Jah Sun talks about his hip-hop group’s upcoming gig
It’s always fun to interview a band for the first time and even more so when that band comes to Maine to perform. In this particular case, the group is a quintet known as Jah Sun and The Rising Tide from Humboldt County, Calif., Which is scheduled to perform at Aura in Portland on September 3.
Singer / songwriter Jah Sun is joined by Tony Thompson on guitar, Beau “Arrow” Sheppard on bass / harmonies, Nick “Kirbz” Kirby on drums / harmonies, and producer / multi-instrumentalist Jallanzo “Dub MatriXx”. I had the opportunity to call Sun and discuss his latest studio album, “Running Through Walls”, which was released this month.
Sun: How are you man?
Q: Oh, not too bad, although our local climate is more suited to where you are in California.
Sun: (Laughs) Ah, you happen to catch me while I’m on vacation in Yucatan, Mexico right now.
Q: Oh, wow! Didn’t know I was interrupting your vacation, I’m so sorry but I appreciate your willingness to chat with me today.
Sun: No problem, man.
Q: For starters, how long have you been doing this?
Sun: I’ve been doing this for 15-20 years now and as Miles Davis said, “It can take a long time to figure out how to sound like yourself”, and I feel like that’s what starts to happen. happen. When you go into something for the first time sometimes influences and inspirations sort of filter through your music and when I think back to some of the previous things I feel like I can hear myself trying to learn culture, learn music, learn formula, learn vibrations; and now I feel like I’m really settling into who I am and what I mean. I am really excited to share this record.
Q: Well, what I love about listening to a “Running Through Walls” link is your fusion of world music, hip-hop and reggae, it’s consistent throughout but has enough variety. , both musically and lyrically, to make it a very enjoyable listening experience, sir.
Sun: Thank you, thank you very much.
Q: Have you ever played in Maine?
Sun: I haven’t spent a lot of time on the east coast, so the short answer to that question is “No” (laughs).
Q: I think you’ll have fun at Aura in Portland, it’s a great club with a grateful audience. And it must be nice to be able to play in front of an audience again.
Sun: Oh, man, that’s amazing, actually. A life without meaning or purpose is not really a life in my opinion and it is so hard for people to find it sometimes and that is why I feel so blessed that I was able to find this path and being able to do it is what it does for me. So when it all closed we were running out of money and stuff of course, but there was a hole in my heart and soul for a while – and, yeah, it really feels good to be back there – down and being able to connect with people and do it with love.
Q: Well, that’s one of the qualities of the genre you chose. The recurring statement of the power of peace and love, and it’s very inherent in your songs, it’s very encouraging and uplifting. And with all this division and confrontation happening in this country and around the world, we despair of the unity and inclusion that music can bring.
Q: Since you’ve never been to Maine before, Jah, is there anything you would like me to pass on to people reading this article?
Sun: Well the truth is, this band I’m touring with – The Rising Tide – is such a cool, talented bunch of musicians. It’s the first group I toured with whom the vocals on the album, the instruments on the album are the guys I tour with. It’s the first time I’ve been able to do this and because of the synergy we have together, this is truly the best version of Jah Sun that has ever been on tour. I might have fans who have heard some of my past work, but I really encourage people to come and see this show because the guys at Rising Tide make it really special.
Q: Well, is there anything we haven’t talked about that you would like to add?
Sun: Oh, just to let them know that the album comes out at the end of this month and that they can stream it and listen to it, and come see us in Maine and have fun with us!
Lucky Clark has spent over 50 years writing about great music and the people who make it. He can be contacted at [email protected] if you have any questions, comments or suggestions.