Neo-soul reggae crooner Mortimer is clearly the artiste to watch this year.
After paying his dues and standing in the wings while some of his friends and musical mates began to enjoy the glare of the spotlight, the 26-year-old is clearly stepping into his own light and enjoying the fruits of his labour.
Thanks to the tender, soothing track Lightning, he is now earning the attention of new ears and the vindication of those who have been supporters over the years.
The month of February was particularly memorable for the artiste as he walked away with two trophies at the annual Jamaica Reggae Industry Association’s Honour Awards. He claimed Breakthrough Artiste of the Year and the coveted Song of the Year for Lightning. He has also delivered stirring performances at the Bob Marley 75th birthday celebrations and the recent Jamaica Rum Festival.
Despite the accolades which are coming his way, Mortimer remains soft-spoken as he responds to the adoration, described the past year, and indeed his journey in the music business, which he described as an education.
“It’s been more of a process; and we are just learning as we go, growing as we go, and as we grow we know. So we keep working, we keep feeling, we keep vibing,” he shared in an interview with the Jamaica Observer.
Born in Kingston, Jamaica, but raised in the rural district of Whitehall, St Elizabeth, like most Jamaicans he began his musical journey in the church— and for him it was the Seventh-day Adventist church where he began singing on the choir at age eight. Mortimer had dreams of becoming a soldier or an auto engineer, but these aspirations soon took a back seat to music. Mortimer released his first project, Message Music in 2014. An introduction to Jamaican recording artiste Protoje resulted in the recording of the collaboration Protection, produced by Winta James.
Mortimer called on James when he had the inspiration for Lightning, a song which came out of an argument he had with his wife.
“That tune deh, that song…,” he said before bursting into laughter and shaking his head.
“That song came after an argument… yeah… And a just light up mi steamer and just vibe, because I was thinking about the fact that I don’t think she knows exactly how I feel about her… yeah, it’s just that.”
And what was her reaction to hearing the song?
“She love it! She loves it man. So I just give thanks for that tune,” she continued.
The world has begun to take note of this musical talent whose voice, lyrics and musical styling aptly represent his influences, which include Bob Marley, Jacob Miller, Donny Hathaway, Stephen Marley and John Legend.
This summer Mortimer and his team are looking to Europe, with a number of festivals and performances already confirmed for July and August. These include Rote Fabrik in Zurich, Switzerland; Bagnols Reggae Festival in France; Club Bahnhof Ehrenfeld in Cologne, Germany; Reggae Geel in Belgium; the Upsalla Reggae Festival in Sweden; and Reggae James Festival in Bersenbruck, Germany.
“We have a good set a stuff for Europe, so we just a gwaan vibe. As it relates to new music we have lots more for you all to hear in time, so once the right time come, you will hear,” Mortimer shared.
Source: Mortimer strikes