being given the nickname 'Charka', which she says means 'life'.

" Charka serves as a representation of the diverse stages of life that I have encountered and embraced," she said.

Hempress Sativa's father, of Jah Love Sound System fame, is featured on Give Me Loving, the third track on the album. Additionally, veteran songbirds Sister Nancy and Sister Carol have joined her on the Top Rank Queens track, transforming it into a dynamic and empowering collaboration.

The entertainer, dubbed by peers as the lyrical machine, said each track on the project offers a unique perspective on aspects of daily life. She said Give Me Loving explores the complexities of love and relationships, while Ghetto Life reflects on her upbringing in the ghetto of Mona Commons. Top Rank Queens, she said, celebrates the incredible strength and beauty of Rasfafari women, while Wisdom encapsulates her personal experiences and insights within the music industry.

"My intention was to weave melodies and emotions that tell a compelling tale," said Hempress Sativa. She is inviting persons out to Kingston DubClub on Wednesday, June 14, to see her shine alongside her band, The Unconquerebels, for the launch of Charka.

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