No conversation about the modern resurgence of Jamaican roots reggae would be complete without mentioning the influence of Jesse Royal. A man who is nothing short of the embodiment of why Jamaicans and lions so often go hand in hand, he has let his heart lead his career and brought his message of love and unity to all corners of the world. Over the past few years, his career has taken off in spectacular fashion. Performing to crowds so far away from his home town of St. James Parish and growing his fan base with every performance. After his set at this year’s Cali Roots festival, we spoke with Jesse about a wide range of topics from his family ties, stereotypes that affect him, and his relationship with something very near and dear to our hearts, The Grateful Dead.
Jesse Royal releases the first single, “Always Be Around,” from his upcoming debut full-length this Friday, May 26. Two days earlier, the song will be premiered on Wednesday, May 24, via the Mass Appeal website. This release marks the first collaboration with U.S.-based indie tastemaker label Easy Star Records, giving a taste from what is sure to be one of the biggest reggae albums of the year.