First time I heard "Jah Bless Me" I cried listening to his voice and the words. Pure, soft, a pledge of faith as much as a plea for salvation.
I hear his voice singing these words when I'm bothered, troubled or just searching for ease of mind and heart.
"I know Jah bless me no wicked man can test me no matter what they try. "I know Jah, Jah bless me, no wicked heart can get me, no matter what they try."
How you doing?
I’m chillin fine. Rastafari mighty rule.
I love the music you’re doing.
Thanks man. To know that you could see through the eyes, you know?
I was surprised when I heard that you are in prison. What’s going on?
Yeah, I’m free now. Everything cool.
You’re out now?
I’m inside now, but everything cool. Say what you wanna say now and do what you wanna do.
How long have you been doing music?
Actually I’m 24 and I’ve been doin music for ten years now roughly. From youth always I’d sing and go to school concerts, community concerts, you know? But to officially come and try to record in the studio and the popularity, about ten years now.
You were probably about fourteen years old when you started doing music.
Yeah, 13-14-15. In school, yeah.
What directed you into doing music?
My father was a singer and he tried the business, but he didn’t make it, not at all. He always been sayin that, he knows that it’s in his blood. When he see me try music industry it pulls him back to when he was in the field. Me, I used to go to dance, sneak out. That’s how Jamaica is in the ghetto. I don’t know if that’s how the ghetto is in the States, but Jamaica ghetto we always sneak through the window and go to dance at an early age. It’s the love of music. That’s the music in I an I. And I an I know when I go to the music I listen and have an idea. It help I an I growin up to be goin to dancehalls and watchin dancehall DJ’s and I admire them and I loves to be like them. So I an I no stop tryin and be persistent. I come to Kingston. Kingston is where all artists come to get the break. I been to Kingston and be around all the artists like Prophet (Capleton) and Sizzla. Before I started out culturally I used to try write songs, likkle melodies. But I’m tryin to conscious myself, see? At the age of fourteen I start my locks and try to find the conscious way out. To come to this cultural name Jah Cure was given to me by Capleton and some other man them who were with Prophet at that time. We all brethren.
Capleton gave you the name Jah Cure?
Yeah and some other brethren that were with Prophet at that time. They used to call me Old Cure, but I say I don’t satisfy with the old. The Jah is more better, cause Jah never grow old.
When you were starting out at the age of fourteen what kind of music were you listening to?
At the time, we crazy for Bob Marley and Peter Tosh and Jacob Miller. Greatest inspiration at that time, Bob Marley, Jacob Miller, Bunny Wailer, Peter Tosh, and Israel Vibrations. I always say to myself I wanna be a great icon, I wanna be an icon to the business and not to let down Bob Marley or Peter Tosh. Anyway they are in the grave. They shall be part of me cause I wanna be an ancient soul in the music. Although I’m young but I’m like an old soul. That’s where my heart lies, in the ancient, with the elders. Not to let them down, let them feel proud of me. Know that there’s a lotta problems in the business, but there’s a youth called Cure and he always remember all of them so all the elders live in our hearts, dead or alive. They’ll be able to say, yeah respect this youth because he keep it the old way.
You’ve always been singing?
Singin always. Never tried to DJ or change from DJ to singin. Straight singing.
I have two of your albums. How many albums do you have?
Right now I released two albums since I been in prison. One set to release before I been in prison. We tried to hold it as long as we can, but it was time, we can’t hold no longer. So we released this last one called Ghetto Life.
That’s a classic. I play it all the time.
If you think that’s a classic, wait till you hear the third.
You are working on the third album?
I’m workin on it, but the third album gonna be live. Live Jah Cure in the 20th Century, the year when I saw the light in this 20th Century, cause I been to prison in the end of the 19th Century. Let them see what I look like and hear what I sound like. All those two albums were before I came to prison. What’s gonna be more fascinating is this is the live Cure in this time. This what Cure sound like now, today. To see if he still have the sound or if he improve a lot more or whatever you can listen for.
