Chronixx marched out on the Pyramid Stage as the opening act to perform to a sell-out show on the Friday of the Glastonbury Festival (June 26) in the UK and this was the crowd’s reaction to the young Jamaican’s music:
“The people at Glastonbury are music lovers [and] even before you start to sing there’s a level of appreciation,” he told The independent in a recent interview. “They cherish the fact that they are there and want to make the most of the experience. For you as a musician that’s a perfect situation,” he added.
The 22-year-old singled out the United Kingdom in the Jamaican press for providing an audience that embraces him as a musician, not as merely a pop singer. “The UK is one of those places that still appreciates good music,” he told The Gleaner in April. “In some other places, as long as the artiste is cute, that’s good enough for them.”
Fans of the golden era of ’70s roots reggae are easily drawn to Chronixx’s socially conscious messages and live band instrumentation, which together are a ground anchor for his sound. The Jamaican musician also incorporates a contemporary energy that makes him highly relevant to a younger dancehall crowd.
Chronixx has shown little interest in the trappings of fame and is contented to build his fan base through powerful songs and live musicianship.
Chronixx has the potential to become part of the Jamaican musical icons. His Reparation UK tour, which begins in Manchester on 9 July, takes him as far afield as Brighton and Glasgow.
He remains at a loss to explain how British crowds have been so quick to identify his talents. “I don’t know – it’s just magical over here,” he said.
Chronixx’s international profile received a major boost in July last year when he appeared on NBC’s “The Tonight Show”, after host Jimmy Fallon, who discovered his music on holiday in Jamaica. Handed a reggae mixtape by a hotel worker, Fallon used Shazam and iTunes to identify and download Chronixx’s track “Here Comes Trouble” and then billed him to perform the hit single on the late night show.
In the interview with the Independent, he explained that while he is “proud” that his songs are categorised as “Reggae”, he would prefer not to be associated with a single musical genre. He wishes to engage all listeners on a “feelings level”, rather than through their allegiance to a musical style. “I don’t like to be locked in any one place or restricted to any one set of people,” he said. “I don’t want to be labelled as a reggae artist but as a Jamaican musician.”
Despite his humility, Chronixx who is already a star in Jamaica, came under fire when he took to Instagram to denounce Barack Obama as a “waste man”, when the U.S. president visited the island in April. In the comment, he complained of America’s failure to expunge the criminal record of the Jamaican civil rights leader and hero Marcus Garvey, who died in 1940.
“The post was simply showing how the modern world and culture demonises and idolises people as them like, which means they make a man a hero when it’s convenient and a criminal when it is also convenient.”
Chronixx notes that some of the racial injustice that Garvey campaigned against still exists in modern America. “Without Marcus Garvey you think you would have a Malcolm X or Martin Luther King?” he asked. “I think without Marcus Garvey America wouldn’t even be interested in having a black president.”