Nice Time Productions
November 29, 2015
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 4/5||Backing : 4/5||Production : 4/5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 4|
Born in Calella (Barcelona, Spain), Josep Jordi Grau Saula aka Irie Souljah showed that he had musical talent at a very tender age. His interest in music and his aim to find success using his voice and guitar continued into adolescence. The influence of listening to black music at home and attending reggae parties led him to form his first band named Reggae Soldiers in 2008. Then the band, incorporating new musicians of proven quality, went on to be called Mystic Souldiers from 2010 and, in collaboration with Spanish dub genius and producer Roberto Sánchez, they put out an 8-track EP entitled "Showcase".
However, realizing he couldn't achieve the professional goals and perfectionism he desired, he began to think about a journey towards the roots of reggae music. At around the same time, producer and documentary filmmaker Nando García - Guereta, resident in Kingston for more than ten years, and Executive Director of Nice Time Productions noticed Irie Souljah’s potential and invited him to spend some time in Jamaica. It was after this experience that Irie Souljah made the decision to leave everything behind and move to the Island permanently at the beginning of 2014. After a short time he began to make a name for himself in Jamaica, with appearances on numerous stages and in the media, as well as in Europe, where he toured with Cocoa Tea in May/June 2015.
After the release of Irie Souljah's very well received single and successful video "Learn And Grow", his debut album "Immigrant" - recorded entirely in Jamaica by Nice Time Productions and entirely composed and produced by Irie Souljah in collaboration with Barcelona-based producer Genís 'Genious' Traní - is now out on the streets. The great opener of the album, the single "Learn And Grow", which tells so much of his young life, and the inclusion of collaborations with guests/friends Jesse Royal and Kabaka Pyramid, indicate that Irie Souljah shares beliefs, concerns, an outlook on life and love of music with those who are part of the 'Reggae Revival' scene.
The fact that the captivating "Learn And Grow" is a real gem, raised expectations high regarding the quality of Irie Souljah's first full length album. The new upcoming artist fully lives up to these expectations as he delivers a well balanced and expertly produced 13-track debut, on which he, despite his young age, shows a remarkable maturity as an artist. It's a real joy to listen to this thoroughly entertaining album from start to finish. In particular his collaborations with Jesse Royal and Kabaka Pyramid, "Jah Jah Children Rise Up" and "Inna Di Mood" respectively, are standout efforts. However, the good thing is that Irie Souljah doesn't have to rely on collaboration tunes to make his album worthwhile checking out. His solo efforts are also of high quality and offer the listener nuff listening pleasure. The most ear-catching tunes, all gems in their own right, are the aforementioned "Learn And Grow", the awesome herb tune "Elevate Your Thoughts", the excellent "Far Away", the spiritual "Rastafari" and the superb social commentary tune "Guidance". However, don't overlook the other tracks either as they are good, solid pieces.
Overall opininion is that Irie Souljah has delivered a fully satisfying rootsy debut album, worth hearing over and over again!!