How was it for you growing up as a child in Kingston? Was it good?
It wasn’t bad. I have an auntie, she always sent me downtown to go to the shop, small shops. They always sent me to downtown Kingston to buy all the same stuff. In the mornin I have to wake up outta my bed before the time. All the time they always say I’m lazy, I don’t want to do the work, and they want to send me back to country. But always some other family member defending me: he give us some vibes, he bring a lot of happiness to the family, we’re not turnin him back. We like his spirit despite his laziness. But they know I came to Kingston to make a career and not to work along, like I come to look for domestic work. They know that’s me and me father know that’s me. When I was a kid I’m always kinda lazy to do things in the home. I always saw myself as a star. Think I’m gonna be a star one day. When I was grow up in Kingston I live my own way amongst brethren, amongst Capleton and them. It was really hard on my family sometimes, still rough. Sometimes I’d still have to go out to the country to look for my mother, spend a couple weeks to cool out from Kingston because sometimes it’s really harsh and it’s rough. And Kingston makes me push for more. Kingston is a place that’s really hard, that’s why you have so much crime coming. It’s really hard. In the country most people go to work at an early age. In Kingston a lotta youth, their mentality is not like, they want to become an artist or go for it easy.
You said you were born in the country. Where was that?
I was born into the bush, you know. What you call, that’s more like a forest now. It’s called Cascade in Hanover.
How many brothers and sisters do you have?
I have seven brothers, me make eight. And four sisters.
Do any of them play music?
No, none of them. All four sisters I heard them singin and they can sing good, but they’re very small. They don’t really know the value of what they’re doin. Till I come out, cause I think I wanna do something.
Are you the oldest?
No, I’m the third from my father, second from my mother. I’m the only single. All of my other brothers and sisters actually have same mother and father—either two of the same mother and father or three or four—but I’m the only single from my mother and my father. It’s like I’m exceptional from all of the rest.
When you were growing up in the country were you growing up with the Rasta belief or Christian?
Mostly the Christian religion because my father, when I was born he was a Rasta. When I was born my mother and my father have locks. I was growin up and start realizin life and seein and know what I see, I see them without locks. My father leave me amongst my grandmother, she always bring me to church cause she loved me, but I didn’t like the church. Because most of the time she been with the church she give the offering money to me to give the offering, I always use it to buy something. Most of the time church is goin and I come out in the middle of the prayer with other kids that come to church with their grandparents. So I didn’t really like church. I just come to church cause my grandmother forces us to come. We have to go because we lived there.
Now are you a Bobo Asanti?
The Bobo concept is what rises me. It touches me and I go by the Prince Emmanuel and I get that inspirations. I used to wrap up my turban with the official declaration. But now I’m contemplating, I’m learning about a lotta things. I’m seeing that—I don’t see myself as a Bobo no more, I just see myself as a Rastaman, love everyone. Love Bobo, love Bingui, love everyone. As long as you’re a Rastaman. I will not differentiate myself from you—like it’s a religion thing, splittin up denominations.
What’s the main difference between a Bobo and a Rasta?
Bobo is Rasta, but they differentiate themselves in political ways. We are Bobo and we don’t do certain things and we don’t mix. Another one say, we are Bingui, we don’t wrap up we heads. And another say, We are Twelve Tribes and we don’t do this. But everybody’s praising King Selassie. It’s not even like a Muslim pray to Allah or a Christian pray to Jesus; everybody’s praising King Selassie and still they’re separating. That’s so stupid! And that makes us look more stupid than ever. I tell myself that all the youth are takin up this thing. I’m goin at a level where I wanna be able to purify the world and cleanse the world. I’m not talkin about Jamaica, the world. So taking up the world with my music and my head. I wanna be that, a Rastaman. I think it’s more easier, I don’t wanna differentiate like I’m in a special camp of Rasta or special types of Rasta. I’m for all Rasta. I wanna get that straight. All people.
