JULY 2020 ISSUE

 

A sneaky peek of just some of what is in the July 2020 issue – OUT NOW!

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Lianne La Havas

During the past decade Lianne La Havas has signed to Warner Bros, enjoyed numerous hit singles, two top five albums and charted high all over Europe; she’s played and recorded with Prince, performed at Glastonbury and the Isle of Wight Festival, and appeared more than once on Jools Holland’s TV show; she’s sold out gigs all over the place. Yet when Lianne La Havas nips out for a run in her South London neighbourhood, nobody recognizes her. And when she sings out loud to Stevie Wonder’s Joy Inside My Tears playing in her earbuds, people tend to move away, as if she’s mad. Best of all: when she tells you this, it makes her laugh…

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Buju Banton

This month’s cover star is a controversial Jamaican artist nearing his fifties, widely vilified for a song he made as a teenager and who now releases his first album in a decade after serving a lengthy prison sentence for drug related offences. Those are the bare facts, but the real story is the triumphant return of a true reggae great, whose human frailties shouldn’t be allowed to detract from songs that stand alongside the works of Marley, Tosh, Burning Spear and other iconic names from the past.
Buju Banton was just 21 when hailed as the “Voice Of Jamaica” on account of unflinching social commentaries like Deportee, How Massa God World Run,Murderer and Operation Ardent – this in addition to dancehall favourites galore such as Big It Up, Batty Rider and Love Mi Browning. Buju in those times was a force to be reckoned with, fired by the Maroon heritage in his bloodstream…

 

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Bluey

Sometime during the nineties Bluey Maunick finds himself in the studio with Stevie Wonder. The Motown legend is fulfilling a promise to lay down a harmonica solo on a remix of Change, a much-loved track from Incognito’s ’92 set Tribes Vibes & Scribes. A few group members and other eager onlookers have sneaked into the session, thinking Stevie won’t worry about those he can’t actually see – but he knows they’re there all there alright. Bluey plays the track, Stevie blows and… well, the crowd goes wild.
But not Bluey. He’s terrified. Because he knows it ain’t right. Stevie’s timing is way off. It’s almost as if he isn’t trying. But how do you tell him? He’s Stevie Wonder, for Chrissake.
“I remember, I’m sitting there thinking, ‘Why are you lot clapping? It wasn’t so good’,” recalls Bluey, clearly experiencing an echo of the horror then in his heart. “And then he asked me what I thought… ”

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Zara McFarlane

A little over a decade ago, Zara McFarlane travelled to Jamaica with her family to attend her grandmother’s funeral. Born in Britain and raised in Dagenham, Zara knew from family a fair amount about her mother’s homeland, but was unprepared for the event that she witnessed. In fact, as she now reflects on the ceremony that took place in Hanover on the North-West tip of the island when she was a teenager – the Etu dancing, the old folk rhythms she heard, the goat brought forward to feed those who had gathered – she now realizes she hadn’t properly understood what she’d been a part of on that day. But now she does. And in a roundabout way, it was a Jamaican folk tale that led her there.
Annie Palmer, dubbed ‘The White Witch of Rose Hall’’, was a 19th century plantation owner in Montego Bay, the wife [and later widow] of John Palmer, whom, according to legend, she murdered, along with two subsequent husbands and numerous male plantation slaves, later herself being murdered by a slave named ‘Takoo’…

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