Fast-rising reggae artist Tilibop, has been dazzling us for a few years now with a series of impressive releases, and this latest release “I Am Reggae” is no different. The ability to evolve artistically is critical for success and sustainability in the music industry, and Tilibop, is leveraging this already.
Be that as it may, Tilibop, holds a powerful mantra close: “do not go where the path leads, go where there is no path and blaze a trail”. His childhood amongst the turmoil in the streets of Jamaica’s August Town saw him take refuge in the world of music. It became an escape from the daily struggle but would take on an even bigger part of his life one fateful day. While singing to a friend, a stranger overheard his melodic voice and invited him to a recording session. Soon enough, Tilbop went home and wrote his first song that night.
We recently had an exclusive interview with the singer and he shared some pertinent facts worthy of note concerning his musical career and his latest single. Tilibop is an artiste you all need to watch out for as he is ready to take over the music scene with his great musical prowess. Check out the interview below and be sure to stream “I Am Reggae” beneath
SM: How would you describe Tilibop to someone who knows nothing about you and your music?
Tilibop: I am a youth from Jamaica originally. I’m from the parish of St. Mary, the rural part of Jamaica where a lot of farming and agriculture takes place. Then I went to live with my grandparents in August Town which is more of an inner city where they would call it the garrison, the ghetto, where people struggle to make ends meet you know? That’s what you hear in my music.
The harsh realities of the things we go through as people who do not have what you’d say, the education or the certificate to earn a reasonable living. My music speaks to a lot of that. My music is really geared towards, you know, people who are going through those kinds of struggles because I am from that. People who are going through that and trying to rise will listen to my music and get strength from it.
SM: What is one thing you want people to take away from your new album ‘I Am Reggae’?
Tilibop: One of the things I would like them to take away from I AM Reggae is knowledge of self. Knowledge of self is to be proud of who you are. Do you know? It’s not where you are right now that defines you. Work on your goal; stand on your purpose so I like people to hear the knowledge of self from that, you know, from the album, “I Am Reggae”.
SM: What was the most difficult part of putting this album together?
Tilibop: The most difficult thing when putting this album together was just really figuring out the way in which I could deliver the message to my people in a way in which they would over-stand it and it is not overbearing, to simplify it, you know, so it’s like a lot of thinking and processing that went into it.
SM: What is one thing that you like about reggae music that other genres don’t have that seems important to you?
Tilibop: Each genre has something to offer, but reggae music is a genre that has a message you know? It’s always coming from the heart and the way the reggae music sounds. The sound of it is like the beat of your heart. It’s that one drop you know? So when you listen to it it’s like beating with your heart so it’s connecting with the inner you. So reggae music is really soulful music you know? It’s music that speaks to the people and for the people. I wanted the album to define us, the people’s struggles of the people.
SM: How did you come up with the idea behind this project ‘I Am Reggae’?
Tilibop: Well, I wanted the album to define me you know? This album is my first album so therefore I wanted the album to define me. So, in order for that to happen I have to, you know, speak from the heart; speak about things that concern me so that whole embodiment, you know, is the name “I am reggae”. In a nutshell, because I am Jamaican, I do reggae music, and this is a great body of work deserving the title “I Am Reggae”.
SM: How did you come up with your stage name?
Tilibop: Tilibop was a name given to me while I was attending Mona High School. It wasn’t named that I took on to myself to say I was gonna name myself and I didn’t like it at first, but then I gave it a purpose as an acronym. It is spelled TILIBOP, and it stands for “Teaching Is love, Intelligence Breathes Opportunity-Prosperity”.
SM: Do you think reggae music has a role to play in the struggle against injustice and poverty amongst Jamaicans and the Black community as a whole?
Tilibop: Reggae music has an important role to play because it reminds us of the fight and the struggle of what goes on in our community that people normally would turn a blind eye to. Reggae music is music that you can’t keep down. As long as there is struggle and separation there will always be a need for reggae music. Reggae music is peace music.
It doesn’t preach violence and negativity. It’s a really positive thing that brings you one with yourself and that harmony. So reggae music is very needed in the world and it caters to the communities that need encouragement and motivation to go on.
SM: What are your thoughts on the current state of injustice and poverty amongst Jamaicans and the Black community as a whole as stated in your track “Psalm”?
Tilibop: Yes, that’s what it does. It unites people in peace, love, and harmony.