By Suelika N. Buchanan
Julian Simmons a.k.a. Falasha out of Aruba launched his album recently at the Arts Arise “Positive Vibes” event held at the Oasis Café, at Frigate Bay Friday September 30th.
Simmons released his “Cultivate Your Mind” album which was produced locally by Jazzique Chiverton of Ball-A-Karn Productions while the music was done by Simmons and The 3rd Eye Band.
Simmons and the band performed live for about an hour and a half, singing songs that he said were written to simply ‘cultivate the minds’ of his listeners.
“The message in my music is basically saying to cultivate your mind, educate yourself for a higher purpose in life,” he said in an interview.
Simmons, a Rastafarian by religion said that music found him while in high school where he would perform for shows.
“When I first began singing at the time I was soul searching, I also began growing locks at that time and learning the ways of Rasta, so my inspiration for singing came from learning about Rastafari,” he said.
And it is no surprise that this root singer’s music is strictly conscious, reggae tunes that comes with a twist of ballad and R&B.
His album features 14 tracks including Cultivate Your Mind, Dance to the Reggae, Earth Heaven, Faya Faya, Free up your mind, Guided I an I, Righteous Melody, Justice, Reggae Sound System. Rise up African Children, Time, Oh Armelle and Where you can go, Serve your purpose are all music on the album.
The album is made up of rock steady dancing tunes that speak of where heaven is, fighting for Rastafari, asking God for guidance, freeing one’s mind, African people rising up and more.
In the interlude for the first track, Simmons chants, “Your mind is like a garden if you don’t check it, it will grow weeds, be careful of the things you are thinking, evil meditation will make the mind bleed… cultivate your mind, we living in a serious.”
Earth Heaven suggests where all Rastas believe in their paradise is, “earth heaven is in Africa, earth heaven is in Ethiopia”.
Guiding ‘I an I into tomorrow is track number six while track ten encourages African children to rise up, singing, “…wake up the time is now, rise up, we got to know our true identity, free up the mental change…”
“Oh Armelle” is recognizing the hard work of singles mother who struggle to keep their children alive, while track eleven entitled ‘Time’ says… “They leading the innocent youth astray time catching up on them.”
The 31-year-old Simmons, first received links with the Federation when he traveled to St. Kitts about seven years ago, from Aruba and met with Chiverton who also introduced him to Masud Sadiki of St. Kitts.
Sadiki describes Simmons as a positive brother who co-wrote and was featured in Sadiki’s first album hit “A Wonder How”.
“He has good vocal ability and is also a good writer,” Sadiki said of Simmons.
People for the first time witnessed the live performance of Sadiki and Simmons at his album launch when they performed together.
Simmons told The Observer ‘the vibe’ and his love for St. Kitts is why he chose to have the album release party here and was thankful to Arts Arise for having him.
The evening began with the regular poetry reading, freestyling and performances by Samal Duggins of Loop Stormz Entertainment, Sankofa Lion and Kalashka.
Arts Arise is in association with the Department of Culture and is the brainchild of Rodney Browne and Laurent Fough and is made up of five other members namely Unoma Allen, Michelina Mills, Gavin Skerrit and Marsha Henderson.