From as far back as June, Spragga Benz has been teasing his latest musical project, shrewdly entitled ‘The Journey Chosen.’ As the nimble dancehall hitmaker gears up for its September 28 release, he shared the creative process behind his ninth studio effort and more in a recent interview with The Sunday Gleaner.
Undaunted by the global downturn and the damper on the entertainment sector, Spragga is forging ahead after last year’s album, Chiliagon. The latter debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Reggae Album charts, and was a fascinating, multi-faceted experience for his fans after a nearly ten-year hiatus.
The Journey Chosen promises to be equally as satisfying, with enviable assists from Konshens, Kymani Marley, Kranium, and Wayne Wonder. The pensive lyricist has also included a moving tribute to his slain son Carlton ‘Carlyle’ Grant Jr called “Never Leave”. Acknowledging his initial grief following his tragic passing, Spragga Benz née Carlton Errington Grant, let on that returning to his music was a means of catharsis.
“The process of creating this album was natural. While working on Never Leave, I got to hear other rhythms. The increase in tempo of the music nowadays, like life, is natural. People want to move with the new age but I nah leave out the roots, I am trying to introduce them to consistency,” said Grant.
The eleven-track album is another gripping blend of sharp-witted grit and gratitude that Grant has pulled off effortlessly in his thirty-year career. His delivery has always offered him an edge, even as a crossover actor, and he spoke briefly on the impact of COVID-19 on his plans for promotion and distribution.
“We just trying to adjust to the new changes, be more independent. We just can’t connect [with the people], they’re not there. While I can stand on my own foot, with a live audience it’s much better because of the energy we feed off each other. Some songs don’t come across with the right emotion on a TV or phone screen. Me and the band was just having this conversation. So who knows? We might do a live stream, invite all the artistes and perform the album,” he said.
His Instagram page is also providing a major boost in that regard, and the Good Day deejay has been dropping hints all summer long. “The Journey Chosen was the making of an authentic dancehall /reggae/hip hop album without too much of the sex, violence or preaching.. yet very sexy, very conscious and very gangsta,” he wrote, promising personal phone calls for the first five fans to DM him proof of their pre-order.
As the industry grapples with 2020 and the loss of quite a few legends, fans can now close out the year with this dose of musical therapy. Grant is such a visionary, that he named his last album Chiliagon based on a 1,000-sided polygon that symbolises contemplation and meditation. Given all he’s learned since then and seen in these tumultuous times, we can certainly expect no less than artful analysis, solace and upful vibes as only the veteran could verbalize.