Kwamevi (born Edem Kwamevi Agbottah) was born into the Ghanaian Ewe Tribe in Dallas, Texas, inheriting both West African and American traditions as a result. With an affinity to bamboo flutes and African rhythms, Kwamevi began playing classical guitar at age 15, influenced by music that speaks of self-awareness and togetherness. After releasing and producing his inaugural EP Shown Up in 2016, Kwamevi has recently debuted his first full-length album Faithful that just dropped off Roots Musician Records. The album was recorded at E.N Young‘s Imperial Sound Recording Studio, and as evidenced in this video, Young did more than just produce! On drums, melodica and even laying down a verse, Young collaborated with Kwamevi to the maximum to create such a moving track.
This song is about being faithful to the reggae genre.
From listening without context, “Faithful” seems like any ordinary love song… but cues from the video indicate that this isn’t the case. Directed by John Handem Piette, the video showcases the collaboration between Kwamevi and Young inside the studio, cutting in between color and black-and-white footage. This slow tempo track talks centers on a love ethos – “stay close to me”, “don’t leave me alone” – and the synergy between artist and producer in the video juxtaposes this codependent sentimentality. Without one, the other cannot thrive.
However, as the track carries on, it becomes clear that the chorus line “I’m faithful, my lord” isn’t about finding one’s true love at all… a close-up on the visage of Bob Marley is the subtle giveaway. This song is about being faithful to the reggae genre. Although gone, Bob Marley dedicated his life to changing the world through reggae music and Kwamevi intends to carry Marley’s motives onto the next generation: “two step forward, no step back”. With the reggae industry ebbing and flowing with the times, we shouldn’t just “give thanks and praise to the lord” for its existence, we should also be paying homage to its legends. Faithful, both track and single, is now available on all digital outlets. To learn more visit, www.rootsmusician.com/kwamevi.