January 16, 2023
ROOTS-REGGAE and Rasta will again be the dominant themes for ‘Rebel Salute’ which takes place January 20-21 at Plantation Cove in Priory, St Ann. That suits chanter Derajah just fine.
The 41-year-old artiste, who will be making his ‘Salute’ debut, is scheduled to appear on opening night. He told the Jamaica Observer that Rastafari first impacted him as a child when he lived in Bull Bay, a bedrock of the movement.
“My love is Rasta. My core, my being, is Rastafari. When I was young I saw a lot of pictures with my father with his locks and felt his vibe and energy suh wi a Rasta from birth,” said Derajah. “I didn’t get to see my father with his locks but after reasoning with him he said it wasn’t feasible for him to sell broom and mat to take care of his family, so he had to trim his locks and join the corporate world to support his family.”
Although his mother was a practising Seventh-day Adventist, Derajah remembers interacting with Rastafarians in Bull Bay, even venturing to Bobo Hill, headquarters of the Boboshanti house. Those visits helped build his appreciation and commitment to their Afrocentric message.
“I have never resented Rasta, I have never neglected Rasta. I’ve always been receptive of Rasta — di whole vibration of Rasta,” he said.
Derajah (given name Deraja Mamby) started his music career 20 years ago when he recorded the song Righteousness A Flow for singer-producer Sugar Minott. In 2008 came Who Yeah Yah, a mystic track produced by guitarist Earl “Chinna” Smith.
Who Yeah Yah opened doors for Derajah in France, where he has toured several times. His lone album, Paris is Rocking, was produced by French band Donkey Jaw Bone and released in 2011.
His latest song, the self-produced Asadenaki, was released in November.
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