CHRONIXX INTERVIEW

He’s been touted as the next Bob Marley and attributed to sparking a “musical revolution”, at just 21-years old, Chronixx has earned himself the reputation as the one to watch for his energetic live performances and conscious, jah-inspired jams – or as The Guardian put it “dishing out lessons in the real three Rs: Rasta, and roots reggae.”

Following on from the release of the “Dread & Terrible” last April, Chronixx immediately topped both the Billboard and iTunes reggae charts. His subsequent worldwide “Dread & Terrible” tour continues to see him on the upward trajectory – selling out shows, performing coveted slots on Central Park’s SummerStage (in front of attendees such as Mick Jagger no less) and also featuring on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Spearheading a new reggae revival, Chronixx’s charismatic delivery, unwavering positivity and live band sound is a refreshing change of pace in an over-crowded dance-hall scene. His socially conscious, enriching one-drop reggae style harks back to the 70’s golden age while still encapsulating contemporary influences. Pricking the ears of music lovers, tastemakers and fellow artists alike, Chronixx first encapsulated audiences with his 2010 debut EP Hooked on Chronixx, before dropping a Major Lazer-backed mixtape “Start A Fire” in 2012.

Grindin’ caught up with Chronixx as he and his band Zincfence Redemption prepare to bring their distinctive style of reggae to Australia and New Zealand this December.

How are things in Jamaica?
Well you know it just finished raining and I got a likkle view and its cool and nice. I now reside in Kingston but I was born and raised in Spanish town Jamaica. I spent most of my life there.

I was raised in a family of seven children in a house with my mother, father and my grandmother. Family is one of the most important things in society. Good families make a strong society. I was never lacking any attention or these things. Our family was extended to the wider community.

How have you been influenced by artists around you?
There are a lot of us making music, more than I can name. These Jamaican artists share a passion that lines up with my purpose and the reason why I am making music in the first place and I really appreciate that. Myself and a lot of youths from Jamaica have gained a sense of identity. We can now say, “yes, this is what we are doing and this is who we are”.

An identity is a great thing. Marcus Garvey, our prophet talks about that, and our king talks about identity: to be able to be proud about being African, about being Rasta, about being Jamaican. In times like these when if you are not European or American or from one of those first world places, it’s like you’re inferior. To be able to proudly wear these different titles upon your breastplate is a great blessing and I give thanks. I personally feel these are the people you should learn about. I never wanted to learn about Emile Durkheim or Christopher Columbus because these people didn’t speak to humanity. They spoke to Europeans and they spoke to their peers and their counterparts and their contemporaries.

Marcus Garvey and His Majesty and all of these great souls that pass through, they spoke to humanity. The messages these people brought into our reality are messages that are applicable across all humans, not just for black people or white people, not for Australians or Africans. It’s not limited to any one group of people. It is a message to humanity. So we give thanks for these people. When I find musicians that dedicate their music and their career towards globalising this message, I give thanks.

Talking about working with other young artists, you have also collaborated with older Jamaican artists.
I don’t like to call them older artist because most of these people are young and a lot of them have a great life and musical future ahead of them. The people you encounter on a day-by-day basis making reggae music, you are talking about Third World, Max Romeo, the Heptones, Abyssinians, Jimmy Cliff. You’re talking about all of these legendary people who as likkle youths growing up making music, these are not just great figures, they are our heroes. There is nothing more honourable and glorious than making music with these people.

How do you find your flow?
Up in the heavens and through the vibrations on earth there is a storehouse of music with every line and melody. And when you find a way to access that place you will never be short of music. That is how I freestyle, you access that storehouse and let the music flow.

Do you think live music and positive lyrics are more likely to be embraced by the mainstream than Dancehall music and Slackness lyrics?
There are two things I want to bring forward the first is I don’t ever want to get dancehall confused with slackness because they are two different things. There are many different cultures in Jamaica and dancehall is a sub-culture. Dancehall came about because of Rasta, and revolutionary music. The Dancehall was created as a platform for music that was rejected by mainstream radio and mainstream media. In the 1960’s, 70’s, and 80’s those are the three decades when the dancehall evolved and became what it is today.

Americanisation brought slackness into the dancehall, the Hip-Hop and the Gold chain and the BMW ‘s. People always had BMW’s but it wasn’t important so much that we had to sing about it. People always had gold chains and diamond rings but it was never important until we saw on MTV that these things were important. Dancehall music is good music. Just like every other music on the planet, which is created by the almighty. Music is a divine thing. Nobody can claim nor colonise any genre of music and say they are the one who made this and created that. I think music was here before us.

The second thing I want to bring forward is reggae and live music is street music, its raw music. It’s music that deals with the issues of the people unapologetically. You can record it in a big studio or a small studio but the quality of reggae music lays within the message and the passion that the artists bring, not the production or how and where it was produced. When you check the equipment Studio One was using at the time, it was nothing compared to what was being used in London. Harry J’s production, and all of these big records produced here in Jamaica that we now call legendary reggae music, was produced with makeshift equipment. It was a passion that made it special and that is what we’re trying to deliver to the people, that passion and the honour. Because it’s a great honour to speak on behalf of these great people.

Coming to Australia and NZ is a very great feeling; these are places that we dream about as children. As we grow up now we have learnt that there is a lot more than Kangaroos and there is a rich land. Across the world Indigenous people are left marginalised but “time will tell” as Bob Marley, said. Time will always tell and with these times Jah will always bring the appropriate people to justice for crimes against humanity.

What can we expect from Chronixx?
As a group of youths making music, all you can expect is that we are trying to make the best possible music that we can. And to try more and more to be of benefit to this earth and humanity. As a musician I will always try to make quality music that will be of benefit to my people, which is humanity and this earth.

What does Grindin’ mean to you?
Grindin’ is working, Grindin’ is transformation, Grindin’ is making things easier. Grindin’ is creation!

Give thanks and praise for life Earth and strength, Irieness and over standing. Greetings in the name of his imperial majesty Emperor Haile Selassie I the 1st.

Ease out.
Chronixx

Interview by Louis B

TOUR DATES:
Thursday December 11th – The Espy, Melbourne
Friday December 12th – The Factory, Sydney
Saturday December 13th – Raggamuffin Festival, Auckland

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