What is Nayabinghi drumming? Can you explain about that?
The Nayabinghi is just an order. It’s no such man as Nayabinghi. Nayabinghi Bobo Asanti chant Nayabinghi in their tabernacle and the twelve tribes chant Nayabinghi cause they do have drums. And Bobo and Israel they chant Nayabinghi. Nayabinghi man call themselves Nayabinghi, but they only chant. They aren’t Nayabinghi, they’re just some Rastas, but they don’t claim official name or decided a name for their group yet. Nayabinghi is just an order. A lot of these groups need to be centralized for unity. We have this problem over the years for unity.
But isn’t Nayabinghi a certain type of drumming?
The order is playin the drum and the drum is the order of the Nayabinghi. Bobo play drums and Twelve Tribes play the drums and they all say they chantin Nayabinghi when they’re chantin. Even the man that take on the title Nayabinghi, he himself is not a Nayabinghi. It is the order that he chants. But we use it as an overstanding. Otherwise the Nayabinghi, I love them because I know them from their youth and I don’t got a problem with no Rasta group. And when I’m out there I go to every house all the time. I go to Bobo, I go to Bingui, I go to Orthodox.
What was the big break for you in your music career?
When I was around Capleton, it happen from there on. I meet Sizzla and we do a song together eventually. We were buildin the song, the same night Beres Hammond was passin by and he heard the song and says he like it. We end up singin the song on Beres’ label. And I start to record for Beres cause Beres like my ways and the way I sing. He like everything about me as a youth. He produced the song.
How did you meet Capleton and Sizzla?
Livin in Kingston, they live around my family. I go to live around David House, Capleton. I live amongst Capleton. We do things together. We go dance together. You know? We were in the same area, the same community. They were like the big men, every youth in the community was lookin up to them for a break. I also was happy to get the break from Beres Hammond. From that I was always around Beres and Beres was always there. I was just building my career around that. I give Beres Hammond my career. I let him just steer my career because he’s very experienced. I think he was one of the most perfect persons, he steered my career as a singer.
Can you name a couple of singers that you really like?
I like to listen to Peter Tosh; he fascinates me. And I love listen to Beres; I love listen to Jacob Miller. Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Jacob Miller. And I love listenin to all the different artists, they are all great inspiration.
How do you write lyrics and what you do you write about?
The things I go through in life. The struggles that go on out there.
Do you write a lot on your own or do you write with the music?
This is how I write: I never take a pen up and say I’m goin to write a song. I’m just here and I been talkin about something and I feel that something come up. Through the reason I pick up my pen and scratch it down. If I’m in the studio and I hear a beat sometimes a melody does come up and I just do a song on the spot, finished. That’s how I work. I never take up a pen and write a long list of paper, never never. Either I’m in the studio and listen to the beat and the beat sweeps me and I go the beat with such a unique sound that fits. I try to go to the beat as close as I can with my melody. Otherwise I just write something that comes to my mind, something that I see, witness, that I live, I experience.
Where do you live now? Do you live in Kingston or in the country?
To tell you the truth, to tell you that I live in Kingston would be biased. I live in Jamaica. It’s not every artist could say that because I’m loved by a lotta people. I have family and them never built a house yet. I was tryin to help my family build up a building. Otherwise I have a lotta houses. I live by Mandeville, Montego, like that. I rotate my living condition, because I can’t live in one place. Because I live in the country more than ever, where the most inspirations flow. I love the country; Kingston no really nice like that. You have to enjoy. Only thing is I wanna set up studios in the country now, so more youths can have access to the studio in the country, not having to go to Kingston only.
One of your CD’s is entitled Free Jah’s Cure. Why did you name it that?
The label that put it out, they just named it that way. They decided to. I didn’t—I was kind of pleased with that name. Cause it seemed that was one of the most vital names to give the CD’s of Jah Cure at this time.
