Canadian-Jamaican artist Jonathan Emile has released the first single “Savanna,” off of his upcoming album Spaces-in-Between (January 24th – MindPeaceLove / Tuff Gong International). Progressive reggae website Rootfire hailed the hard-hitting “Savanna” as a “banger” when they exclusively premiered the single a day before its official release on all digital platforms.
Produced by Paul Cargnello, “Savanna” serves as an ode to Emile’s family’s hometown of Savanna-la-Mar, Westmoreland, Jamaica. The Montreal-based singer, rapper, producer, activist, and poet paints a vivid picture of life in Sav, with lyrics like:
Welcome to Savanna
Where we deh? In Savanna
Foreigner thinking all we do is chill
Taxi, minibus shuttle to Negril
Ay, Jerk pon di grill
We love Jamaica still
About the new tune, Emile says:
“I want to let people experience Jamaica the way I have. Savanna-la-Mar and Westmoreland encapsulate my Jamaican experience. Whenever I go back to Jamaica it’s like a pilgrimage or a birthright where I get to rediscover and uncover parts of myself. Savanna is warm, chaotic, colorful, rough, noble and stoîc. The song tries to capture and communicate this, and the love I feel for a place I call home.
This song means a lot to me, as it really is an introduction to the Album Spaces-In-Between which has been a long time coming for me as an artist. Savanna is the port of entry to a Jamaican experience. I took inspiration from Damian Marley’s Welcome to Jamrock and dove into one part of the mosaic Jamaica brings. This musical diversity, spiritual diversity and sociological diversity are all explored on the album as I retrace decades from Jamaican music I was exposed to growing up. It’s hard to explain what it means to finally share these songs that have helped me get through so much adversity and struggle. This album signals an artistic and spiritual rebirth — Savanna is just me stepping into the waters.”
Emile’s debut album The Lover/Figher Document featured guest vocalists like Kendrick Lamar, Murs, and Buckshot. Spaces-in-Between finds Jonathan exploring dub, reggae, and dancehall. The official video for “Savanna,” filmed on location in Savanna-la-Mar, is expected to drop soon.
Stream or purchase “Savanna” here
DL “Savanna” here
DL Jonathan Emile pic and Savanna cover here
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