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I’ll keep delivering my message until Nigeria wakes up –Rex Suru, reggae artiste

4 months ago | 91


Rex Suru
Nexim
NCC

SINGER, songwriter and composer, Rex Suru is one of a kind and first among equals.

At a time when most people think reggae is on the retreat with the passage of legendary reggae artistes like Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Majek Fashek and Ras Kimono, Suru continues to passionately stick with the genre. But then, for him, it has paid off!

According to Suru, his roots reggae, a fusion of West African rhythmic Afro and Jamaican Ska, promotes spiritual, political and social themes. “It can be emotional, pulsating, unifying and quick to grab the attention of listeners,” he quips.

On Friday January 14, Rex Suru has a date with destiny as he unveils his new single, Good Morning Jah Jah at Freedom Park, Lagos. In this interview, the bandleader of Cherubim Vibes opens up on his musical odyssey. Enjoy it.

Tell us briefly about your background.

My name is Rex Suru. I was born in Sapele, Delta State but raised in Lagos. I am of mixed culture, Yoruba and Itsekiri. I came from a humble family; my father was a police officer. I later moved to the United States where I studied Business Administration in a college in Tyler, Texas.

How exactly did you come into music?

Music has been part of my life from an early age. My father always brought me along to every concert he attended. He also introduced me to music collection of every type. When in college in the USA, I realized I had the notch for music and started writing my own songs. Years later, in San Francisco, I put a band together, which I named the Cherubim Vibes. Since then, I have been opportune to collaborate with various local and international reggae musicians.

Of all the musical genres, why did you choose to play gospel reggae?

Actually, I call my style Afro Roots Reggae, but my spiritual upbringing in the church and inspiration from the gospel tend to influence my message as a songwriter. Nonetheless, my music can be referred to as gospel reggae.

Reggae seems to be on te retreat in Nigeria with the death of iconic reggae artistes like Majek Fashek, Ras Kimono etc., why did you stick to it?

Every man has his calling and time. I have been doing this for over a couple of decades now. I am still filled with the inspiration and drive; all I need to do is keep delivering the message. Nigeria will wake up to it.

Reggae musicians are widely known to be Rastafarians and smokers of Indian hemp, do you also subscribe to these? 

As a young man growing up, I had my share of mistakes. I certainly don’t subscribe to any kind of drugs nor would I encourage the youth to follow that part.

What inspired your band’s name, Cherubim Vibes? Are you a member of the Cherubim and Seraphim church?

As a young boy, I was a member of the church. Years back in 1989, while working on a high rise building in San Francisco, California, a question crossed my mind, which was ‘Father, what should I name my band?’ Instantly, I heard a voice within me. It said, ‘Cherubim Vibes’. I also asked, ‘what should I name my production company? Then I heard ‘House of Rhythms Production’. Three years ago, I registered my company as Cherubim Vibes Records, under which all my songs and other artistes under the label are released.

When did you release your debut album and what inspired it?

My first album was released in 1997. It came after years of writing and mastering my skills. My new release is coming up on January 14 at Freedom Park, Lagos. 

While in college in the US, you wanted to change course from Business Administration to Music but it didn’t work out. Any regret for this?

No, not at all, all I learned in the business school is an asset in my company today.

You learned how to play guitar when your American lecturer gave you one. Are you still in contact with him? 

I have not heard from him since then, hopefully someday, our paths will cross.

Aside guitar, what other instruments do you play?

I’ll pick saxophone. I like it because it’s the closest instrument to the voice.

Aside music, what else do you do?

I am a trained builder and architectural designer as well.

How do you cope with women who flock around musicians? 

I don’t pay attention to that, that’s not what motivates me.

Tell us about your concert coming up in Lagos next Friday. 

It is tagged: ‘One Love Concert’ and organized by my manager, Levimas Atafo-Danisa. It’s meant to promote my music, my philosophy of oneness through unity of all people. It’s also a platform to unveil my new single, Good Morning Jah Jah.

What are your expectations for the show?

I expect a large turn out, and a new consciousness of love among all people.

Sunonline

JAN. 07, 2022 @ 10:39 GMT |

ExxonMobil

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