The production, the artwork, the voice. All a poignant masterpiece that is Jesse Royal's debut album Lily of The Valley. Two years after the release of his Small Axe mixtape, Royal delivers a careful 14 track record with an authentic sensibility, providing a well rounded gem for the conscious reggae lover.
Released on Easy Star Records, the album's title relates to Jesse's decadent roots, which links back to his Maroon Town lineage, and a profound attitude of self determination. "Through reasonings with a lot of wise elders and other life situations, I always knew there was a ray of hope, some sort of light at the end of the tunnel, always a positive from the negative, good and bad. So the whole concept of Lily of The Valley is really that to me, that beautiful lily in the low valley that a lot of people will probably never even see but that doesn't mean it's not beautiful," he reasons. On another note, the title also has a connection to Royal's grandmother who was choir director of his church growing up. He remembers Lily of the Valley as one of his favorite hymns during worship.
Fresh off the release of his album, Royal is currently on his Lily of The Valley tour, which started in Virginia Beach, VA and will end their 2017 run in Portland, Oregon. On November 29th Royal will join Collie Buddz, a longtime comrade, in Santa Ana, CA., where they will continue joint shows for the rest of the year.
In a recent phone interview with KingstonToLA, we wanted to know Royal's tour essentials.
"Well we travel light but we definitely need Ginger tea," Royal says jokingly. In another breath he adds, "We are citizens of the world, so wherever we go, we will have what we need," he says. "We wake up and pray and get our mind in the right place and when the opportunity presents itself we play some ball or do cardio," he adds.
"What's your favorite part about being on tour?" we ask, "The opportunity to directly connect with all of the people, supporters, well-wishers and fans, as well as to meet new people and those who get to see the live show for the first time. It's the opportunity to connect with people who have been supporting for years, who show this unconditional love." Royal who has been touring for over four years is continuously moved by the stories his fans share. Some travel miles to see him, only to turn around to drive over five or six hours home after the show. "How can you not give them all of you every single night?" he says.
Nowadays, Royal reigns as one of reggae's most passionate young lions. His lyrics met with a profound maturity beyond his time. He knows it's his gift to spread a message of inspiration to the masses. "My music in these times is just progress, also understanding that there is power in love and that love is the only thing that matters. My duty is not to preach but to awaken consciousness. It's action time in the sense that we have to do what we have to do but it's always love."
As for the response to his Lily of The Valley release Royal says, "I'm grateful for all of the love and support and we definitely have a couple more things up our sleeve."
Listen to "Always Be Around," Jesse Royal's tribute single to his one-year old daughter here on KingstonToLA:
Featured image via @jesseroyal1 on Instagram.