In a world where treasured vocalists are born, covering a legend’s classic isn’t for the weak. More so a recreation of Dennis Brown’s reggae classic– an artist once christened by Bob Marley as one of the greatest reggae singers out there. And yet Jay Douglas’ re-embodiment of “The World Is Troubled” is a timely homage to the original.
Toronto-based singer, Douglas comes full circle with this new release, since first taking on the stage in Jamaica years ago as a teenager. From that point, the JUNO-nominated and award-winning Canadian Reggae icon has found a lane in the fusion of a wide-variety American repertoire that includes Jazz, West Indian rhythm, and blues. Where he remains an underrated, multitalented, and legendary artisan.
Douglas shares what every person could wonder– recording Dennis Brown’s archetypal song.
“I’ve always been a big fan of Dennis Brown and his music,” he says. “The Crown Prince of Reggae was a kind man who would give you his last dollar if he saw you needed it. He had a great R&B style and did wonderful renditions of many Rhythm and Blues classics like Ben E. King’s “Spanish Harlem”.”
This latest single “The World Is Troubled” from Douglas is a reflection of what humanity has metamorphosed into. The singer interpolates the original song’s message of “the world is troubled, but not the people of this world.”
Especially highlighting these specific lyrics, ‘The world is troubled and living ain’t easy’. What are we doing for our grandchildren, the next generation?”
The remake features conscious artist Tasha T, who has vowed to keep targeted messages in her music. At just the 2:00 mark on the song, Toronto-based singer, Tasha readies herself to deliver powerful vocals as she sings, “I wonder if you know what is going on every day, so much to do and so much to say.” She continues to assert herself, “Let them not set us apart, the greed is tearing us apart.”
Jay Douglas reached out to Kingston-born drummer Lowell Fillmore, known by his moniker Sly Dunbar to collaborate with on the song. “He said he was on the original track,” he explains “so he got together the same guys that recorded the original.”
Douglas continues to inspire and enthrall audiences with his gift ever since debuting over 45 years ago. In “The World Is Troubled,” the continued attempt to impart imperative messages to listeners is achieved so well. The spiritedness from the musical production is felt and will motivate listeners to make a change.
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