One of the fastest rising and most talented stars out of Jamaica, Chronixx, does not want to be called a reggae artist. While he does not mind that people label him a reggae artists, it is a label he himself does not accept or place upon himself.
As far as being labeled a reggae artist, the Rastafarian had this to say:
Definitely, I reject that label. But I don’t reject reggae music, that’s the thing. If people see me as a reggae artist, I don’t mind that, but within myself, I can’t accept that I’m a reggae artist. I have to accept that I’m an artist because I don’t want my creativity to ever be limited by any genre of music. Music is a limitless thing and I don’t want my music to be limited. Industries use these tags so they know how to manage artistes, but I’m not managed by any industry.
Still the artist does not deny the power of reggae and fully understands that reggae is the strongest genre of music when it comes to social commentary, fighting against oppression, and promoting equal rights and justice.
“The thing is, reggae is a way of life, and that’s what people don’t understand,” he says. “Before reggae became this globally recognized genre, it was embraced mostly in the Rastafari community; pan-Africanist people, people who were going through post-slavery. These people never had time to look in the mirror and be fascinated with themselves. It was about the mission and the cause behind the music, the things that needed to change in society. It’s much easier to keep the focus on those things when you’re here in Jamaica, living in a post-slavery society. Once you’re in the big cities in the world and you get caught up in the flashing lights of fame, sometimes you can get a little distracted. Reggae music is about wholesome living, equal rights and justice for all mankind. It’s about feeding the hungry; it’s about the elderly being taken care of and the youths of tomorrow being nurtured. I think that’s why many reggae artistes are focused on the message of the music and not the stardom.”
The artist is unfazed by the recent controversy surrounding the comments he made about President Barack Obama being a “Waste Man”.
“My success is not measured by what people think,” the soft- spoken star explains. “Popularity is relative. You have some really popular people, but there is always more to do and more people to reach before you get to that point in your life where you feel true satisfaction. People will always need a ‘sensation’ and that aspect of things is the least relevant for me. Music is the most important path.”
“You can’t really go by what people say, especially now that we’re in an era where anybody can be a critic. Anybody can jump on the Internet and write a blog about you, and that can be very harmful because in some cases, the people saying these things don’t even know anything about the music. But the love and acceptance of the music has been a wonderful thing. And that, to me, can only be a God-given gift, especially for a young, independent artiste like me.”
Despite being an unsigned artiste, Chronixx has enjoyed phenomenal success. His 2014 EP, Dread & Terrible, topped the Billboard Top Reggae Albums chart; he’s performed successful shows in Jamaica, the United States, Africa and in the United Kingdom – where he boasts a large fanbase; and excitement within the reggae fraternity reached fever pitch when, last year, he performed on ‘The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon’.