Abja is a multi-talented singer, singjay, songwriter, and producer
hailing from St. Croix in the Virgin Islands. While Inna Red I Hour is Abja's first full-length
release, he has been polishing his studio skills and sharing his gifts with audiences in NYC for
several years, as a former vocalist and producer with the Survival Soundz crew out of Brooklyn.
Abja also appeared on I Grade Records, first compilation album, Weep Not, released in November,
2002. His tune , "Crucial Confessions," received widespread acclaim and radio play
throughout the US, Caribbean and Europe.
Abja continues to redefine the meaning of Rebel Music and erase the boundaries placed on true
reggae. Abja creates music that lifts the spirit and the mind. His voice possesses the qualities
necessary to convey emotions ranging from love to revolution. Rebel Music is the focus, and
freedom and upliftment of African people is the mission.
"I sing songs of rebel harmony to balance me and help me break these mental and societal
chains. With love everything is possible. With love, life isn't an obstacle. The art form of music
is a communication device, which can send good, or bad, frequencies through the air waves.
Therefore, it is important for us to create original, positive music to shine or reflect onto a
suffering nation. Rhythm: balance in life, natural progression that correlates with equality.
Through the guidance of the Most High, Jah Rastafari, my spirit is as free as a song roaming
around as echoes in your head, an ever rising crescent."
Abja is a powerful performer whose spirit and energy transmits to everyone around him. He sings
with a strength of purpose, with a dynamic and confident, yet humble, stage presence. Performing
with his backing band, Blackfoot, Abja has graced the stage at numerous venues around NYC,
including the world famous SOB's in Manhattan. Upcoming tours are in the works to bring Abja's
messages to audiences across the country and around the world.
A sophomore album is always a
tricky proposition, since its nature is such that it
will invariably be compared to the album before it, and
the sound will invariably not be quite as fresh the
second time around. And while Abja's second album,
Mahogany Road, may not be quite as fresh for this
reason, it manages to avoid the sophomore slump. In
fact, it runs all over the sophomore slump with
boundless energy, pointed lyrics, and the type of rich
roots music we've come to expect from Laurent "Tippy"
Alfred, Tuff Lion, and the rest of the gang at I Grade
I sThe I Grade crew continues its trod forward with its
summer releases. Producer, singjay, and I Grade staple
Abja is certainly in lock step with this crew’s cadence.
Mahogany Road is his follow up to Inna Red I Hour in
2003. The key I Grade
musicians perform on this sophomore effort: Laurent
“Tippy I” Alfred; his brother and bassie Kenyatta Itola;
drummers Astor Campbell and T Rock Davis, who toured
with the Red I Band this past spring; and guitsie/multi-instrumentalist
Tuff Lion. The Million7 Horns composed of Balboa Becker,
Joel Berhman, and Barret Cobses add another aural layer
to several tracks. If you made it to one of the I Grade
Trilogy shows in Northern California this past spring,
you’ll recognize the vibe.
Abja's tune "Crucial Confessions" (included on I
Grade Records' first compilation album, "Weep Not",
released in 2002) provided a glimpse of the unique
talent of this artist hailing from St. Croix in the
Virgin Islands. With "Inna Red I Hour" -- his first
full-length release -- he delivered a much promising and
powerful collection of tunes, which brought him to the
attention of (V.I.) roots followers around the world.
Now here's Abja's long-awaited sophomore CD "Mahogany
Road", which not only reaffirms that he's one of the
most promising new conscious artists, but this set also
fully lives up to expectations raised by Abja's debut
album. While listening to Abja's new album it's obvious
that he has made a natural progression and thus has
taken his musical efforts to the next (higher) level.
Amis du ‘New Roots’
réjouissez-vous car cette petite plaque va vous plonger
dans un état de confiance absolu. Confiance en l’avenir
du reggae authentique mais qui n’hésite pas à s’ouvrir
aux ambiances jadis révélées par des artistes tels que
Steel Pulse ou I Jah Man …Définitivement inspiré de ses
aînés, Abja réussit à introduire dans ce reggae là des
éléments de blues, jazz et hip hop.
Take a ride down Mahogany
Road with one of the VI's most unique and talented
artists. On this - his second full length album - Abja
takes his rootical singing and chanting to a new level
of intensity and originality with soon-to-be classic
tunes like "One Shot", "Dangerzone" and the massive
title track, "Mahogany Road." Also featured are two big
combination tunes, one with label-mate NiyoRah and
another with Sound VIzion's Ras Attitude.
Abja’s Mahogany Road is
another I-Grade production outta Christiansted, St.
Croix, USVI. Released in 2006 the album showcases
another great roots reggae talent from the island that
continues to blaze a new fya of consciousness. Mahogany
road pays tribute to the largest island in the Virgin
islands. On the western end of St. Croix rising 1096'
above sea level is Blue mountain where a lush rain
forest of saman, tibet and mahogany trees grow.
Inna Red I Hour Reviews
OK, I'm moving to St. Croix,
obviously THE hotbed of modern roots music, and I-Grade
Records is at the forefront. They strike gold again with
Abja's debut release, "Inna Red I Hour." Abja is a
multi-talented songwriter/singer/singjay that we got a
taste of with his song "Crucial Confessions" on the
"Weep Not" compilation CD, and the talents that we got a
hint of then are in full force here. Every single song
features heartical lyrics and tight riddims using mostly
live instruments, including the talents of some of the
island's finest such as guitarist Tuff Lion.
I Grade Records is steadily
becoming the modern, scaled-down version of Studio One
in the ‘60s/‘70s or Island Records in the ‘70s and early
‘80s. That is, it’s establishing itself as a stamp of
quality, as a dependable source for quality reggae in a
market increasingly flooded by half-hearted fly-by-night
labels and mega-labels whose next by-the-numbers release
sounds just like their last. You hardly even have to
listen to an I Grade production to know that you’re in
good hands. -
I see the return address on the package from I Grade
Records, I think as I open it, "What a perfect birthday
present to myself- a new Midnite CD to listen to!" And
what a cool title, "Inna Red I Hour." I was already
excited as I cued it up. Oh but wait, that's not
Midnite's Vaughn Benjamin that I hear. I look at the CD
again and there in dark red letters blending in is the
artist's name: Abja ... mmm, nice voice. Sounds like old
roots reggae, but not.
The cd "Inna Red I Hour" is the promising and
powerful debut album by Abja. He's a a multi-talented
singer, singjay, songwriter, and producer hailing from
St. Croix in the Virgin Islands. From there Laurent
“Tippy” Alfred runs his renown I Grade Records label,
and the latest branch, Abja is destined to make an
excellent impression on the (roots) reggae massive with
his debut set.
Abja est un multi-talentueux :
chanteur, compositeur et producteur venant de St Croix,
Virgin Islands. Avant "Inna
Red I Hour" qui est sa première réalisation
intégrale, il travailla activement sur ses compétences
en studio et fût quelques concerts à NYC pendant
plusieurs années en se formant au niveau vocal ainsi
qu'en tant que producteur avec "The Survival Soundz
Abja es otro de los grandes
ídolos musicales de la isla vecina, Santa Cruz. Su disco
bajo el sello I Grade Records cuenta con la ejecución
instrumental de los legendarios músicos Kenyatta, Tuff
Lion y Tippy, entre otros. El estilo de este artista
podemos clasificarlo como reggae rústico con altos
elementos de dancehall y hip hop. Sus letras se basan en
crítica social, creencia Rasta y un poco de