If I would to highlight a roots reggae newcomer into this Millennium’s first decade, it would have to be Hawaiian born, Joshua Alo.
With a raw and uncut, 2007, debut release album, Answer your Calling; Joshua, alongside Italian tribal roots band Zion Love, brought out one of the best independent releases of that year. Produced in only two weeks, Answer Your calling was certainly a powerful moment. Answer Your Calling also revealed one of the most original younger voices in worldwide Reggae Music, as Joshua Alo’s sweet and original vocals genuinely delivering his humble, conscious and devoted messages.
After many praises for the album, both from his home island, and worldwide places like Brazil, Unites States, Belgium, Netherlands, Portugal and West Africa, Joshua returned to Hawaii in 2008 for some heavy performances throughout the islands. He then made a move to Europe where he teamed up with hard hitting musicians from Burkina Faso, Congo and Belgium, to record the new album, Orchid Unknown (Coming out next 25th February, 2011 on his independent label World SoulJah Music).
Joshua says “Orchid Unknown is an album that was a long time in the making. Many trials were endured in the 2 1/2 year long process it took to write, record and produce this album”.
Unlike his debut release, Orchid Unknown, displays a more vibrant and updated Roots Reggae feel; filled with Jazzy grooves, hard drumming, beautiful harmonies and exquisite horn arrangements, as Joshua says, ‘the music is marinated through time contrary to my first album which took only 2 weeks produce. The effects on the album are minimal and hardly any editing was done by the engineers as they adopted an old school recording method of ,”If the take is not right, do it again”, as editing the music will only minimize it’s true essence and vibe. ‘
The result is a work that truly brings joy and insight! Since the opening tune, Feel it in the Air, Joshua delivers strong messages throughout warnings and signs towards empowerment, faith, feelings, dreams and Love.
Highlights forward for his warnings about a New World Order in the amazing Senses; calls for freedom from the system and its deception in Be Free, Be True; the rockers skanking to a Rhythm So Divine, with appeals for love & strength to give all to the Lord and the single release, Keep, where Joshua moves away from the distress and sadness of life’s path, over a powerful roots rock reggae beat. (go to www.joshuaalo.com to get this free single.)
Joshua’s life and experiences are often shared in his lyrics, and one of the most beautiful of the feelings expressed comes from his past military experience: “I still render much due respect to the plight of the service members and their families as told in the track “Hold On”. A message for service members and families to persevere, amidst extremely long durations of separations and trials.”
Other highlight tune is the title track Orchid Unknown. A beautiful Roots Reggae tune where we listen to Joshua calling for the holy guidance to hold on to humanity, ‘The song resembles the holy place of the father deep down that is so buried within us, but calls out and guides us amidst all struggles, trials and tribulations in life.’
A true devotion to the Creator and Christ as stated in Psalms 146. The powers where Joshua gets his motivation are a constant presence in his words, ‘All songs in Orchid Unknown were written out of what I was experiencing. Some songs took minutes and others took 3 years to complete. But all songs were written out of inspiration’.
Finishing this all strong, 12 track intimate album, the acoustic Essence, shows us where he draws the inspiration from…The heart.
Music for open minded people and a chance for enlightenment is what Orchid Unknown offers, bringing an amazing musical effort all over great Roots Reggae influenced tunes, uplifted by Joshua Alo insights, warnings and callings for a change.
Word, Sound and Power! And no matter in what time, part of the world or language spoken, that´s what Reggae music should be all about.
“You got to know what you’re searching for,
you won’t find it, should you refuse to open your door
so step out come out, see what life is all about,
your hopes and your dreams are blocked by fear and doubt.
Don’t let that new world order control your mind.”
STARTING THE 1st MARCH UNTIL 31st – SUPPORT JOSHUA ALO MUSIC AND VOTE IN THIS YEARS ROTOTON REGGAE CONTEST EUROPE!