Mass Appeal Magazine Names Reggae Recording Artist Dre Island on "16 Artists to Watch in 2016"
A graduate of Kingston’s Calabar high school—alma mater of both Jr. Gong and Vybz Kartel—reggae/dancehall producer turned performer Dre Island is emerging as a living link between the vaunted “roots revival” movement and the sound of the Jamaican streets.
“The revival is really within the people. Reggae music never stop. Reggae artists always been touring.
So it’s just the people’s awareness.” From his first mixtape, Rastafari Way, to recent hits like “M16”—taken from his forthcoming Now I Rise project—Dre Island’s lyrical attack has been both hard and heartical, streetwise and sensible.
He’s cool with Popcaan’s Unruly Gang—appearing in the video for “Rup Rup (Bad Inna Real Life)” but he has also toured Europe with Chronixx and recently collabed with UK singer Tom Prior on The Brixton Soup Kitchen EP, to benefit a British charity for the homeless.
“An island is a small land mass surrounded by water,” he reasons. “But if you read further it’s also a place where you go to find yourself.”
– Rob Kenner