Survivalist

The Art of Survival (Mastermind Records)

Survivalist CD release party, with Istan Black & the Sweets, Carlos Jones, and others Beachland Ballroom Saturday, August 16
If any Clevelander stands the chance of breaking into the international reggae market, it's Survivalist. The Jamaican-born sing-jay is young and charismatic, and he crafts a killer tune. The Art of Survival, his second full-length release, is one of Cleveland's best reggae albums.

Survivalist's commanding vocal presence stands out front, most notably on the urgent chanting of "Feeling Irie." Other straight-ahead gems like "Hey Now" and the disc-opening "King of Kings" use odd rhythms and unusually placed drumbeats while still reflecting the singer's passion for traditional reggae, resulting in a masterful blend of contemporary roots and pure dancehall. Ultra-mellow cuts such as "Woman You're a Star" and "In Love With a Stranger" successfully fuse Jamaican sounds with modern R&B, aided by subtle guitar playing.

Survivalist is moving reggae forward, while many better-known artists stick with the tried-and-true. Eventually, they'll be left behind by the major talent blossoming here.

Scroll to read more Local Music articles
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.

Newsletters

Join Cleveland Scene Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.