Spotlight on Determine
Rohan A. Bennett Alexander was born 27 years ago in Annotto, St Mary. Taking the name Determine from a matinee the first tune he voice around 7 was never released. Around 18 months after that his second release 'Defendant' was released on the flip side of a Bounty Killer tune on the Far East rhythm on the King Jammys label.
Determine was urged to follow his dream by his mother and he took his inspiration from Bob Marley although he said, "me never understand certain tings, but me a tell you he inspired me". His efforts were not be in vain and when he dropped 'Kette Drum' it topped the US charts in 15 states.
Although Determine's songs are of a high standard he seems to get overlooked. "Marketing the artist have a lot to do wid it right! So if you don't have a manager, a PR, like things well put together you always like have the business slightly turn away from you when you should get well recognised. Alright once I didn't really have things put together. You see what me a seh? I was jus there tugging along by myself. Now I have my office running, I've got people working now, doing things, seeking out for my interest and this is not run by money, (but by) oneness and now is the time".
Determine writes his own lyrics and gets input from others on occasions, including his brother Mr Dutch who wrote a couple of tracks on the 'Rock The World' album. He has penned a few controversial lyrics in his time. "Long time I sing controversial songs and some counteractions and me see seh, really it go cause a vibes weh me no like. So me just stay the way how me know Jah want me fe stay, but it's because dem out there them pressure me ends bad".
When asking Determine how many albums he has released he said that he had albums released that he wasn't even aware of. It was only when, "me start tour, me start go on the street, me find out seh me did have work, but officially me do 2 albums. One with VP and one with Bobby Digital (Brickwall). 'Rock the World' was through VP and 'Freedom Chant' is Zulu Productions. That's my label and it's through Brickwall".
Determine follows the Bobo-Shanti Rasta order and he said that it has been with him "from birt'. Me come to the realisation now about 5 years (to) 6 years ago because a longer than that still you know, but I have been fighting the feelings for a long time".
Determine is a member of the Zulu Tribe and the tribe is close with the David House Crew, "when me and David House link, one family, always".
He toured Holland, Switzerland, Paris, Amsterdam and ended in England back in 1998 and has performed in many of the US States. One continent that has eluded him is Africa and he hopes to reach there soon.
Not dissimilar to other Jamaican artists Determine has worked with many artists and producers. Determine's plans for the future are "anyting Jah plan, anyting Jah Jah plan a that me plan. But guess wha happen, me have a 16 track studio right now to hook up because me get me instrument dem and equipment and all that there a Jamaica. Right now me a carry down a 24 track board and anyting Jah seh from there because me have something sorted out".
Determine's advice is, "Never you get final. Don't you start something that you can't manage. Remember His Imperial Majesty is the Almighty without any apology, he's the King, the Priest and the Prophet. Solid, liquid and gas. Man, woman and child. Sun, moon and stars. So remember it's the 7 spirits of the high priest that trod the earth to declare equal rights and justice and it shall be a new name that righteousness come in that will be great and terrible so mek sure this righteousness don't generate no fear in you people, but live in love. Yeah man jus give us love and mek sure most of us come together coz that's it – oneness"!
If you want to book Determine contact his office at Zulu House, Portmore, Jamaica on 876 989 4532.
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