DADDYROOTS by Roberto Angotti:
Never mind that Hollywood actor Kevin Bacon considers this tiny Caribbean island of 12,000 inhabitants to be his favorite hidden getaway or that this British colony is home to one of Reggae's brightest new stars, Daddy Roots. A dreadlocked Rasta of a different kind, Roots is often mistaken to be from Angola(Africa)instead of Anguilla(British West Indies). Perhaps this is due to the fact Rasta theology cites repatriation to Mother Africa as a must, or maybe it's the way Roots pays the utmost in respect and honor for his culture through his music. He explains,
"Reggae is the calling I've received from the Almighty. Reggae music is the vehicle to convey my message of love to all of I-(hu)manity. My style of Reggae is a combination of old school, modern and a whole lot of other things-such as instrumentation from different cultures. My influence comes from a Higher being, something greater than I. Sometimes I feel the spirit comes looking for me. I do Jah works by writing, recording and performing my music."
Often compared to Bob Marley for his songwriting and one drop style, Daddy Roots sings with conviction and strength that is reminiscent of the late and great Jamaican legend. Roots elaborates, "Bob Marley's song 'War' was great enlightenment as I walked through life. I first listened to reggae when I was four or five. It was played constantly in the neighborhood. I was born with Rasta in my heart. Rasta is my life and will always be. Rasta is the teacher, preacher and guidance when you have no guide." Just as Bob Marley and the Wailers did for us two decades ago with their timeless music, Daddy Roots hope to lead a new generation of consciousness with songs like 'Walk Away From War'. He reflects, "'Walk Away from War' was born with the full sight of vision and was a meditation. It is pertinent to our times and should be taken more seriously. Peaceful confrontation will bring about results and not death, holocaust or revolution."
Daddy Roots cannot get any closer to the Marley vibe than he is now as Anguilla's pride and joy is currently working with long-time Wailers and Steel Pulse producer, Karl Pitterson. The anticipation level is high as these Miami studio sessions promise to deliver some more classic Roots Reggae in the coming months.
A trip to Reggae's birthplace in Kingston in 2002 inspired this young singer to record with some of the genre's finest musicians. The end result of these Jamaican studio sessions can now be heard on Daddy Roots' second solo release for the PR International label entitled 'All Here Now', which was remarkably self-produced by this multi-talented singer/musician and recorded at various locations in the Caribbean and North America.
Among the golden treasures on this promising release include: 'Know Who Your Friends Are'--a song reminiscent of early Pato Banton, 'Mother's Love'--an acoustic guitar laced tribute to our maternal maker for her unconditional love, 'Bring It On'--a song demonstrating Daddy Roots' versatility both as a singer and a chatter.' Revelation'--an inspiring testimonial of spirituality, 'Keep the Faith'--a plea of undying Rasta conviction, 'All Here Now'--the title track in which Daddy Roots cries out for equality and justice, and 'Better Must Come'--the American Indian-inspired cross-cultural song portraying the hardship and plight of Native American People. Roots elaborates, "After reading about American Indian History, I was inspired to write something for the people who have suffered just as much as Black People have throughout time. Reggae is everyone's music especially those who have the ability to see goodness and the message in the music."
Sporting a spiritually-inspired robe displaying the v-ital colors of red, gold, black and green while carrying a cane resembling the rod of correction live on stage, Daddy Roots was born to perform. Best known for his memorable appearances at Moonsplash, Anguilla's answer to the now defunct Jamaican festival counterpart, Reggae Sunsplash, Daddy Roots has impressed such visiting artists as Tony Rebel and Freddie McGregor in so much that Rebel encouraged him to come to Jamaica. He professes, "I bring the message the love, respect and honor to I-manity. It is conveyed through my music whether on CD or performed live on stage. I would like those who experience Daddy Roots to view life in a different and more positive, loving and forgiving light."
The future looks bright for Daddy Roots as he embarked on his third North American tour this April in support of 'All Here Now'. The road to success has not been an easy one as Roots points out, "I advise all singers and players of instruments to never give up the fight to be heard. Today may fail you, but there is always tomorrow. I was once told that everyman who has a voice could sing so let it be heard. It's just a matter of applying yourself. My music is about love, and being humble and upright and not letting others get you down."
Although it appears that Roots may sometimes only be preaching to those converted by the Marley legacy, he strives to break new ground and open some ears and hearts to his infectious music. He concludes, "People must listen to reggae because the music is there to free your mind mentally, physically and spiritually. Reggae is the music of this dispensation and whoever listens to it with an open mind will feel the vibes of Jah's divinity within the music."