COVID-19 hasn’t been easy on anyone, especially musicians. The global pandemic put an end to performances for a long time during the worldwide lockdown. As a result, many music artists turned to pivot their roles in the music industry, finding new and innovative ways to continue to stay relevant.
Many took the opportunity to hole themselves up for weeks and months, creating new music to help ease our lonely souls. One such impressive single recently released by Mykal Rose is Glory to Jah in October 2021.
Rose is a veteran singer, having previously topped the charts in Jamaica in 2007 with the song ShootOut (Police and Thieves) produced by John John Records. He was the lead single of Black Uhuru and has been making hit songs for over forty years.
Hit songs with Black Uhura include General Penitentiary and Shine Eye Gal, which he frequently performs during his live sets. In addition, the memorable songs Sponji Reggae and Party in Session on the album “Anthem” won the Best Reggae Album Grammy in 1985.
Big Feet Records with Mykal Rose
The song Glory to Jah was inspired primarily by the global anxiety surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic that forced many locations to lockdown, including the cease of live concerts or performances for musicians. Since artists rely heavily on those types of gigs to provide income, the music industry took a big blow.
Rose states, “I watch[ed] the news every day, and my greatest concern is COVID – how it affects all aspects of life, from going to work and the rise in prices.” He knew just how to appeal to all those affected – The song lept to number one and is the first for Big Feet Records from northern California.
Rose was recruited to record with Big Feet Records by Fitzroy Francis, who was a former manager for Black Uhuru. He has formerly produced well-known artists like The Wailing Souls, Don Carlos, and Junior Reid.
Josh Harris owns Big Feet records, and he told the Jamaica Observer, “Having our first number one with Mykal Rose feels like an amazing accomplishment. Mykal Rose is an artist that I’ve long admired, and to have Big Feet Records’ first collaboration with him reach such lofty heights encourages us to explore future endeavors together.”
Glory To Jah
Rose liked knowing he was still around and able to appeal to today’s audiences with this new single. It made the number one spot on the Foundation Radio Network Chart in New York.
Keeping fresh and relevant, Rose understands the meaning of hard work and persistence. He stays true to his reggae roots with the song and reminds us of the question:
Why can’t we live, with love and harmony / With gratitude and easy way / Better than ever before / Minds running….in the wind / Everyone is / Moving / What’s going on in the world / Give Jah the praise no matter how
The song brings up the idea that we are the only ones to make the world better by not giving up and making each day start better. He brings it out, especially in the line “Great will always be great,” – it could mean that we can make our own days great, or that by putting our praise to “Jah,” as he says, will help make every day extraordinary.
Seeing the talented singer still create uplifting music at 64, music professionals and teachers at Music To Your Home share their admiration for the artist for continuing to enrich Jamaican music and adding to the delight of reggae lovers worldwide. The uplifting sound and the “pick yourself up” vibe correlate with other great reggae songs that help us feel better during challenging times, shares the Jazz guitar teacher at the academy. One that comes to mind is that of the late Bob Marley with his Three Little Birds – “don’t worry about a thing / because every little thing is gonna be alright.”
Rose said, “There’s so much going on in the world right now, and this song is an ‘upful’ and bright reminder to keep Jah first in everything we do.” It’s a message that many people can relate to and crave during this time of need. The song is a great reminder that with Jah, we are never really alone, so those who suffered during lockdown with those feelings found solace in the music.
Keep Your Head Up
The message from the single is clear: keep your head high and don’t allow the troubles of what is happening around you to tear you down as well. With faith, we can all see the light at the end of the tunnel and find peace.
Rose sometimes will do shows with others, having previously collaborated with the likes of Treson for the single Life on the Rocks, but mainly performs solo throughout the United States and Europe. With more songs like Glory To Jah on the horizon, there is always hope for a better and brighter tomorrow.