When Jah9 sings, hearts and minds awaken. Old school blues
improvisation meets hard hitting lyrical prowess in a rich imaginative
blend of vocal clarity and complexity. She sings with a voice that
belies the dimensions of her physical body, from a soul much older than
its current vessel. Her philosophy is profoundly spiritual and her
style is Jazz on Dub.
Jah9 was born Janine Cunningham in the Western rural town of Falmouth
to a social worker mother and preacher father. College brought her into
town, the campus introduced her to Rastafarians, dub and roots reggae.
Taking her childhood nickname of Jah9 she became a staple of Jamaica's
progressive poetry scene, while recording demos with producer Sheldon
Bernard led her to the legendary Beres Hammond. Through Hammond she
signed with Don Corleone Records in 2010 and recorded the singles
"Warning" and "Keep Holding On" with producer Donovan Bennett.
Her breakthrough came in 2013 when her track "Brothers" shared a single
with Chronixx and his song "Smile Jamaica" on the flipside, then her
debut album, the aptly titled New Name, landed on Rory "Stone Love"
Gilligan's label. A year later she released the compilation Singles and
in 2016 she joined the VP label with her new Full length CD Simply
Titled "9". Her latest album Notes to Sel is scheduled for release
later this year.
With several years of solid touring and headline slots on European and
North American Festivals behind her in, scheduled performances in 2018
include the prestigious Sierra Nevada World Music Fest in June and
Reggae and the Park in Philadelphia in August with other US and
international dates pending. Jamaica's best-kept secret as Mikey
Bennett of Grafton Studios once called her - is now out in the open.
fulfils the promise of her earlier releases with expansive maturity,
prophetic purpose and even deeper displays
of warrior-goddess prowess on the mic"
- Greg Tate (Black Rock Coalition)
don't have to be an avid reggae listener to be enraptured by the
hypnotic vocals of Jah9. Possessing
a chilling yet bewitching vibrato evoking a young Ella Fitzgerald and
a rootsy coolness Ã la Erykah Badu MTV Iggy
poet and part protest singer, all wrapped up in one beautiful dub
voice. Headphone Nation