That was your first CD. You also have a lot of singles out. Can you talk about some of the singles that were really good for you?
I have a single called "Love Is the Only Solution".
That was a big one for you?
Yeah, it depends on how you want to call it big. To me it’s big. It was on Morgan Heritage’s label. It was mixed with a compilation CD called Morgan Heritage and Friends. But there was another for me called "Try to Live On" released on Xterminator, Fattis Burell. "Try to Live On" was a nice single. Those two singles were really good.
Do you have a lot of material recorded that has not been released yet?
Yes. I was not one of those young artists that was lazy to make tunes. I make tunes every day, every second. So I make a lotta songs. I’m an inspired musician, I must be proud to say.
Do you think you will be putting some of those songs out later?
Some of them didn’t release, but I’m here so they’re releasin one at a time. Probably by the time I’m out there will only be a few left. But before now it was a lotta labels keep releasin, what’s coming out on CD’s, compilations, first comin out on singles. People just waitin to hear the name, spreading to create more investments you call it before they do what they’re doin. I think that’s what a lotta producers do.
Who will be producing the next Jah Cure album?
We don’t decide that yet. All I know, it’s goin to be produced by the best in Reggae industry. This time I’m goin with the best.
Do you think you’ll be coming out this year?
Definitely I’m comin out this year.
Do you think that music will change people’s minds. Do you think that music can change people?
Judge and purge. Change them from the wrong? Of course, of course music can do that. Music change a lot and it’s always been doin that. Good music. That’s why I believe in doin the music from your heart, doin it the best. There’s so much issues in the world for me to address. Everybody talkin about partyin. You have to party, but we have to think about all the suffering and all the issues that are in this world to address. And try to help people find their inner spirituality and their real selves. With music, music can do all the things. There are things that music should leave alone. Music is able to do everything. Music can man make a man get evil and music can make a man get righteous. Music can do all things. Just put the energy into it and tell it out and it will do. Depends on the energy you put into it. Because the people who have the energy to sing music and generate people, they are leaders. But some of them refrain from takin their true stand. They just wanna generate the people, but not put back to the people substantially.
Do you think for the Black man and woman is life getting better or worse?
It’s getting better in some situation and getting worse in some situation. It’s never at a equal level. Gettin better for some and worse for some.
Do you think like in Jamaica is better for Black people than it was 40 years ago?
Honestly speaking, Jamaican people are suffering everywhere. Still they’re sufferin, but they’re able to afford things. Actually almost every family has one car, you know. It wasn’t like that. Although in America you have people who have it hard but still they have a car. Jamaica is really comin to that level. We’re still strugglin but we have a car to take us around. Still getting better, one time it used to be worse. Lotta people never dreamed that they could be havin a car. And they have a car now, lotta young youth have car and nuff shoes and nuff things.
What’s it like living in the country? I’m curious about what it was like for you growing up in the country?
Growin up in the country. Mostly my grandmother used to go to church and mostly my father carry me to the hills and the farm. I used to be lazy and he used to give me pumpkin and stuff to carry and all my other brothers. And I used to cry. And he used to give me wood to carry and I used to cry. He used to take it from me because my father used to love me because he used to love my mother. And he hit my mother one time and my mama leave him. And because my mother won’t be with him again, every time I come to spend holiday with him he remember my mother cause I resemble my mother they say. He always try to be nice to me because he knows that I’m the only one that he got from my mother and my mother left him. He always loved her. So he always try to have some mercy and feel sorry for me, help me out. But I enjoyed the country, go to the river. I know a little about countryman business. That means I know a little, but not all. Although I was born in the country I more raised in the city more.
When you talk about your father being on the farm, did you raise animals or vegetables?
My family used to raise a lotta chickens and plants, vegetables and a whole lotta things. Bananas and jackfruit, nuff things were there. My mother, she used to bring us down to the farm and we used to have a nice big big, about two acres of land in the backyard. The country was nice for me. We go out to the country every holiday.
