Internationally renowned Jamaican artist Jesse Royal recently released his first album Lily of Da Valley via Easy Star Records, which debuted this week at #1 on Billboard’s Reggae Album chart. After multiple successful singles and mixtapes, including the breakthrough song “Modern Day Judas,” which is rapidly approaching 10 million YouTube views, the 14-track Lily of Da Valley marks Jesse’s debut full-length release.
Recognized by Vogue and Vice TV for his vital role in the current burgeoning Jamaican reggae scene, Jesse Royal’s music carries an impactful message built to resonate with the millennial generation and beyond. Life as a globetrotter has opened up Royal’s worldview, which shines through in his lyrical stylings. The 28-year old Royal uses his music to push for positive changes, returning to the roots first planted by legends like Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, and Jacob Miller, in a pop culture climate that seems to praise and reward narcissistic, material-driven personalities. Read on to discover Royal’s favorite Kingston spots and what the city means to him.
A lot of musical legends have come out of Kingston. What’s it like to come out of a community like that? Is it competitive, inspiring, both?
It’s definitely an honor first and foremost but then it comes with the responsibility of ensuring that you play your part in the enrichment of this already wealthy and weighty thing called reggae. And do justice to the legacy inherited. I wouldn’t say the field is competitive though everything is. It is much more inspirational because the vibrations and frequencies bouncing around in Jamaica on a whole are so high.
In your words, what does “Lily Of Da Valley” mean and represent?
Lily Of Da Valley to me is the balancing of things. We live in a very materialistic world that glorifies the greedy and the ruthless. So for us when we approached this project we tried to take a different approach and address different issues while maintaining our backbone and still having fun in hopes of balancing the potential perspectives. U dig!
Stylistically, should we expect anything new from Lily Of Da Valley?
Definitely. A big wave of creativity is happening and we embrace it in all forms. Music, Art and fashion. Everything doesn’t appeal to us but what does, we work with. I will always be myself because I’m sure I can do that for the rest of my life.