Duane 'Soul Roots' Stephenson is truly a fresh ray of light on the Jamaican reggae music scene. Formerly of To-Isis, Stephenson's solo career is now in the making and this lyrically fit and powerful performer has just released his debut album, "From August Town." Released on the VP label, the album features mostly new material with a few familiar tracks. "I would love for people to sit, watch and listen to good music without violence without hate. Music that fills you with love and hope," Stevenson remarked, in explaining his vision behind the album and its 'star' track, "Fairy Tale."
"Fairy Tale" is one of the best tracks on the album with meaningful lyrics and a strong rhythm. It is a soothing ode to the struggles of life and is aimed at inspiring the oppressed and disheartened. Reggae horns icon Dean Fraser is credited for forging this hit with his excellent composition and arrangements. Oral Napier directed the video for "Fairy Tale" that features Lamont Savary on acoustic guitar. The video was shot in Kingston and successfully mirrors the message that the song conveys.
According to Stevenson "Fairy Tale" is an ode to all who have had to come through struggle. His favourite scene from the video is the shot where a child comes home to his grandmother with a good report card and after some hesitation and reflection on her own struggles, the grandmother gives the child the adoration and compliments he deserves.
Born in August Town himself, the 31 year old has racked up a wealth of musical experience since his Tivoli High School choir days and the times spent at Cathy Levy's Little People & Team Players Club, which is a Kingston based performing arts school. Drawing on the influences of musicians like, his uncle, Michael Rutherford, who once sang lead in popular groups like, the Sonny Bradshaw Band, Stevenson has become an excellent vocalist with good style and most importantly, a professional stance.
A remarkable songwriter, Stevenson has crafted compositions for artists such as: Luciano, Morgan Heritage and most notably Jah Cure with the mega hit "Reflections", a song that became an anthem. His professional development has steered Stevenson towards producing and he has done work on the "Reflections" album and on Tarrus Riley's "Parable" and "Mystic Routes Journey."
"From August Town" is very poetic and at the same time current album, with beautiful but rough edged vocals pushing the boundaries to what we now know as Roots Reggae. Get to know Duane 'Soul Roots' Stevenson from August Town.