David Kirton (English)

David Kirton is part of a musical movement coming from the Southern Caribbean. Forging his own individuality with personal yet universal songs and fresh, organic sounds, the popular Barbadian singer/songwriter is expanding beyond his Caribbean Reggae fan base and capturing the U.S. and UK with his  modern roots reggae sound.

Though he toured the States and appeared on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” back in 1999 as part of the Spirit of Unity Tour, Kirton is making his big splash as a solo artist in the States now, in the wake of his newest award winning album Time for Change and eye-opening performance at South By Southwest 2009.  He was awarded the title of Reggae Artist of the Year in 2008 and 2009, and has won a total of  four Barbados Music Awards, including song and video for hit single “Green Camouflage,” a true reggae anthem embodying the best of the old rhythms and new expressions, which can be view at YouTube.

The international accolades for Kirton began shortly after launched his recording career in the late 90s with a debut album, Stranger picked up by RAS Records. The success of that release led to an opportunity to perform at the 1999 MIDEM Cannes showcase at the Palais on World Beat Night, where UP writer John Swenson said, “(he)…the best new artist at MIDEM.” Sensing the exciting, unique music in Kirton’s future, Miami’s Caribbean Today wrote, “Kirton has struck the right chord. He brings to the marketplace a refreshingly unique aura…satisfying the mainstream audience, especially those who crave something new.” That Midem showcase lead to the Spirit Of UnityTour booking where Kirton found him self opening for with reggae giants Maxi Priest, Thirld World, Culture and Steel Pulse.

His second album in the early 2000s, Modern Records recorded at Grafton Studios with Mikey Bennett. Many of the songs for this were ‚Live‘ recordings done in either Grafton Studio or The Marley Hope Road Studio using some of the best musicians Jamaica has to offer. Earl ‚Chinna‘ Smith (guitar), Cat Coore (guitar) Desi Jones (drums), Leroy ‚Barrbee‘ Romans, Glen Brownie (bass), Robbie Lynn (keyboards), Michael Fletcher (bass), Wayne Armond (guitar) Dean Fraser (saxophone), John Williams (violin and keyboards) Home T (Harmonies), Roveleta Fraser and Cherine Anderson (harmonies).

After touring 42 U.S. cities on the Spirit of Unity Tour with my Jamaican brethren the singer says, “I returned to Barbados and realized that I couldn’t make music anymore that was straight reggae. I had to represent my true self, which ultimately led to the original concept behind ‘Time To Change.Growing up, I listened to all kinds of music because Barbados didn’t have an international indigenous sound. I never had the spirit to perform Trinidad’s soca music, which is also huge in Barbados. I originally gravitated to the reggae feel, which gave rise to my development as a guitarist and songwriter. But so many up and coming straight reggae artists just wrote lyrics over beats producers created for them, and as I moved forward in my career, I began coming up with all my own melodies, lyrics and arrangements—which ultimately took on a more modern hybrid style that also incorporated pop and soul music.“

He says “It was roots reggae that captured my senses rather than the dancehall that became popular these past few years. My progression as an artist came because I was more relaxed, didn’t try to fit into a trendy box and just let my songs flow and represent what I felt inside when I sat down to write them. I feel very comfortable making music my own way, rather than trying to fit in anyone’s boots or letting a producer shape who I am as an artist. I love having the freedom to touch people and find success following my own vision.”

Although Kirton is rising to a new level of international success creating a vibe that defies the trends of Trinidadian soca and Jamaican dancehall music, he is still based in Barbados and is proud to reflect the culture and heritage of his homeland and share it with the world. „My parents particularly love my song ‘Sugar,’ he says, “ that’s the industry our country was born from. His thoughts on why he writes the way he dose are simple, organic and honest .

At heart, my music has a laid back feel because that’s what island life is about. When you are as overwhelmed by nature and can see all the stars in the sky, it’s easy to realize our place in the world, and, have a relaxed attitude about it. I’ve got the dreadlocks and that invites people to stereotype me as another reggae artist. But, I invite people to go deeper into my musical experience and re-evaluate their preconceived notions. I love the way music can make people dance in different ways and feel different emotions. Like Rihanna, I am all about blending the pride of my homeland with a progressive sound that is all my own.

The provocative, socially conscious remix of Kirton’s first video, the title track from his latest album Time for Change featuring clips of Obama from the campaign trail, has earned Kirton  attention on myspace and YouTube. This can be viewed at MySpace.(). The original version was filmed in Barbados by two time Pulitzer Prize and Sundance Award winning cinematographer/director Tom Krueger.

Kirton’s unique sound and charismatic showmanship led him to a myriad of eclectic venues  including Reggae on the River, Bob Marley Day Long Beach, Napa Reggae in the Valley, The Royal Chelsea Flower Show in London, Virgin Atlantic Barbados Music Festival and has just been booked for The Music 4 Peace Concert at World Cup 2010. In Fall 2010 Kirton can be found opening for Reggae Giant Toots for his West coast tour.

Video:  Free to Fly. David Kirton Roots Rock Reggae Music   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2hyySIk79x0

 

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