I-tru-jah : Almighty Lyrically Part 3
“I was among mostly black children from inner-city communities. The majority of my teachers were white, but this didn’t bother me. My intention was not about race, it was about getting a good education.”
“My favourite subject was still English. It gave me the opportunity to express myself. In addition, it was an asset for anyone who wants to write good lyrics.”
“My friends were genuine. They were also schoolmates who were interested in music, like myself.”
“They included Anthony Cruz. He was living in Queens and was an upcoming singjay. I found him to be a bit on the shy side. I was about a year ahead of him in school.”
“We would cut (leave) school and go to Day Jam. This was an entertainment event held in the Queens area. It attracted a lot of sound systems and young up-coming artistes could get a chance to rap, deejay or sing on these sounds.”
“My favourite song was an original one called “Black Woman.” This was a true story about a black girlfriend I had who gave me a lot of energy.”
“There were a lot of Jamaican artistes who came here to perform, like The Mighty Diamonds. They would visit Demus who had a sound system back then. And all of them would chill out and hold a vibes. Other artistes included White Mice, Sister Nancy, Yami Bolo, and Junior Reid.”
I-tru-jah had his first taste of a recording studio when he visited Hill Top Recording Studio in Brooklyn. There he recorded “Foreign So Bad” – a song with a chorus and three verses.
“I certainly loved the feeling of being inside a studio with all the equipment and the engineer giving me the chance to learn about recording and learning production. I now know about eight bars being in a verse and that a complete song last about three minutes.”
“I went to Johnny Delano, my cousin, who has his own studio. There, I learnt to operate the control board and how to start mixing songs. This improved my overall delivery when performing on stage.”
Next: I-tru-jah and the Hype at Madison Square Garden. Only on the Reggae-Vibes site.
(Photos courtesy of Tennyson Johnson aka I-tru-jah)