One of the fastest rising and most talented stars out of Jamaica, Chronixx, does not want to be called a reggae artist.
Chronixx is not particularly fussed by what the industry makes of him, and he’s unfazed by the fact that he’s been dubbed a reggae sensation as he refuses to define himself as a reggae artiste.
With his velvety vocals and fresh approach to roots reggae, the Jamaican singer has been hailed as one of the most gifted talents to emerge from the reggae scene in recent times.
But despite being an ambassador of reggae music, Chronixx rejects being labelled a reggae artiste.
While he does not mind that people label him a reggae artists, it is a label he himself does not accept or place upon himself.
Chronixx says he is not a Reggae Artist
“Definitely, [I reject that]. But I don’t reject reggae music, that’s the thing. If people see me as a reggae artiste, I don’t mind that, but within myself, I can’t accept that I’m a reggae artiste. I have to accept that I’m an artiste because I don’t want my creativity to ever be limited by any genre of music. Music is a limitless thing and I don’t want my music to be limited. Industries use these tags so they know how to manage artistes, but I’m not managed by any industry [laughs],” Chronixx said in an interview with the Jamaica Gleaner.
Staying true to the roots of reggae, Chronixx keeps his focus on the music and its message, something he believes is easier to do while in Jamaica, where there is less chance of getting “distracted”.
“The thing is, reggae is a livity (way of life), and that’s what people don’t understand,” he says.
“Before reggae became this globally recognised genre, it was embraced mostly in the Rastafari community; pan-Africanist people, people who were going through post-slavery. These people never had time to look in the mirror and be fascinated with themselves. It was about the mission and the cause behind the music – the things that needed to change in society. It’s much easier to keep the focus on those things when you’re here in Jamaica, living in a post-slavery society. Once you’re in the big cities in the world and you get caught up in the flashing lights (of fame), sometimes you can get a little distracted. Reggae music is about wholesome living, equal rights and justice for all mankind. It’s about feeding the hungry; it’s about the elderly being taken care of and the youths of tomorrow being nurtured. I think that’s why many reggae artistes are focused on the message of the music and not the stardom.”
Doesn’t he appreciate the fans who think he’s cute?
“I don’t mind people thinking that,” Chronixx laughs, “but that kind of thing can be a distraction. Being cute, it may be true; it may be false. But the fact is, you don’t want that cuteness to ever override the power of music. As a musician, you’re given the gift of being able to make music. But when you venture off into fashion and cuteness, you have to maintain all that, and that is very hard because those things fade and every day, something new becomes cute. You’ll wear yourself out trying to keep up with those things. So I keep my focus on the music.”
Some might expect Chronixx to be turning cartwheels about his achievements, but as we’ve already established, the singer, born Jamar Rolando McNaughton, isn’t too concerned about industry expectations.
But far from coming across arrogantly nonchalant, his approach to his craft is refreshing, particularly in an industry that often puts the focus on fame, notoriety, and success that is measured by sales figures and chart positions.