Making waves in Jamaican (and worldwide) reggae circles, up and coming roots reggae artist Chronixx sat down with LargeUp to discuss his music, his musical community and the Rastafari movement. Named one of Large Up’s Top 10 Artists to Watch in 2013, Chronixx has been slowly building a name for himself with energetic live performances and a Major Lazer-backed mixtape, showcasing his conscious, Jah-inspired jams. Check what he has to say below and hit the link at bottom to jump to LargeUp for the full exclusive interview.
LargeUp: How did you get started?
Chronixx: My music come from early beginnings, from childhood days. I used to sing at school, in church, and then my whole family sings. My daddy, Chronicle, caused me to be very exposed to music from a very tender age. That’s where the music started for me. Professionally now, that’s when I was in high school. I started producing. Making riddims. But the music go from then until now. When I was 15, 16 I started producing and it was a great vibe for me.
LU: And you talk about Rastafari. Can you tell me how Rastafari influences your music and then this movement in general?
Chronixx: Our day to day life is based on Rastafari teachings. Haile Selassie I teaches us about education and the importance of education. He teaches about responsibility, and the importance of acknowledging your responsibility. Haile Selassie teaches about life, the economy and these things. So our day to day life is based on these things. Health, education, for the youth. So we put this back into the music. The thing with music is that people don’t just listen to music, they feel it. So if you sing about something that is not genuine, or something that you are not living, then the people won’t feel it. Like if you sing about your big BMW and you don’t have a BMW, then that’s some fake music. But when you sing about health and strength and spirituality and Rastafari teachings and you’re living it? People feel it and they identify with your feelings and then they connect better.
LU: You say you started with producing and then moved to performing. What’s the difference between being a producer and an artist?
Chronixx: Production is mainly the behind-the-scenes part of the music. But when you check it, that’s where most of the stuff is going on. I think that’s my real passion in music—the making of the music and not just the presentation of the music. Because what the artist does is present the production, put it out to the people and then you are the face of this production. But I think being an artist is harder on a personal level.
In production you get more time to be alone with the music and more intimate. As an artist you have to present yourself in a certain way. You can’t really be yourself as an artist. You have to come up with an image—conduct good interviews [laughs]—and producers are just men in the studios [who] take time to get intimate with the music.
LU: When I first saw you perform, and in subsequent performances, you are always performing with a number of different people. Can you tell me a bit about the community that you are a part of?
Chronixx: Chronixx always represent for Jah Ova Evil. Jah Ova Evil is the movement that put me on my first stages. You know the whole live music movement with Kabaka Pyramid, Jah 9, Kelissa, Raging Fyah, Pentateuch, Nomaddz, just to name a few. There’s a whole lot of us. You have Infinite, Micah Shemaiah, a whole heap. I mean, that synergy, this new uprising of artists—the unity is what makes us unique. Because each one teach one and each one strengthen the other so it’s not like you are alone out there on this musical battlefield but it’s more like an army.
LU: When you say this is a “live music movement” here in Jamaica, how is it different, and why do you think it’s important right now?
Chronixx: When you check it, it’s not just me. It is a movement. We have all the characteristics of a movement. We still have a far way to go where unity is concerned. We are pretty much united as youths, but you can’t be too united. So we still have a far way to go with that. It sets us apart in a way in that it’s not like what people are used to in reggae music and dancehall. They are seeing artists in a united setting where we are not signed to the same labels or anything but we are friends and we are family. It’s not just a performance thing. We sit down and we hold vibe and we eat food, you see me?
LU: It sounds a little like Sugar Minott’s Youth Promotion, where the image was that people were supporting each other.
Chronixx: It’s really the 70s and 80s again. It was the same way in the 70s with Bob and all of the others. You had an uprising of artists doing Rastafari music. All of these great artists. It really takes you back to that time. And it is here again within the music because the music needs that right now. Music has its way of replenishing itself. This is one of the ways.