Mr. Courtney John is set to release his most recent international album called, ‘The Future’ at the end of January 2013 on the FiWi Music Label. According to the Official Courtney John Project Facebook Page it is described as an audio journey; one part Kingston mash up, one part euro-electronica & 100% provocative in its approach to contemporary music. It is a collaboration alongside 2004 ASCAP songwriter of the year and Grammy award winning Singer Songwriter and Musician, Steven ‘Lenky’ Marsden and long term female super producer ‘The Wizard’ who is accredited with producing work for the likes of Nelly Furtado, Michael Franti and Courtney’s Uncle, Mr. Beres Hammond.
By way of a telephone conversation he begins giving some background on the current project. Courtney says: ‘We have created a new genre of music called Roots-Tronic, it’s a platform to experiment with our music.’ Referring to the evolution of Jamaican music, he doesn’t think music should limit its traditional sound capabilities, he feels strongly about the importance of roots reggae music and its fusion within other genres. This is a very unorthodox project and as the Courtney John Project we have had to let go of inhibitions with our music, you have to understand the economics.’
He gives the impression that to him music is music and should be regarded as such, not limited by the categorizations of the respective genre. He as a solo artist was often regarded as a purely Jamaican lovers rock style singer. Although he carry’s his lovers style vocals with him, this realization just allows himself and his colleagues a platform to showcase the potential for a new and ever evolving genre which refers to the great traditions of roots reggae. He says look at the great work of Bob Marley and others who have placed our genre on the international stage. Musically, Reggae can stand up to anything out there without compromise. The Courtney John Project is looking to continue to develop the work internationally with other producers so that it can follow in the footsteps of its predecessors.
The sounds on the new Roots tronic genre could be compared to UK artists such as Tricky, Massive attack and Portishead. Courtney says that he relates it to the Dub era and although ‘ there are elements of Dubstep, not fully identifiable, he is humbled every time to be associated with these comparisons. We are not making a conscious effort to cash in on the dub-step sound, but respect its association. Musically it is solid and at some point we have realized that we have stepped outside our comfort zone, it’s just a natural progression for me. Many of us Jamaican artists are classically trained in our traditional styles. We realize the importance of our image so that it does not deflect from our ability to reference our back catalog, I will always continue to make core reggae albums, but for now this is what we’re focusing on.’ How the Courtney John Project will evolve is yet to be seen, but what is undoubtedly true about its uniqueness is their ability to be creative, we await to see what the future holds for the Courtney John Project in 2013.