It is fitting that in the days leading up to the release of Jesse Royal’s new single “LionOrder,” featuring Protoje, via reggae label Easy Star Records, he has been holed up in Los Angeles writing songs for his next album, in between another tireless run of live shows.
In 2017, Jesse followed an immensely successful early single with an album (Lily of Da Valley) that debuted at number one on the Billboard Reggae Chart, but he quickly learned that there can be no rest when building a career that will last. So he played countless shows to develop his live following, in America especially, and now serves notice to the world with this track release that the next part of his musical journey has officially begun. The first song from his as-yet-unnamed, impending sophomore album, “LionOrder” taps Protoje, fresh off his GRAMMY Nomination for Best Reggae Album last year, to deliver positive and constructive messages of watching the company we keep, identifying the strength of unity in our communities, and the power to transform oneself and thus the world around us. Produced by Sean Alaric (Koffee, Toian) & Jason Panton (Wrd Sound Pwr), the riddim is both uplifting and militant – setting the tone perfectly for Jesse Royal and Protoje to educate and entertain together.
“‘LionOrder’ is a spiritual, sonic, and visual reflection of the confidence exuded by my exuberant generation,” Jesse says about the song. “A generation that, while acknowledging and honoring the tremendous works of the greats of the past, also fully understands the necessity of taking more steps and ensuring that this integral message that is reggae music connects with the youth of today, as well as serves to inspire the youth of tomorrow.”
The accompanying music video was shot and edited by renowned Jamaican director Nile Saulter. A founding member of New Caribbean Cinema, Jason’s work has been screened at film festivals worldwide and includes an award winning short film and commercials (House of Marley, Pepsi, Gatorade). The video is set in Kingston, Jamaica, and captures a genuine contrast between the lush green landscape that blankets the country and the rough pockets of industrialism represented in the cities’ junkyards. Jesse and Protoje express unity and share natural vibes while celebrating life with people of all ages from across the community. This includes a number of recognizable faces in reggae who came together to support the vision, including Keznamdi, Govanna, Donisha Prendergast, Naomi Cowan, Kamila McDonald & Lila Ike.
Meanwhile, the road work put in since the release of Lily of Da Valley has resulted in growing buzz for Jesse’s stage show. In May and June, following the release of the new single, he will be performing at the massive Hangout Festival in Gulf Shores, AL, the 10th anniversary of Cali Roots in Monterey, CA, joining label mates The Skints for west coast shows, as well as headlining many of his own. He has also just announced that he will be playing SummerStage in New York in June. See a complete list of announced tour dates here.