Published on August 5th, 2020 | by Rive0
Dre Island Rises Up to Offer A Beacon of Hope With “Still Remain”
One of the most refreshing voices in reggae right now is Dre Island. The Jamaican-born artist’s powerful vocals and inspirational lyrics have always acted as a balm, and even more so in these uncertain times. Previous drops, like “We Pray” featuring Popcaan and his feature on Cadenza’s “People” alongside Jorja Smith, follow the exact same ethos: providing a soundtrack that is both endearing and reflective of the realities of life’s struggles. “We rise to the top,” Dre Island sings on his massive collab with Popcaan, “cause we know what it takes.”
Building on that theme of musical and spiritual elevation, the multi-talented musician—singer, deejay, songwriter, producer, and pianist—has just released his debut album Now I Rise. The project features the aforementioned “We Pray” as well as crucial collaborations with the likes of Jesse Royal and Chronixx. “Ah mi family dem deh,” says Dre Island, who has toured Europe backed by Chronixx’s band Zincfence Redemption. A graduate of Kingston’s Calabar high school—alma mater of both Jr. Gong and Vybz Kartel—Andre Johnson aka Dre Island is a living link between the vaunted “roots revival” movement and the sound of the Jamaican streets.
But now the gifted singer, songwriter and producer has recently released his debut album, Now I Rise, giving fans a first taste with “Still Remain”. Check out the video below:
“This song is very important to me because, not only is it on my first album, it’s about everything that is happening around the world at this time…It was just so fitting that it’s the first song for me to release right before the album comes out. I use this song on the outro, too, on Now I Rise. I sing this song to give hope, to give comfort, to give a tomorrow, to give reassurance to the people out there that have been hurt by this virus. It is to let everyone know that, after all is said and done, Jah never fails. He still remains.” The accompanying visuals, directed by Fernando Hevia, is also is a cinematic treat: Dre can be seen crooning his message of faith, introspection and optimism on a backdrop of the island, telling truths about the living conditions of marginalised people with shots of them spliced in between.