Asa ‘Ace’ Smith, the chief executive officer of Overproof Records Ltd, is amped up about the release of his label’s latest rhythm project, Kickback. The five-song compilation album will be released on May 7, 2021.
Smith said the project was engineered to bring comfort and joy to those who are confined and suffering during the COVID-19 pandemic because of the inspirational, introspective tone of all the featured songs.
“The project was started to give people reflection and some state of comfort in these troubling times of the pandemic and violence to give a sense of hope and for people to be able to hear some uplifting and inspiring words that we think of daily but don’t always share with each other,” Smith said.
The songs are carved in reggae-dancehall oak: solid.
Montego Bay-based up and coming artiste Jovexx shows the full range of his vocal repertoire with the beautifully delivered ‘Pain’, Jovexx has an uncanny ability to change gears mid song and he croons with his searing voice: they don’t know my story/they don’t feel my pain/they don’t know what I’ve been going through.
Jovexx explains that he sees the fakers for who they are because “I keep it real cause real recognize real”. And then the artiste raises the song to another level with a soulful reverie that slips like an icepick into your heart which goes: Render your heart and not your garment yute/ Still a wait pon the day fi see the violence mute/Wish me coulda stop it with a button/ nowadays, is like your life no worth nothing.
In the second verse, Jovexx keeps pace with his ice cube clear, singjaying: Dem woulda love see dem brothers inna casket/and mama carry water inna basket/ dem a wonder how we dweet and if a magic/haffi make it out, I promise.
Bugle has another standout song on the project with 'Rocky Road', a tour de force of a song that chronicles his life story. He sings: my story mi a song ’bout, mi know nuff can relate/suffering coulda identify me like a licence plate /but mi struggles never damage me, only make me great/ask how me do it, the answer is determination and faith.
Bugle sings about a life marked by poverty, pain, hurt, plus financial and emotional struggles. You can hear the sincerity in his voice as he sings about a life lived with no regrets, and the talented Bugle shows his great songwriting skills as he develops the extended metaphor of the Rocky Road, about living life in the fast lane, etcetera. He sums it all with the line : mi no hide it cause mi drive it.
The talented Chezidek shows up to declare ‘Same Blood’ where he laments that inequities that divide a nation that would be stronger without deep-seated class struggles. The project is rounded out by stellar tracks from Embee di Quefa, a ganja-loving ode of a song dubbed ‘Bellas Gate’ – a northwestern St Catherine community in the news recently because of the hunt for a suspected killer — while Kool Swade reminisces about ‘Rough Times’.
Smith launched Overproof Records in 2018 when he began managing Montego Bay rising star Jovian Jackson aka Jovexx. He produced songs ‘Like Life Journey’ and ‘Clean’ by Jovexx and has also co-produce tracks with several other labels.
“We want to become a powerhouse and bring Montego Bay to the forefront of the music business. We have lots of talent, but not the right structures to develop it. We want to change that. We believe we can,” Smith said.