the Italian born roots reggae artist, producer, dub mechanic and
social justice campaigner has made waves in roots reggae since 1993. His
genre, reggae, is protected by UNESCO for service to humanity. If Alborosie
is not on your radar, he should be.
In June 2021, he released his most powerful album yet - For The Culture,
recorded in his current homeland of Jamaica. His first single from the album
'Unprecedented Time', a powerful anthem versing on the current state of the
world and the battle against Covid-19 was added by Mick Jagger to his
exclusive Spotify playlist. In December 2020 Alborosie, recorded and
released 'Shadows After Dark', teaming up with Christopher Martin, Etana,
Romain Virgo, Morgan Heritage and many others to raise awareness of the
perils of Human Trafficking in Jamaica.
His singles 'Kingston Town' and 'Herbalist' have each earned more than 10
Million views on YouTube, he has topped the Billboard charts, released 7
albums between 2008 and 2018 and has collaborated with Ky-Mani Marley,
Joe Mersa Marley, and The Wailers, has covered Metallica and has produced
music for several Jamaican Reggae stars, including Wailing Souls' recent
album 'Back A Yard'.
“Music knows no boundaries,” announced David Rodigan on Alborosie's
debut album. “Music is an international force, an international language. From
Sicily to Kingston, Jamaica, this is Alborosie. Real, authentic reggae
music.” Fourteen years later and the Sicilian-born Alborosie headlines
festivals around the world and has earned the respect of the entire reggae
industry. A talented writer, producer and multi-instrumentalist who sings as
well as deejays, he’s lived in Kingston for over a decade and is now a leading
light of Jamaica's resurgent music scene thanks to a series of widely
acclaimed albums on Greensleeves.
Real name Alberto D’ Ascola, he was born in the Sicilian town of Marsala.
After relocating to Milan during his teens he played in a variety of bands
before forming Reggae National Tickets, who regularly toured Europe during
the mid-to-late nineties. When the Tickets were invited to perform at Reggae
Sunsplash in Jamaica, Alborosie immediately fell in love with the place and
jumped ship. Weeks later he was hired as an engineer at Gee Jam studios in
Port Antonio – a tropical hideaway on Jamaica’s north coast where No Doubt
and other foreign and local stars like to record. “I left everything behind when
I did that,” he reflects. “I left my family, my girlfriend and everything I had back
in Italy just to come to Jamaica and start something new, and to follow what
was there inside of me.”
He'd arrived in Jamaica in time for the Millennium, although his breakthrough
wouldn't happen until several years later with songs like Kingston Town and
Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner, issued on his own Forward label. His debut
album Soul Pirate soon followed. He then signed to Greensleeves for a series
of bestselling albums beginning with Escape From Babylon - the sleeve of
which depicted him leading musicians of all
races from the ruins of modern civilization. Dressed in red, green and gold, he
was shown pointing the way forward like some Rastafarian Pied Piper. The
analogy fits, since his traditional, yet progressive approach has proven highly
influential among Jamaica's new wave of reggae artists.
"We have to respect the legacy," insists Alborosie. "I always think of myself as
a forever student. I learn from Jamaican people daily - not just musically but
in everyday life, and I always respect the culture. I don't come to Jamaica to
argue or fight with people. I come to learn certain things and there's never a
time when I think to myself, 'I arrive...'
“Reggae is not just music you listen to in the car or when you’re taking a
shower, because reggae is also a lifestyle,” he explains. “It’s about how you
lead your life, and it has to say something. It’s political yes, but there’s a
spiritual element in there as well. At the end of the day, reggae is a message
so we need to spread it around.” "I never came here to be popular," he says.
"I never wanted to top the charts or be a billionaire. I don't care about that. I
just wanted to be close to the music that I loved...All I want to do now is
contribute to the genre and bring it to the next level"