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Chronixx is doing it for the love of music

HIGHER LIFE: Despite being in the early stages of his career, Chronixx already has a catalogue of hits, including 'They Don’t Know' and 'Here Comes Trouble'

SITTING IN his hotel prior to the last show on his whistle-stop tour of the UK, Chronixx doesn’t mind admitting he’s nervous. He’s not nervous of the performing, however – anyone who saw him in Brixton that night will know that his stage presence and delivery is polished.

The nerves surround the release of his debut album Chronology, a project the 24-year-old has put his heart and soul into.

“(The album) is a nice thing – I’m looking forward to it,” Chronixx admits.

“I’m not worried about how it will be received, but I’m a bit nervous.

DIFFERENT

“I’m nervous in the way that I am before I go on stage. You’re sharing something new, something that people haven’t heard. I like to do what I feel led to do, even if it’s not something that follows up from my previous projects. That’s when I get a little nervous.”

Before landing on these shores, Chronixx – whose full name is Jamar Rolando McNaughton – had just experienced his longest stint stint in America where he appeared on the likes of the Jimmy Fallon show, promoting himself and his upcoming album.

While he says the tour was an eye opener, he describes the UK and London in particular as a whole different ball game.

“America was very good – it was a very interesting tour, it was fun,” he says.

“It was my longest tour and the biggest one ever in terms of the numbers we got to share the music with. London is a different story – a story by itself, different from the rest of the world. The history of England and our music is very deep. I feel like we are still yet to see what will become of the years and years of musical and cultural impact between the UK and Jamaica.”

Having produced classics in the shape of Here Comes Trouble, They Don’t Know and Smile Jamaica, the hype that surrounds Chronixx is no new phenomena. So, how has the humble artist found his feet in a hectic music industry that has catapulted him to the heady heights of his current fame?

“I didn’t really have any expectation other than that my music would get better and better, and that I would become more experienced and more knowledgeable of what I am doing. As far as that is concerned, it worked out pretty well. Everything else is a blessing, and it’s very interesting and intriguing every single time."

“The most pleasing part is the level of freedom and confidence that I have managed to cultivate within myself to create music, and without feeling like I have to over judge myself or become too conscious of my vulnerabilities and my ability to do the wrong thing at any time. That’s a very positive thing I have noticed within myself in terms of growth and the journey from where we came from to where we are now.”

Just as important as connecting with an adult audience, Chronixx says being a reggae artist who has captured the hearts and minds of children fills him with joy.

“One of the reasons a lot of children gravitate to the music I sing is because I was still a child when I was writing a lot of those tracks,” he says.

“It still has that high level of innocence. Even to me, listening back to the songs as a person who is older than I was then, some of the words are only making sense to me now. But what it has is that innocence and that purity. My thoughts back then were pure and about the music and how I could get emotions, inspirations, memories and vibrations out as music. That’s all I was trying to do in those times.

“So that deep love for it and that purity came out in the music. Any song that is written with that type of intention will eventually find its way.”

Exposing his art across the world is important to Chronixx, as is bringing through some of the lesser-known artists that emanate from his country who ply their trade in the industry.

He is keen, however, to highlight that every day is a learning opportunity.

“I’m impacted by new artists every single day. Today, I was listening to Junior Cat and Hopeton James and Brigadier Jerry and some time ago I was listening to Sister Nancy – I listen to a whole heap of artists,” he says.

“For me, I like to listen to good music because I like to immerse myself in it and let it become a part of me. I like to sit down and listen to music, and listen to it as a fan – but I also listen to it in a more analytical way and listen to it as a musician, as well as a Jamaican and as a producer ”

It is rare for an artist to have a classic anthem in their musical arsenal as early in their careers as Chronixx has – you could even argue that he has more then one track to his name that will be played and enjoyed a long time after he has hung up his microphone.

The mass sing-alongs that take place at his concerts and performances are usually the preserve of artists who are longer in the tooth with a discography that goes back over decades.

Talking about how it felt when he finished tracks like They Don’t Know and Here Comes Trouble, Chronixx says:

“What it felt like at the end of the (Here Comes Trouble) recording session was that I had recorded a song that I liked.

“I am a fan of music, so I value my opinion very dearly just as much as I would value the opinion of any person who loves music and appreciates good sounds. “So when I listened to Here Comes Trouble, I felt it was a nice song. When we added the horns and ting, it added another nice element to it, giving it a nice tropical vibes but also a very modern feel.

“It has that rub-a-dub but with a modern feel."

“Winter James as a producer adds a lot of the sounds that we have been able to produce. When I make music I don’t think about it like a pop song, I think about how it will eventually become part of people’s lives and consciousness, and somehow seep in the culture of the people who are listening to it. I am always trying to recreate the same inspiration.”

Greatness is a term thrown around very loosely these days, but Chronixx is well on his way towards securing it. A dedication to producing the type of quality output he has thus far managed to muster will determine if he is enveloped in the fans’ musical hall of fame – but despite the love bestowed upon him at this fledgling stage of his journey, you get the impression he will stay humble enough not to be too concerned with the hype that will inevitably follow him along the way.

“I feel like because of the discipline we have chosen to adopt as musicians, it is a very great life to live – it’s a great life to live for anybody at all,” he says.

RECOGNITION

“Some people are greats who will be recognised, some people will just be greats. I don’t really mind the recognition part because I think that is less important than when you choose to live a great and higher life. Every human being is great, so to be great is a very common thing. “Every man has a sense of greatness, but then you have some people who choose to live a higher life – they choose, because you have to choose."

“I can choose to be healthy or I can choose to be unhealthy, I can choose to smoke cigarettes or I can choose to burn herb. So when a person decides to live a higher life, it automatically makes them, not better than anyone else, but on a greater frequency.”

As a Rasta, seeking that ‘higher’ life is par for the course – that’s just the way it goes. Not that Chronixx is evangelising – that’s not the Rasta way.

“For we, Rasta is a lifestyle. Our music is a direct reflection of our lifestyle, of liberty and of what is within our reality – and even outside of our reality, too,” he says.

“The music will reflect that 100 per cent. It’s not like we are trying to campaign for Rasta or whatever, because Rasta is not like how Christians go out there and recruit to try to get more people to join them. Rasta is a consciousness and a force within the universe and within human life that will always find its way with or without people like me. I don’t think Rasta really needs any evangelists.”

By definition, Chronology, the name of Chronixx’s album, means the arrangement of events or dates in the order of their occurrence. Much has occurred for the artist over the last four years but how long does he see himself in the business for?

“I don’t think I will be doing this forever – I don’t have an exit strategy from music, but I don’t think I will be doing what I’ll be doing at Brixton academy forever,” he says.

“It’s not necessarily what people want that brought me into music – it was what I felt I had to do at the time. It was what I felt moved to do. It was never because it was what people wanted."

“I don’t know how long I will be doing it, I don’t have a certain amount of albums I’m aiming for.”

Chronixx’s debut album, Chronology, is available to stream and download now.

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