By Christopher Tobutt
Kurt Danlaw, better-known as Jah Rover has been in the music business for nearly Four decades. Rover means traveler, and Jah Rover’s musical career has seen him travel far and wide, but he has always come back to his roots in Cayman. Now he has his own music studio in West Bay where he is working on a new kind of music, a kind of hi-energy kind of very fast reggae beat with a hauntingly detached vocal floating over it, full of important messages and warnings, prophet-style, about the world we are living in and its troubles. He has recently produced a 19-song compilation called Kingman, and a single from it, called ‘Is Fallen.’ “It is my interpretation of Jeremiah 50, verse 1,” he said. “It is about the land of the Babylonians and everything is laid to waste. I’d like to say it is the times we are now in because we can see Mr. Covid is taking over everything.”
“I started playing the bass in reggae band Bloodline back in 1985, which debuted on the Courthouse steps,” he said. Kurt played for the best of the mid-1980s and late-80’s flourishing of Cayman reggae bands including ‘Thanks and Praises,’ ‘Odyssey,’ and ‘The Chosen Few.’ Then, after moving to the States in the early 90’s Kurt found work playing the bass in the Graveyard Blues Band which toured all over America, opening for some top class blues and rock bands, including Edgar Winters and Ronnie James Dio, before coming back to Cayman. Then Kurt left Cayman again, this time going to Cardiff in Wales where he was introduced to massive sound systems and more technical knowhow, as his songwriting skills developed. He has been back home for nearly ten years now, and has been busy evolving the new sound. Settling back in to Cayman again in 2012, Jah Rover has since been developing his new sound.
“The sound is Cayman Reggae which I would like to say is an original sound. This sound has developed over decades of listening to all world’s music and I call this sound C-Dub.” Jah Rover takes influences from everywhere, and makes them his own, in the best Cayman tradition. “After listening to Nat King Cole for about two weeks. I always wondered what he would have sounded like in the Reggae genre so I started composing and I got my song, “Rocky Rd.to Zion.” He said.
“The truth is that all the music yet to be played is out there in the great universe and my music comes to me. Sometimes it’s a drum beat first of all and other times it’s just a guitar melody. Sometimes I hear the entire song and just have to translate it into sound and voice. I try my best to keep the sound pure and rich of soul so as to hold the originality,” he said.
27 Jan, 2020
15 Sep, 2021
15 Sep, 2021
15 Sep, 2021