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Underrated: Wayne Marshall is bringing classic vibes to 2018

LIFTED: Wayne Marshall draws inspiration from his desire to be a better person and to create a safer world for our children

WHEN YOU receive a phone call on a Saturday evening saying, "Seani, I've just sent you a track that you need to listen to,' and that call is from someone you regard highly, it brings a lot of pressure.

You don’t really want to be in a position where you have to say, “I’m not feeling the track, sorry”, as that can break hearts. Thankfully, when original Alliance artist Wayne Marshall made that call to me a few weeks ago it ended well–very well, in fact.

I wasn’t actually prepared for what I experienced that Saturday evening. I was hit full on with a classic Motown sound, entrenched in lush gospel organ chords, met with a warm rolling double bass. Wayne had taken me back to church, and I didn’t mind.

It felt like I was listening to something that the world needed right now. I immediately called him back – I couldn’t contain my excitement. I felt like I had just been touched.

If you have followed Wayne’s musical career from the late ‘90s when he exploded on the scene alongside the likes of Ward 21, Vybz Kartel, Bling Dawg and others you would know he is a underrated genius in the studio.

Couple that with being a genuinely nice person with a warm persona and you will see how we are still speaking in such glowing terms about him in 2018. He has been quiet on the releases front over the last couple of years, and I was curious to know what had been happening in that time.

“I have been busy doing the works,” he tells me down the line from Kingston. “Primarily I have been building myself as an actual musician – I now play piano and that knowledge makes it easier to transfer to other instruments.

“Doing this learning has shown me the clear link between music and spirituality, which has also been good for me.”

ENERGY

He adds: “I have also been writing and working behind the scenes. I have worked with Tessanne Chin, Sasco and Damian Marley. Damian gave me a lot of strength and energy on my last release, so I wanted to return the compliment for his album which the world was waiting for.”

Wayne has always been an eloquent and distinguished speaker on music and other topics, and now seems even more settled than ever before. “There are a lot of us who are growing up and the evolution in life is clear – we see life differently now and it helps us to try to create a better tomorrow for our children.

“Part of the life growth are things like marriage, but it’s also about wanting better for those around you. It’s a part of life.” With the current distressing situations occurring across the UK, his words serve a timely reminder of the importance of nurturing the next generation.

It’s a responsibility that is on all of our shoulders and hearts. I wanted to know how this had influenced his music making.

RELEASE

“The evolution of me as a person and as a man has only enhanced my music. I understand the music can be a release for some people, and you have to find ways to relate to the fans and have fun, regardless of the message.

“So that is what we aim to do. We can’t lose sight of that. As one of the artists who has been around for a while I see myself as one of the flag wavers and gatekeepers for what we do and it is a mantle that I take very seriously.

“We need to do our part as the elders did for us by paving the way.” And so to the new single, Glory To God. Without doubt it is one of the standout recent releases to come from Jamaica, and has been getting rave reviews and support.

“I feel this release is very much in line with where I want to be – making music that causes a stir with people and makes people feel something. That’s what I am on right now.

“I got the riddim, I put on my headphones and as soon as it started I felt the most intense inspiration I had ever felt in doing music. It literally drove me to tears and I had to ask a more divine figure whether it was really meant for me to deliver this message and I felt a resounding ‘yes’.

"I couldn’t argue with the higher spirit. I felt this wasn’t just a blessing for me, but it was for the whole world,” he says emotionally.

“I got together some of the best voices and elements that I needed to do the track justice, and everyone played their part in the process. It felt magical.

GIFT

“The response has been a gift – even my mother has said this is the proudest she has been of me within my time in music!” It’s so good to see an artist hold their beliefs and grow to such an extent over such a period of time.

I envisage this new batch of music from Wayne moving forward to be some of his best to date, and that’s a blessing for us all.

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