When I listen to your music it gives me a real good feeling.
I’m young but I have a lot of experience. I grew up in the country when I’m young, but I experience a lotta things. I don’t know why. Another youth my age doesn’t experience what I experience. So I put into my words a feeling of emotional and experience. Just let me feel the heart, I’m the man that will feel the heart and the soul. Always sing from your heart and your soul, nothing else. And I sing and I ask Jah to let me get the powers when I try to sing to make sure I only go to the heart with the words and the melody. To the heart and the mind, that’s what I’m tryin to reach. That’s what I’m meditatin on. People’s heart and their mind. Tryin to win the heart, tryin to touch the soul with soulful vibes. Always tryin to advance more and more. The more they hear me the more I’m getting better.
Your music is very inspiring.
Sometimes I make music and me myself don’t even know how it came. It just came out of my mouth and I know not how. I don’t know if this happen to anyone else, but I know greater than what they hear is gonna be comin out because I’ve seen the vision about myself. I visioning myself doin some that I don’t even know of, but I know it’s there and it’s gonna be in the future. That’s how I think. I’m a free thinker, I even make songs for the future that not ready to fit into the record now. I’ve made songs now that in the future I could sing and it’d refer back to now. I try to do that in my mind. You’ve got to be deep in your mind to do what I’m doin and I’m sure that I’m gonna get greater and greater. And I try my best to advance greater than before in my singin and writin and creatin, cause I just don’t write things. I get the inspiration of sayin something! I don’t know why I’ve said it. And a lotta great people say that’s great the way you put that together. I didn’t put it together, I just find it come out.
What really inspires you to write? Is it Rasta or is it people around you, what is it?
Rasta has a lot to do with it. When I find Rasta I find things for natural. I find things more easier. Realizing the earth more easier, things that used to look so far seem so near now. It’s more easier to see this is how the system run and this is how they doin the people. I recognizing that, you know. People say, how you do that like it’s so easy? It’s easy because I put the love into what I do. See what Bob Marley did, it was not hard. It was easy as one-two-three. All you got to is come from you heart. And be inspired, don’t force it.
Do you read much over there?
Yeah, I read when I get a chance. I do more writing. I read, but I write more. Everything I write, everything. Everything that comes to me I write.
When you say you write, do you mean you write songs?
Yes, songs. I write a lot of songs definitely.
Before you went to prison were you performing a lot in Jamaica?
Actually I was coming to that level. Doin shows here and there. I did tour some in Europe and in England and I did a lotta Caribbean shows. I performed live in concert in Trinidad. I had four shows for the week back to back down there. Soon as I leave Trinidad I came to the court and had the case goin on. Same month I leave Trinidad was the same month I get the sentence.
The first time I heard you was when you were on that song with Sizzla. How did that song come together?
Oh yes that song, "Divide And Rule". We were drivin together and Sizzla was buildin a song. The riddim was playin in his tape deck in his car. And he said to me that I must do something on it. I just started to build the song on it, divide an rule. The same night we build the song, we saw Beres Hammond the same night. He came and here us doin it, "Who is singin that song? We’d love to have you in the studio." "Alright, that would be a pleasure, to work with the great Beres Hammond." That was the big break for me.
If someone asked you to describe your style of music what would you say?
My style of music is just to uplift and soothe people from them problems. Emotionally, spiritual and physical. My style of music is just to feel the heart and the mind. I would call it Reggae, cause this is around that…
What is your earliest memory you have from your childhood?
My mother givin me some of her spliff. She gave me a Jah of her ganja spliff. I’ll have to sit back and try to send my memory deep back. But that’s the thing I can remember for now.
Do you think that you’re going to change you style of music?
No, I’ll never change. Never. For no reason, never. I rise to greater levels, but never change. Only betterment.