Empress Akua releases “Gwaan (Dutty Babylon)”
Empress Akua releases “Gwaan (Dutty Babylon)”.
Empress Akua comes with a roots & culture message in the form of a cautionary tale in “Gwaan (Dutty Babylon)”, a single produced by Jah Eye. The song is a follow up to her July 2017 single “It’s Cold Out There”. A heavy bass line sounds the alarm for Empress Akua to invoke a command delivered in Jamaican patois to “gwaan” or go on to the symbolic Babylon, “you can go, but you can’t hide.”
The inspiration for the song’s message, sung with the artist’s Soul and African-influenced vibrato phrasing comes from her self-identity. Empress Akua explains “As a woman I feel that it is my duty and as a lover of JAH and all livities that promotes joy, love, healthy living, the opposite of oppression. There is so much going on in this world today it looks like Babylon is winning and there are so many people that have lost hope that just don’t believe things will change, it’s not going to get better. I almost fell into that, I found myself getting weak, so that is what moved me to write the song, to let people know that ‘Babylon’ you will have your day, because Babylon is a state of mind, its just wickedness and everything evil. It made me stronger, it made me feel better.”
As for the production on the track, Empress Akua recorded in collaboration with Los Angeles-based producer Jah Eye at Unity Works in Los Angeles where the artist is based. Scorching lead guitar by Mark Tyson, deep roots bass and binghi drumming by Haile Maskel, live drums by Carlton “Santa” Davis, percussion & bubbling keyboards by Jah Eye with multi layered harmonies and vintage recording techniques that answer the lead vocal’s command to shut down the evil forces. Empress Akua explains her songwriting style of listening to rhythmic concepts and gaining inspiration this way, “I ride bass and I love heavy bass, I am a self-proclaimed ‘bass head’. I was raised from when I was a teen around musicians like bassist Haile Maskel (The Rastafarians) back in the day, he played all this heavy bass, I am influenced by this aspect of roots reggae – heavy bass lines in my songwriting.”
“Gwaan (Dutty Babylon)” is released by the Issachar Muzik label and is distributed byTuff Gong International, the iconic label and distribution company founded by the late Bob Marley in Jamaica. The founder of Issachar Muzik, Kingston native Jah Lloyd “Issachar” Shaw, releases new material from roots reggae artists and material that has not been available digitally including unreleased tracks and surprises.