Rising artist Soulfiya is about to release a powerful dubby new album ‘Bush Doctor’ with Grammy Nominated artist El Dusty on Saturday, 4/20 via El Dusty’s imprint Americano. The inspiration behind this project is the fusion of two cultures, by combining their popular folk music styles. Reggae from the Caribbean, and Cumbia from Mexico. Frequent touring and bookings in Mexico led Soulfiya to cumbia, and noticed the similarities between reggae and dancehall, rhythms from Africa being the common root.
Soulfiya began his career well over a decade ago in Riverside California, and is an influential veteran of the American reggae scene. His accomplishments include being featured on a Billboard Reggae Top 10 album (Champion Sound by Skillinjah) and gracing the iTunes Top 50 with his solo releases REALITY(#44) and ONE (#16). Fiya’s music blends reggae, dancehall, dub and hip-hop to create a raucous, high energy show that keeps the crowds excited. To date, he has performed in 39 states, 4 nations and with countless contemporary and legendary reggae icons.
‘Bush Doctor’ was recorded in February 2019 at El Dusty’s PRODUCE studios in Corpus Christi, TX. The album features the grammy award winning producer, Mariano Herrera on a variety of instruments, including bass, keyboard, guitar, and accordion. The heavy Latin/Cumbia influence makes this release significantly different than the rest of Soulfiya’s catalog. “Working with El Dusty definitely made the project exceptional and stand out from the rest of my work,”says Soulfiya. Half of the tracks on the EP were originally written and recorded over a decade ago as part of Soulfiya’s “Tenement Music Mixtape.” The title of the EP “Bushdoctor” is a term for a practitioner of herbal folk medicine. It is also the title of a song on the EP which deals with the realities of treating a cancer patient illegally with cannabis oil.
Highlights on the album include the title track “Bush Doctor,” where according to Soulfiya “rub-a-dub drum and bass meets vallenato style dub accordion on a big herbalist anthem.” Another strong bass driven track, “Highest Grade” is a classic ganja track with a splash of latin/cumbia vibes, and features international dancehall reggae singer Bobby Hustle. “Nah Work” has a dancehall feel with a touch of latin influence, a song that’s “for anyone who’s ever struggled to pay the bills, a song that expresses how persistence pays off,” says Soulfiya. A direct mashup of classic reggae and cumbia, “Judgement” deals with the necessity of faith and personal accountability by citing examples from the old testament of the Bible. Soulfiya notes, “The delivery combined with the dark nature of the riddim gives this song a hard and foreboding vibe.”
Hot on the heels of touring from San Diego, CA to Mexicali, MX, Soulfiya and El Dusty bring a classic soundsystem performance, popping various styles like rub-a-dub, dancehall, cumbia, and roots in a seamless fashion. Look out for their upcoming shows here, and their upcoming album release ‘Bush Doctor’ out Saturday, 4/20 via El Dusty’s label Americano!