Performing artist Ricardo Mills aka Jah Defender is a Trinidadian born Reggae Artist. Many regard his music as positive, conscious, and uplifting. His soothing voice and comforting lyrics have made him a well-liked and admired artist on the rise. The conscious element of Rastafari through Reggae music attracted Ricardo to this genre.In his own words..”Music is an avenue to highlight ‘truths and rights’ and be a righteous voice for the people…and Jah Defenders’ lyrical vibration encompasses depth and soul to remind the people of their treasured tradition”. Embracing the teachings of Rastafari has allowed him to stay humble and trod with faith and courage, becoming the voice of many.
His love for music started from a young age, as he heard the sweet sounds of his Mother’s vocals daily. He then bravely began singing for his classmates in Primary and Secondary schools.
Listening to music from Whitney Houston, Freddie Jackson, Gregory Issacs, Bob Marley, and Michael Jackson was part of his musical arsenal growing up. Since about 1994,a time when Reggae music became popular in Trinidad through artists like Capleton, Sizzla, Anthony B, Luciano, Norris Man, and Garnet Silk which also helped in shaping his musical talent. In 2004 Ricardo entered the professional Reggae scene as Jah Fyah, later changing to ‘Jah Defender’. In his words “Jah Defender stood for a deeper mission”. His blessed talent, creative musical melodies, distinctive sound, and powerful lyrics create timeless music.
From the age of 18 he started writing his own songs, today he has over 300 songs and counting. He has shared the stage with numerous popular artists such as: Morgan Heritage, Jr. Reid, Terry Ganzie, Chezidek, Midnite, Super Cat and Maxi Priest. In addition he has collaborated with other artists, such as Chuck Fender in the song entitled “I love it so” and most recently Pressure Buss Pipe with the hard hitting single “King of Iration”, with more collaboration in works to soon be released.
While Jah Defender remains an independent artist, he has allied with independent record labels: IsRoyal Records (Canada), Backyard Studios (Trinidad) and 7 Seals Records (France). It was Herbie Dan (Productions Manager) of 7 Seals Records who teamed up with Jah Defender for the creation of his debut album “Rastaman Rise” which was released July 2013. As the title states – this rootsy album has been well received by reggae fans worldwide, even being nominated by Reggae France for “best new roots album”, alongside likes such as Chronixx, Sizzla, Kabaka Pyramid and Jr. Kelly to name a few, with songs like “Jah is alive”, “Blackman Rise”, “Lonely” and “Only King Selassie I” it remains a favourite amongst the grassroots.It is clear Jah Defender is adamant in keeping the message of Rastafari true, which is why loyal reggae fans continue to keep this album alive.
“Raspek to Herbie Dan of 7 Seals Records for having faith in I and I as an artiste and as a Rastaman to bring forth this unique album.This consistently rising artist was the main act in the Bob Marley Marathon’s 18th Edition hosted in Martinique on February 5th, 2015,also returning in May for African libearation day and other shows around the island proving that with Rastafari message of togetherness language is not a barrier.
His talent is recognised worldwide and is supported by many people in the music industry; nevertheless he gives all tribute to his fans, as they are the ones that have fueled his desire to continuously thrive in music.
Jah Defender has proven to be in a higher musical caliber that will ‘take the world by storm’ – so stay in tune and look out for upcoming projects.
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