Mellow Vibes
12" Vinyl
November 10, 2016

Artist & tune
  • Rafeelya - Crime & Violence / Dub & Violence
  • Rafeelya - By My Side / Dub By My Side
Overall rating : (1 to 5 stars)   
Produced by Murry Man for Mellow Vibes Production and Iron Bryan, this double A-sided 12" vinyl single is the latest work of songstress/songwriter Rafeelya. For those who have never heard of Rafeelya here's a brief introduction.

As we've witnessed in the reggae business, throwbacks are a great way to get out there. And that's how it began for Boston, USA bred Raphaelia aka Rafeelya. Determination landed her first job in 1994-95 when she began hanging out in Jr. Rodigan's Vibes Records shop in Dorchester, MA. There she met DJ Wade, a well known hip hop deejay, and soon after she recorded specials for him. Jr. Rodigan's Mastermind record label soon welcomed her with the release of a cover tune called "Broken Hearted", a Brandy hit in 1996. After that opportunity, age 15, she took part in Talent Shows, Stage Shows and recorded in many studios in the Greater Boston Area. Musicians from Boston always worked together so she drew a lot of her confidence from the local talent, Lady Lee, Lavonya Bailey and Waynie Ranks to name a few. Doing background vocals became a favourite pastime and gave her the chance to work with people like Singing Sweet, Alpheus, Screechy Dan, Bunny Lye Lye, and Tenna Star. Now a resident of the UK, Rafeelya is recording with the Stingray Records label in London as well as Mellow Vibes production in Birmingham UK. For Stingray Records she recorded tunes such as the awesome "Coming Of The Father" on the mighty "Rainbow County" riddim and "Have You Ever", a big hit originally sang by R&B songstress Brandy, which she transformed into a new age Lovers anthem. Her working with Murry Man led to the release of songs like "Give Thanks For Life" and "Life So Serious". Furthermore she recorded the steppers tune "Anthem" for reggae percussionist, singer and producer Jonah Dan & Brian Thompson and "Crazy" on the 6th Street Peak" riddim for Tallis Ites.

Vocally Rafeelya has a soft, but commanding voice that as raspy as it is, pulses and touches you with every note as can be fully experienced when you listen to her two vocal cuts on this worthwhile 12" single. Besides that these songs show that she's also able to write tunes that keep you involved as she doesn't lack lyrics. "Crime & Violence" is a subtly aggressive social commentary delivered over a wicked riddim tailor-made for sound system play. A crucial message tune that goes on repeat!! Although "Dub & Violence" isn't a groundbreaking dub piece, it's worth hearing anyway. The AA side features another compelling tune entitled "By My Side". The latter is a beautiful 'praising' song, delivered in an impassionate way. Perhaps indirectly, this is a call to praise as well because you can be confident that Jah will never let you down and will always be by your side. Another Rafeelya tune well worth playing in a Roots dance. And again there's a nice dub workout to round off things in a proper way.

This is a serious platter from a female artist who deserves to be heard!