Nowadays it seems as if the only objective of entertainers is to entertain the masses.
But one artist who is breaking the status quo is Debbie Reifer.
Known for her soulful, easy and emotion filled performances, it is also a well known fact that her music is heavily filled with messages. Messages which report on human conditions, tell stories, educate, motivate, empower; and go much deeper than just entertaining.
Reifer is presently in Jamaica recording new music and is set to headline her first show there on September 13.
Speaking to Bajan Vibes via telephone she said while she doesn’t want every story she told to be depressing, she found them important to tell because as people we sometimes got desensitised over time to what was going on around us, outside of the context of our own personal stories.
“I want to encourage emotions that make us sensitive again. The kind of emotions that inspire us to care and demand change,” she said.
“I once felt the blade of a knife, I hurt so bad brought tears to my eyes. When it pierced my flesh and my heart beat stopped, the only thing I could hear was momma’s broken heart”.
These are some of the lyrics of her new single Til I Die. It was written by Reifer, produced by Simon Pipe and released on August 20. This song was written in the voice of a victim of violence demanding and crying out for justice.
Nominated for Best New Artist at the 2014 Barbados Music Awards, the singer/ songwriter told Bajan Vibes it also highlighted the fact that those who resorted to violence really “don’t know love and truly have no love or respect for human lives”.
“I actually wrote portions of the song years ago on a trip to Jamaica. A local news report about crime there caused me to write it. The Trayvon Martin story inspired me to finish it and reminded me that big change has to start from small change. If I can change the heart or mind of even one person who has the capability of setting wheels in motion for positive change then I should try.
“Countries all over the world, from third world to first world suffer from imperfect and faulty justice systems that have not mastered the responsibility of justly addressing a multitude of violent crimes for example: gang violence, drug related violence and domestic violence,” she said.
“This song is really almost like a reminder. It is so easy to look on the television and see this kind of tragedy happen to other people, [it is] very easy to sit in your own tragedy free bubble in life and think that this issue doesn’t affect you or your loved ones … but the song is written in a way that hopefully gets you to think about what it’s like to be that type of victim and the things you might want to be in place to address the injustice of being taken from life before your time.”
As well as We Are Love, which was released earlier this year Reifer also has: Flesh & Bone, Kisses On The Wind and I Did It which was written for the local film Chrissy. She is set to release another single before yearend and the release of her EP, she said is under serious consideration. (KC)