Jamaican reggae artist Mortimer recently released his debut EP, Fight The Fight, via Easy Star Records.
Produced by Winta James, the EP entered Billboard’s Reggae Chart at number three, while the music video for “Lightning” has already amassed over 1 million views on YouTube.
Explaining his sound, Mortimer says, “I do music because it is my first love and where my passion lies. For me, it’s about a message… One of love, hope, kindness, selflessness, and also an opportunity to share a piece of myself with others.”
Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Mortimer grew up in rural Whitehall, St. Elizabeth, where as a child he dreamed of perhaps one day entering the military or becoming an engineer. Before long, though, music consumed his life.
Upon meeting Protoje, one of the mainstays of the “Reggae Revival” movement, Mortimer’s career took off, as he collaborated with Protoje on “Protection,” from Protoje’s album Ancient Future, produced by Winta James. Working with James on the song “Nice Up Di Scene,” along with another collaboration with Protoje on “Truths & Rights,” Mortimer established his name as a rising star.
In 2018, he released “Careful,” via Overstand Entertainment/Easy Star Records, garnering acclaim from David Rodigan on BBC Radio, who declared the song a “big, heavy tune!” Following with “Lightning” in 2019, a low-slung love song mounting to a surging climax, Mortimer hit just the right blend of romance and reggae.
Encompassing six-tracks, the EP begins with “Lightning,” followed by “Misery,” a smooth flowing reggae tune atop a tight measured rhythm. The tune travels on skiffing guitars embellished by Mortimer’s deliciously evocative voice, warm and cashmere.
The title track opens on a glistening piano riding a contagious one-drop roots rhythm, as Mortimer’s velveteen falsetto fills the lyrics with silky textures. I love the backing harmonies on this track. “Style and Grace” ripples with heady hints of Latin-flavored reggae, sumptuous and undulating on a fat bassline. Oozing horns inject the harmonic with glowing smoldering accents, as Mortimer’s affluent tones exude quixotic flavors.
“No Lies” rides creamy textures, rolling on a potent rhythm topped by sparkling layers of soft, tender colors. This track might be the best on the EP because of its smooth flow and luscious vocal surfaces.
On Fight The Fight, Mortimer demonstrates his marvelously affecting voice journeying on glossy roots-flavored melodies, suave and irresistible.