I’m very excited to be sharing this new musical discovery with TickuTalk readers. It’s actually a project called “Havana Meets Kingston” by an Australian producer named Mista Savona. I heard about this initiative last year, but lost track of it at some point. The project consists of a full album that was released last month, while the initial single was out back in February. The reason I call it a project, and not simply an album, is because calling it an album would do a disservice to Mista Savona and all the brilliant artists who collaborated on this effort. Over 100 legendary Cuban and Jamaica musicians participated in the creation of this masterwork, and I can’t begin to comprehend the logistical nightmare it must have been. Trying to coordinate an effort this massive would be difficult enough on it’s own, but dealing with the communist Cuban government must have had it’s own special challenges. This intro video for the project really summarizes it better than any words I can put to paper:
The initial single is called “Carnival” and features British-Jamaican singer Randy Valentine and Cuban singer Solis. It is one of two songs from the album that have a proper music video (there are simple lyric videos for many of the tracks on YouTube). It is one of the better music videos I have seen recently due to it’s incredible creativity. Much of the video is in a split screen format, with the left half of the video showing scenes from Cuba, and right half showing a corresponding scene in Jamaica. It’s a brilliant way to contrast the cultures of these two islands that are only 90 miles apart. The diversity of the architecture, fashion, dance, and music is clearly evident, yet blends together seamlessly. In many ways, this album does for the people of Cuba and Jamaica, what the Damian Marley and Nas album “Distant Relatives” did to connect the people of Jamaica and America in the sense it shows them that in the end, they have more commonalities than differences. You can check out this amazing video below:
The other music video from this album was released in September and features dancehall star Turbulence and Cuban artists Maikel Ante and El Medico. It starts out sounding very much like a Cuban song, but just after the two minute mark when Turbulence comes in, there is a very subtle shift in rhythm which flips the track into dancehall mode. It’s very well done, and again shows how these two seemingly disparate genres of music blend together beautifully.
There are a few other stand out tracks on the album, so I highly recommend everyone check it out! Viva la revolution!