Santa Cruz Good Times

Sunday
Mar 01st
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

The Spice of Life

muaic_RichieSpiceFrom rural Jamaica to Santa Cruz, reggae sensation Richie Spice spreads Rasta love

There’s a cool Jamaican breeze blowing through Richie Spice’s Patois-woven conversation as he tends to his garden, which sprawls out to farmland in the hills above Kingston. A farmer, devout Rasta, and singer-songwriter, who is embraced for his distinct voice and roots reggae music, Spice exemplifies the humility and faithfulness rooted in his latest album, Book of Job. Though, his road from the Jamaican countryside to world tours has not been an easy one.

Unlike many of his compatriots in the music scene who were raised in the Kingston capitol, such as Sizzla and Beenie Man, Spice grew up in a rural area called Rock Hall, in St. Andrew Parish, Jamaica. “Life was more of a natural vibration, living on a farm in a family of 11 siblings,” says Spice. “It came with a rhythm less hectic than a city like Kingston.”

 

During his lifetime, Bob Marley would always remark that his childhood in the Jamaican countryside taught him patience and the value of hard work. The same could be said about Spice with his calm demeanor, music, and organic vegetables basking in the Caribbean sun.

As a boy growing up in the golden age of reggae music, Spice recalls that although his family members were devoted Christians, he found himself embracing the Rastafarian faith, with a deep respect for the message of Rasta elders, like Peter Tosh and Burning Spear. For those unfamiliar, the Book of Job, found within the Old Testament of the Bible, is the cornerstone scripture of the Rastafarian faith.

“Book of Job is like a special breath of air to me,” Spice says of his latest effort. “It’s a testament to faith and perseverance—a man who lost it all, to gain it all in return. I can relate to that meditation in my work as a musician.”

Music hasn’t always come as easily to Spice. His passion for the reggae genre developed during his childhood, when one of his brothers, who worked at a local radio station, would come home every Sunday with a batch of freshly pressed reggae music for the family turntable. But his first tryout to sing in a studio was a failure. It took several attempts and steady vocal discipline to attain the earthy sound that has made him a household name today.

In the ’90s, as the Jamaican youth began to favor a more modernized dancehall scene filled with DJs and computerized beats that kept the bass and rhythm of reggae, but dropped the harmonies, Spice fused the dancehall and roots reggae genres into something new and meaningful. He held on to the one-love message of Rasta, added live instrumentation, and embellished his songs with textured chanting or “singjay.”

On Book of Job, Spice preaches the idea of global unity through his lyrics. “There are songs to uplift the youth and keep them strong-minded in this time,” explains Spice. “There are those that pay respect to women, especially African women, [and encourage them] to have self-love. There is also a tribute to the fathers out there. There are too many songs that only diss the fathers, though so many are doing a great job.”

He plans to spread those positive vibes to Santa Cruz Saturday, when he stops by Moe’s Alley. Asked what he hopes listeners will take away from his music, he says, “Righteousness covers the Earth like water covers the sea. That means greed and wickedness is self-destructive, but you flourish if you hold to the root of righteousness and love.”

 


Richie Spice performs at 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, at Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. Tickets are $22/adv, $25/door. 479-1854.

 

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Green Swell

Local surfboard company greens up the industry with an eco-conscious business model

 

Two Fish Bound by a Golden Cord

Until March 20, (Spring Equinox), Earth and her kingdoms (mineral, plant, animal, human) experience the influence of Pisces, sign of the World Savior. Whereas the task of Aquarius is as world server, the Pisces task is saving the world—tasks given to the two fishes. Pisces never really enters matter, and as the last sign of the zodiac includes all the signs. During Pisces, having gathered all the gifts of the previous 11 signs, it is a good time to prepare for new initiating plans when Aries (sign of beginnings) begins. No wonder Pisces, like Scorpio, is so difficult (both are ruled by Pluto, planet of death, new life, regeneration, transformations). Both signs (with Scorpio drowning in dark and deep waters) find life on Earth a hardship, disorienting (from the spiritual perspective), at times feeling betrayed. Life is a paradox, especially for Pisces. Each zodiacal sign represents and distributes a different phase and facet (12) of the Soul’s diamond light, Pisces is the “Light of Life itself, ending forever the darkness of matter.” It takes two fish to complete this work (creating eventually an extraordinary human being). One fish turned toward the material world (in order to understand matter), the other fish toward the heavenly world. Around the two fish is a silvery cord binding them together. The two fish are forever bound until all of humanity is redeemed (lifted up into the Light). This is the dedication of all world saviors (Buddha, Christ, the NGWS). Thus the sacrifice and suffering experienced by Pisces. Knowing these things about Pisces, let us help them all we can. Sometimes all of humanity is Pisces.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Seal Change

Celtic selkie lore comes alive in dazzling ‘Song of the Sea’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Teresa’s Gourmet Foods

New owners for Santa Cruz’s leading local salsa company

 

What defines a good dive bar?

It’s slightly dirty, and they serve cheap drinks. Stella Celeste, Santa Cruz, Barrista

 

Picchetti Winery

After enjoying its contents, I couldn’t throw away the empty bottle of Picchetti Winery’s Red Table Wine.

 

Happy Birthday, Manny

Manuel’s turns 50, farmers market steel head pairs with Pinot, and a Birichino Malvasia