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Rastafari, Rebellion and the Love of Kush - Jah9 Speaks


Her debut album New Name suggests more than a change of nomenclature, it speaks to a radical shift in a way of seeing the world, providing an official marking of Jah9’s shift from jazz to reggae as she staked her claim as one of the lionesses of the Reggae Revival. Yet It has been approximately a year since her last full length performance and on Thursday, February 27, 2014 fans will get to hear Jah9 roar once more with The Dub Treatment.

At its purest, dub is about mixing and remixing, taking an existing sound, rubbing out some elements and introducing others to become something completely new.

"I think it will be an amazing cultural melting pot," Jah9 says of the Dub Treatment, a night promising to be an eclectic mix of different elements of the Rastafari lifestyle. "I know a lot of people will be surprised," she said.

She explains that The Dub Treatment is showcasing multiple aspects of the Reggae Revival going beyond the singers who have captured the media attention and helped to spread knowledge and interest in the movement. So reggae, yoga on dub, fashion, food and indigenous craft will all be a part of the ‘treatment’ that will take over the Countryside Club in Half Way Tree.

Jah9 performs at the recent Blue Mountain Music Fest in HolywellAccording to Jah9 yoga and reggae have long been married and yoga can be executed to different forms of indigenous music, of which dub is one. Jah9 explains that Yoga on Dub also highlights a series of poses that particularly useful for Jamaica, and treating with our issues.

The Dub Treatment will also incorporate presentations from the Rastafari Indigenous Village, housed in Montego Bay. The singer explains that she is happy to provide the village with a platform to showcase their work in Kingston because she lauds what they have been doing.

"We want to celebrate those who are recreating Pinnacle everywhere," she says of the indigenous Rastafari Village. 

The Dub Treatment will also include ruminations on marijuana, musically and otherwise.

"It's an opportunity to have intelligent conversation," Jah9 explains. The Dub Treatment will therefore include performances from other members of the Reggae Revival with expected input from Raging Fyah and others. The singer explains that this element of The Dub Treatment will be somewhat freestyle, depending of who is in the audience.

A core element of The Dub Treatment, Jah9 explains, is the presentation of Rastafari. Jah9 argues that Rastafari is often presented as though all Rastas are disenfranchised and the culture is a thing of “last resort” for those without options.

Jah9 at the launch of Global Reggae

"But I represent a set of ones that chose Rastafari above all else," she says, and no one who has met her could assume that her embracing of Rastafari came through an absence of choice. Her intention therefore is to widen the minds of the audience as they become immersed in the Treatment.

The Dub Treatment is the start of what is shaping up to be an active year for singer Jah9. First up will be a Marijuana Mixtape, For the Love of Kush, which features Dr. Kadamawe Knife talking about marijuana spliced with music in tribute to ganja.

Jah9 is also working toward the release of her sophomore album Rebellion.

"It's actually the album I've been working on since 2009," Jah9 explains, pointing out that it's production had begun under Harmony House. "New Name kind of just swept it up," she says. So now it is time for the birth of Rebellion which is expected to arrive in the latter part of the year. 

Jah9 hopes that The Dub Treatment will provide more than a night of entertainment, hoping that it will be a multi-level learning experience for the audience.

"I hope that they will learn something about themselves, about their bodies, about his majesty and about the herb,” Jah9 says.