Even before I met him, I was a fan. I first heard his summer hit ‘Hold yuh’ on the radio whilst speeding to the airport to catch a flight. As soon as the hypnotic beats hit the airwaves and boomed into my Nissan Versa, I literally had to restrain myself from parking my car in the middle of I-95 North, to fully enjoy this reggae experience. The next day, I spent hours learning about the Reggae artiste called Gyptian whose music nearly caused a highway pile up.
With this backdrop in mind, imagine my excitement when on August 1st, I saw Gyptian perform live at the Irie Music Festival in Toronto. The festival had an eclectic line up of afro-carribean performers such as the Harambee Dance Group who entertained the crowd to rythms and moves from the diaspora. But the most anticipated show of the night was Gyptian’s performance. When Gyptian finally took to the stage, the crowd erupted as he sang and gyrated to his own tunes. Like true fans, they belted out the words to everyone single song and screamed for an encore when the show was over.
I was slated to have an interview with Gyptian after the performance, but the fans took over. The lineup for him to sign CDs was so long that my interview had to postponed to the next day at his hotel. The fortunate part of that was I was able to have a more substantive conversation than I would have had on the concert grounds. Freshly bathed and wearing a pair of blue jeans and a red T-shirt, we got acquainted on a hotel couch surrounded by other members of the media. He talked openly about how the domestic turmoil he saw growing up inspired him to write the song ‘Mama don’t cry no more’. He spoke of his music being inspired by his Christian mother and his Rastafarian father. He was calm but candid, and I left hotel with the sense that neither the success of his self titled album Gyptian, nor the fans flocking to his worldwide tour has affected this talented and sexy Rasta. The album is in stores now so get a copy of ‘Gyptian ‘ and feel the reggae experience.