MAKING SOCIALLY CONSCIOUS ALBUMS WHEN LOVE SONGS COULD MAKE HER RICH, MOST RECENT LESSONS IN MARKETTING AND PROMOTING HER BAND, WHY SHE WON’T TOUR THE UNITED STATES
Souljah Fyah. They’re an outstanding reggae band. And that’s not just me saying it. Here’s what Shelly Gummeson from Earshot-Online says: “On and off stage...[lead singer] Sista J exudes a high voltage, positive energy. Unfettered without setting limitations is precisely the attitude and energy that has propelled Edmonton’s Souljah Fyah to become Canada’s top Reggae band.” They’ve won all kinds of acclaim: including a Juno nomination, two Western Canadian Music Association awards, and twice-declared the best reggae band in Canada by the Canadian Reggae Music Awards and the Reggae Music Achievement Awards.
So who’s in Souljah Fyah? The leader is Waymatea Ellis, better known as Sista J; she’s the lead singer, the lyricist, and she plays bass; she’s also a reverend with her own healing practice. Too Tall Paul Joosse sings and plays keyboard and bass. Stormin’ Norman Frizzell plays keyboard and megaphone, and the Original Tribesman plays percussion. The band is back with The Long Walk, recorded at Edmontone Studio in Edmonton and Mad Rebel Studios in Negril, Jamaica, and the album features the classic mix that made Souljah Fyah great: intelligent lyrics full of personal and social commentary, and music and lyrics as warm as the Caribbean sun.
In today’s conversation, Waymatea discusses:
- Why she makes albums rich with political and social content even though love songs would be more likely to make her rich
- The impact of guest vocalist Access on the album and how she met the Jamaican singer
- How her songwriting has changed to produce this latest album
- Her most recent lessons in marketting and promoting her band, why she won’t tour the United States, and the impact of the late Soulicitors ska band member Kelly Callin on The Long Walk.
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