By Carmen Glover
The adage “good things come to those who wait,” has never been more true than what has been exemplified by reggae singer Wayne Marshall, who has made a triumphant return to the dancehall scene with his sophomore album, “Tru Colors” (Ghetto Youths International), eleven years after releasing “Marshall Law” (VP Records). But as far as the smooth-voiced singer is concerned, the timing is perfect and that’s all that matters.
Speaking to OnPointPress.net during a telephone interview from his hotel room on Wednesday, February 26, Marshall sounded relaxed and thankful as he basked in the glow of overwhelmingly positive feedback for “Tru Colors.” The eleven-year wait, Marshall explained, was a matter of divine order. “It’s about waiting for the right time, the right camp, for everything to fall into place,” he said reflectively. “The first CD was just a compilation, rather than doing a focused album, like I did with ‘Tru Colors.’ Now I feel like everything is right.”
From all indications, Marshall’s slow simmer approach has yielded spectacular dividends. “Tru Colors” sits comfortably in fourth place on Billboard’s reggae chart, and with each layer of exposure the album receives, another veneer of excitement is lavished on the album, which, in turn, fuels even greater interest and industry buzz. As he counts down the hours to his album release party Thursday night at The Delancey in Manhattan, Marshall points to his early musical influences, while simultaneously lauding the expertise of his current producer, Damian “Junior Gong” Marley.
“My biggest musical influence is Bounty Killer,” Marshall stated unequivocally. “As a youth when I was 13, Baby, King Jammys’ son, introduced me to a new artist that his father was working with. That artist was Bounty Killer and I always thought that he was bringing a new flavor to dancehall. When we started working together and he showed me that he liked what I was doing, that felt good.”
Marshal has collaborated with Bounty Killer, Elephant Man, Sean Paul and Beenie Man in the past. Like he did with his debut effort, Marshall has collaborated with a legion of stars on “Tru Colors,” including Bounty Killer, Ace Hood, Cham, Waka Flocka, Assassin, I-Octane, Vybz Kartel and Tarrus Riley. While Marshall spoke earnestly about the importance of the diversity embodied on the tracks, he was unmistakable in emphasizing that the central component for the success of “Tru Colors” is the hands-on approach taken by the album’s producer, Damian “Junior Gong” Marley.
“Working with Damian Marley is an advantage for any artist because he’s a legendary, excellent, writer, singer and producer: a real triple threat,” Marshall mused. “It’s a dream come true for me to be working with the Marleys because growing up as a youth in Jamaica you saw the Marleys as reggae royalty.” Marshall described Damian as “a perfectionist” who knows the exact sound that he wants. Marshall credits Damian with unleashing his raw, intense, musical essence. “That’s why I call it “Tru Colors” because I think this is me showcasing my true self,” he explained. “It’s been such a long time since the last record that my sound, my lyrics and my style are more refined; a true evolution. Musically I am much more adept at my craft.”
But his music is not the only thing that has evolved. Marshall, who describes himself as “very spiritual,” sports long dreadlocks these days, but he distinguishes himself from the Rastafarian faith, and explained that he focuses on solidifying his spiritual base instead. When asked how he is responding to his whirlwind two-day New York City jaunt, Marshall did not hesitate, “I’m enjoying the press coverage. All the media reviews so far have been good,” he said. “Just as the great ones have paved the way for us, this is my opportunity to pave the way for a younger generation.”
Marshall will be touring the United States in April and May with Stephen Marley and Jo Mersa to perform songs from “Tru Colors,” which is a 13-track collection. The album features fan favorites such as “I Know,” “Stupid Money,” “Go Hard,” “Go Harder,” “Be on the Alert” and “Nah Give Up.” Marshall, who is married to Tami Chynn, the sister of Tessanne Chin of ‘The Voice’ fame, collaborated with his sister-in-law on the “Tru Colors” final track, “On the End.”
For Marshall, “Tru Colors” is his coming-of-age party and he is determined to savor every minute of it.-OnPointPress.net.
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