Jonathan Emile | "Spaces In Between"
Deep into roots
Singer-songwriter Jonathan Emile, born in Quebec of Jamaican origins, delves deep into his roots with his first reggae album, Spaces-In-Between, released on Montreal record label MindPeaceLove. Spaces-In-Between stands out as the first Quebec production to be distributed by the legendary distribution company founded by Bob Marley, Tuff Gong International.
The album borrows many styles of Jamaican music, from acoustic and traditional Roots to Reggae-Pop as well as contemporary and urban Dancehall sounds, influenced by Dub and Hip-Hop.
Spaces-In-Between features 10 original compositions and was produced by well-known Montreal musician Paul Cargnello (Wesli, Lakes Of Canada, Satellites), along with his brother Christopher. Two 'pre-release' singles off the album have already been well received by media internationally: the energetic Savanna, and the gospel-folk influenced acoustic ballad Moses.
Now, with his third and most recent release Try A Likkle More, Jonathan’s versatility and creativity continue to shine. In Jonathan's words, Try A Likkle More, is a song about how time and effort equal love. In patois, “a likkle more” or “a little more”, means “see you later” or “au revoir”. In the lyrics, I play on the idea of time and love as a participatory action rather than an emotion or a passive state. Jamaica in itself is a color-filled phenomenological experience. The roots riddim with its easy skank and swaying guitar and bass are set at the speed of rural Jamaica. You can hear the one drop against the slow crash of waves. The guitar melody opens and closes the song like a story book.”
The Try A Likkle More video is an ode to the Jamaican diaspora that explores the concept of family, love and generational memory. Like Savanna and Moses, the video for Try A Likkle More was shot in Jamaica in the parish of Westmoreland, in Savanna-la-Mar (his family’s hometown) as well as in Negril, with a Canadian-Jamaican film crew. The video explores Jamaica and it’s lush abundance of the tropical island through the directors' lens with vivid colors and brightness as he captures all of its beautiful memories, having the magic of love displayed in every shot. This is what carefree Negril looks like.
In the video, a young couple visits Jamaica as tourists who are familiar with the landscape. This is juxtaposed with the storyline of an elder showing her granddaughter how to make the traditional national dish of ackee and saltfish. Food is used as a cultural connection point. The careful ritual associated with cooking allows us to transport our cultures to different places and through time itself. “Try A Likkle More is true reggae, vibrant and chill, energized and reminiscent. It’s familiar and new all at once.” Jonathan explains.
Born in Montreal to a Jamaican mother, Jonathan Emile speaks French, English, and Patois. He made his debut in a hip-hop mode, with a debut album featuring notable contributions by Kendrick Lamar, Buckshot and Murs. A strong reggae flavor could already be felt on the album. “My parents introduced me to a little of everything, from Public Enemy to Richard Desjardins and Ella Fitzgerald. Reggae music was always present in our home: it is soothing, spiritual and revolutionary. It’s always in resonance with my soul”, explains the artist.
Jonathan’s most recent accolades for his latest single Moses, a pre-release from the album Spaces-In-Between, included numerous streaming playlist adds (Earmilk, Filzik, Bubzine, Girl Underground, That Eric Alper, Discover Weekly, Exodus, Neptis, The Vinyl Chapters and so many more) plus radio play from around the world including France, Russia USA, Ireland, Germany and more.