Sun. May 19th, 2024

Rest and Reset: The Playlist

By WK Admin Apr4,2024 #Jamaica #Music #Reggae
Ala.ni-British-Grenadian-Jazz-artistBritish/Grenadian polymath— Jazz singer, songwriter, producer, dancer, designer, Ala.ni—starts our first playlist.

Have you ever wondered why so many people find it difficult to stick to their New Year’s resolutions? Well, for some, the year begins in March with the springtime Vernal Equinox. Not in January as the Gregorian calendar asserts. In fact, for Indigenous Peoples like the Tainos, the month of May signifies the beginning of the Rainy Season and the celebration of their New Year (Boina Aguaneku). Despite the fact that much of the world celebrates the New Year on January 1st, if one adheres to the earth’s seasonal cycle, it would make more sense to mark a beginning during a period of rebirth and regeneration rather than during the height of the winter season.

This indicates that we should be taking the time to centre ourselves, reflect, lick our wounds, and prepare for a new season of growth and nurturing over the first quarter of the year, or at least until the Spring Equinox. By resting and resetting throughout the winter months in accordance with these cycles, we may conserve our energy for future labour, just as plants and animals do. With that in mind, we have curated a playlist reflecting the energy of this time as the first quarter of 2024 comes to a close. 

Our dedication to promoting the creative arts—particularly music, since both of our editors have been involved in the field for over 20 years—is one of our publication’s distinguishing characteristics. An ardent, lifelong love of music is also expected, given the publication’s background and presence in Jamaica, a UNESCO Creative City of Music renowned worldwide for its contributions to music. 

Akae-Beka-Formerly-of-Midnite-band-performing-in-Kingston-Jamaica-2016.
The late Vaughn ‘Akae Beka’ Benjamin, formerly of the Reggae band, Midnite, performing at the Midnite in Kingston two-day event series 2016. Photo: Tami Tsansai

As a result, starting with this one for our debut, every Writes and Kulcha issue will be accompanied by a playlist that captures its essence. The journey begins with multi-hyphenate British/Grenadian musician Ala.ni’s beautiful vocals pulling listeners into the wistful blues that often visit in the winter with a cover of Joni Mitchell’s River. Traverse these feelings through the emotional exhaustion, burnout and customary need for downtime to find reassurance, peace, and gratitude waiting. Reflect on rest as resistance in a world that prioritises working incessantly, and enjoy the pristine sounds of the late reggae visionary, Akae Beka, and Jamaican Indigenous musician Olivia Wilmot (Earth and the Fullness), who has Yamaye Taino ancestry, culminating the vibe with an invitation to Behold The Sun. 

We invite you to dive into Rest & Reset: The playlist—our very first collection of soothing tunes by Africans, African descendants and Indigenous Peoples around the world.

Writes and Kulcha Issue 1 Playlist: Rest & Reset

For accessibility purposes, we’re hosting it on YouTube, so tell us via our Instagram or X accounts which platform you most prefer listening to music on and we’ll include it, too. 

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