Lutan Fyah – Life Of A King

September 25, 2013

Life-Of-A-King-lutanfyah-review.jpgWith his sincere, vulnerable delivery and earthy, evocative lyrics, deejay-singer Lutan Fyah has been at the vanguard of modern roots reggae during the last decade. Growing up around the family sound system, he chose music over a brief professional football career, apprenticing under Buju Banton at his Gargamel studio. He rose as one of the 2000s’ second wave of fiery, turban-wearing Rastafarian artists and has kept bubbling away, maintaining a presence without becoming hyped.

A self-confessed workaholic, he has scattered his singles recordings amongst numerous different producers worldwide. His albums thus far have been of variable quality – although never poor. The best is probably 2006 Greensleeves release Phantom War – which, despite being a compilation, was very unified in its rootsy feel. With the right focus and producer he clearly has the talent to enter the premiere league.

In June English label Jah Warrior released Never Surrender My Faith – a collection recorded when Lutan came to England in 2000 – which ably showcases his harder, raspier side atop heavy UK dub. He has also been working on a straight roots and culture album with St Croix I Grade records: planned for this year but now postponed until 2014.

It makes way for this project, his tenth, cut over 16 months with old friend from Jamaica, Khabs “Grillaras” Bonner (for whom Lutan sang Rasta Better Off on the 70s steppers inspired Good Times rhythm back in 2004). As his name suggests, Bonner is a distant cousin of Richie Spice, however he didn’t meet him until they linked musically. He got the nickname “Grillaras” because of his serious countenance and professional drive.

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