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Dad’s work be done

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Dad’s work be done

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THE RESPECT for her father’s work and contribution to music and integration of Blacks into Europe and Africa is no secret, but Roli Roachford has decided to pay homage in song.
Roli is the only one of John Roachford’s offspring to follow in his footsteps, and she and her band Jah Works Crew have dedicated the new single Secrets to her father, who is currently hospitalised with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.
Roachford returned home with his family from Scandanavia in the 1980s and would later form the band Eden. Albert Speedo Olton, who is currently in Jah Works Crew, was also a member of Eden, along with the likes of Carol George, Michael Cheeseman and Michael Smasher Cadogan.
Roli said Jah Works Crew’s thrust was to get people to respect the earth and each other. The group is made up of Roli, her husband Mark Istawah Hinds and Speedo on vocals/guitar and the musicians.
Secrets, one of several tracks on the band’s upcoming album, is already at the radio stations and is expected to be aired soon.
Roli said her dad’s illness was a catalyst for her to produce music, and “it was like a clock ticking for me to continue the message and what he was doing, like it is flowing through my blood, this musical rhythm thing that I just have this need to express”.
“I started doing a little music with Daddy and everything. Then I met my husband at 19 and he is Istawah, a Rastaman, who takes family very seriously. Where your queen is not to be out and about if you have children.
“So I did the responsible thing, which I am very thankful for because you don’t get back those years with your youts . . . . Our oldest is 16, so at this point now, we are ready to be able to share the message with the people,” Roli explained.
“At this point, both of us have gone into our spiritual growth, where we can spread the message without wanting anything. I don’t want anything. I want people to feel good,” the horse trainer added.
Roli says she feels like there is a musical surge in Barbados at the moment, which she attributed to DJs letting go and playing the music.
“They didn’t want to push local music up until a few years ago, when Ronnie Morris started giving an award to DJs for playing local music,” Roli declared.
Outlining some of the difficulties artistes experienced with getting their music played a few years ago, Roli said she thanked God that “this whole wheel has been lifted”.
“The only way your song becomes loved by the public is if the public hears it . . . . Push our local music. At the end of the day, when we sell music we bring back money here to our island. So we can’t keep on pushing America and Jamaica, and then quarrelling about the fact that our children are getting on wild, because you playing wild music. It’s a time and place for everything. There is a time for Bajan music,” Roli said.
Prior to Secrets, Roli said she was doing a lot of jazz fusion, which was largely because she was unable to ride the riddim.
“As I have let my spirit out, I have now become in tune with my rhythm spirit. So reggae is my thing now, and reggae was my father’s thing as a Rastaman. So at this point, this song is a tribute to him . . . .
“My whole musical journey has a deeper purpose now, where I will be doing it for the ancestors that he did it for,” she explained.
Jah Works Crew performs at small private functions, but Roli said the band was ready to do bigger events now. And, she wants promoters to give locals acts a longer time to perform when they are hired for shows.