Reggae artiste Chuck Fenda Blazin 'The Living Fire'


By: Olimatta Taal

chuck-fenda-reggae-living-fire.jpgSelf proclaimed "poor people's defender," Chuck Fenda, launched his new album, Living Fire at Weekendz, May 9, 2007. Most popularly known as a gangster deejay in the 90s, Fenda changed his lyrical content to reflect more positive music and swore to never switch again.

"I'm a messenger for the Almighty. My songs are inspirational songs. Hype and controversy will fade away in a moment. Inspirational music will be everlasting. Look at Bob Marley and Burning Spear, them man deh live on forever," Fenda said as he spoke of his inspiration to sing positive music.

Released by Greensleeves Records, Living Fire has already started to make a buzz. One of the singles on the album, Gash Dem caused controversy in Jamaica and was immediately banned from radio airplay after release. Internationally, the tune sparked a flame that continues to burn. It was one of the biggest reggae anthems during its release year.

"Gash Dem clearly said that judgment was for the Almighty," explains Fenda firmly. He explained, "The lyrics were When God hold you nuh badda tell the Almighty bout maybe, so it is reminding the wicked people that their actions will be judged and they will be punished by the Almighty for their crimes. It wasn’t about my judgment or mankind's judgment so I don’t think I should be held responsible for the way people interpreted the song. The song never encouraged anybody to take punishment into their own hands."

Fenda began to show a more nurturing and loving side of himself with the release of Coming Over, featuring Cherine Anderson. This single continues to get regular rotation on major radio stations and the video is igniting and sensual to the heart. Other collaborations on the album include, 5th Elements, Richie Spice and one of dancehall's leading ladies, Tanya Stephens. Produced by one of Jamaica's premier producers, Shane Brown, the alum is powerful and thought provoking.

Born in the United States and raised in Spanish Town, Fend's childhood was anything but glamorous. But it built the foundation of his "poor people's defender" alter-ego. "Growing up, I had one pair of shoes and I had one school shirt that I had to wash and iron every day, so it was ready to wear to school the next day. So when I talk about representing for poor people, it comes naturally to me. I'm from that background, so I'm not unfamiliar with poverty. Even though I'm a musician, I still see people's struggles, and I feel it's my duty to represent for them in my music." It is Fenda's life struggles that gave him the living fire to create his newest album, Living Fire.

Chuck Fenda's 'Living Fire' album cover was shot by Carlington Wilmot who has over eight years experience in the field of professional photography.