Jamaican Roots Reggae Singer Trudii Harrison throws her activist heart into True Story

Jamaican Roots Reggae Singer Trudii Harrison
FYC Best Reggae Album, 64th Grammy Awards

[KINGSTON, Jamaica] – Roots reggae singer Trudii Harrison was at home watching one of the most horrific incidents of 2020 when music producer Cliff Manswell sent her a draft for the new project he was working on.

Hailing from the rural Jamaican parish of St Ann, Harrison began singing in competitions as a child. She later pursued her love of music working in Jamaica’s hotel and tourism sector as a band singer since 2012 and cabaret performer since 2013. She met Manswell through a mutual friend and after hearing rough versions of her work. The Trinidadian bass player and producer was keen to record songs with her.

Manswell’s draft had a ‘One Drop’ reggae feel that appealed to her and made it easy for Harrison to translate her passionate thoughts into lyrics.  From studying  the music of diverse influences from reggae stalwarts Marcia Griffiths and Dawn Penn to mainstream pop singers Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston, she’s become adept at quickly penning new songs in a variety of roots styles. In a matter of two days after Manswell sent that draft to her, she penned the lyrics, did the studio time, and- to his surprise and delight- returned the fully realized recorded piece back to Manswell.

It had become Black Voice, the first single from True Story, an 11-track album released August 13, 2021 on CKM Infinity Studio.

Death of George Floyd

“When I received the rhythm I was actually watching the video of George Floyd. I was heartbroken and felt like I had to play my part to get the word out that enough is enough and black lives matter,” Harrison said. Like millions around the world, Harrison was shocked by the brutal nature of Floyd’s death. Floyd, a black man, was suffocated when a white police officer knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes while three of his colleagues watched on May 25 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The incident sparked global protests led by groups like Black Lives Matter, throughout major cities in the United States, United Kingdom, Europe and Asia.

Trudii’s activism has been kindled by the outrage stemming from the news that none of the three officers involved in the death of Louisville medical worker Breonna Taylor was charged with her killing, and she is calling for more music that voices the struggles of black people.

“We need more black artists to stand up against issues like racism and police brutality,” Harrison told The Star in 2020. “Although a lot of the cases we have been seeing of late are happening in the US, it is real, and issues relating to police brutality are very common in Jamaica.”


South Florida Caribbean News

The SFLCN.com Team provides news and information for the Caribbean-American community in South Florida and beyond.

Related Articles

Back to top button