One of the most refreshing voices in reggae right now is Dre Island. The Jamaican-born artist's powerful vocals and inspirational lyrics have always acted as a balm, and even more so in these uncertain times. Previous drops, like "We Pray" featuring Popcaan and his feature on Cadenza's "People" alongside Jorja Smith, follow the exact same ethos: providing a soundtrack that is both endearing and reflective of the realities of life's struggles. But now the gifted singer, songwriter and producer is gearing up to release his debut album, Now I Rise, giving fans a first taste today with "Still Remain".
"This song is very important to me because, not only is it on my first album, it's about everything that is happening around the world at this time," Dre Island tells Complex over email. "It was just so fitting that it's the first song for me to release right before the album comes out. I use this song on the outro, too, on Now I Rise. I sing this song to give hope, to give comfort, to give a tomorrow, to give reassurance to the people out there that have been hurt by this virus. It is to let everyone know that, after all is said and done, Jah never fails. He still remains." The accompanying visuals, directed by Fernando Hevia, is also is a cinematic treat: Dre can be seen crooning his message of faith, introspection and optimism on a backdrop of the island, telling truths about the living conditions of marginalised people with shots of them spliced in between.
You can catch Dre Island in a series of interactive livestreams leading up to Now I Rise's May 29 release date. Pre-order the album here, and peep the visuals for "Still Remain" exclusively above.