Truth & Substance EP
Verse iTal
Culture Rock / MacLes Music Factory
Digital Release
June 9, 2015

Track list
  1. That Time
  2. Vibes Day
  3. Want No Part
  4. Never Hurt
  5. Truth & Substance
  6. Dread Out Here
  7. Marathon
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4 Backing : 4 Production : 4/5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
Winner in the MC category of the BeneluXXL Reggae Contest 2014, Stefan Wilson aka Verse iTal, is no real newcomer. In 2008 the then fast chanting reggae artist emerged on the Trinidadian music scene with the songs "Nyquil" and "Jah Puzzle", both produced by Azikiwe Kella. In that same year he released his debut album entitled "Love Cry". After his debut year, Verse iTal honed his craft and the growth was evident in the 2009 release of the single "Selassie I", which showcased his unwavering faith to Rastafari.

The combination of singing and chanting, which defines Verse iTal's sound today, was born in the Culture Rock produced crossover hit "BluePrint", released in early 2010. In 2011, he released the successful love song "Spring Water", which led to the release of his sophomore album called "The Fullness". In 2012 he spent 6 months in the UK and Europe, where he performed and recorded new material. Verse iTal relocated to Europe (the Netherlands) at the end of 2013, and after doing numerous small shows, entered and won the above mentioned contest.

And now, about a year after his deserved win, there's the release of the artist's "Truth & Substance EP" which features previously released singles as well as brand new material. The latter includes the BIG opener "That Time", across a wicked groovin' riddim created by Mac Les with Asham Band's Wim "Radics" Verbruggen on drums. The Mac Les produced "That Time" is an uplifting message tune that not only urges you to think, but also makes that you want to move your dancing feet. Pull up, Pull up!!! Also brand new and good for you is the title track "Truth & Substance". This effort, produced by Germany's Culture Rock Productions, is underpinned by an uptempo skanking riddim with Verse iTal seemingly effortless finding his flow. The tempo slows down on "Dread Out Here", a beautiful tune with a strong roots vibe. In particular this track shows that Verse iTal possesses a real fine singing voice.

The rest of the tracks, apart from the 2014 released single "Marathon" on MacLes Music Factory's "Puff Puff" riddim, are also produced by Culture Rock Productions. It's the incisive song "Want No Part" that makes the best impression, although the 2013 released ganja anthem "Never Hurt" isn't far behind. Even after several listenings "Vibes Day" remains the less appealing effort included on this EP.

This "Truth & Substance EP" not only displays Verse iTal's versatility as a vocalist, but also shows that he's a real good songwriter. Definitely one of the brightest newcomers on the European reggae scene, so check this EP!!