Juwdah Man's Life Journey

Saturday, October 20, 2018

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Going to dances and hanging out at recording studios was a routine for Phillip McKenzie when he was living in Portmore, St Catherine, but it was not until 2017 that he took the plunge and officially entered the game as singer/producer Juwdah Man.

Based in East Orange, New Jersey since 2005, Juwdah Man kicked off his career with Nuh More Senseless Killing. The self-produced single was done for his Juwdahman Productions in November last year.

Recently, the label released three songs: his Life Journey, It Can't Stop Again by Jah Thunder and Celebrate Life, done by Jah Fiery.

After being on the sidelines for over 20 years, Juwdah Man, 36, said it is exciting to finally express himself as an artiste and producer.

“What mi bring forward is realness, no illusion. The songs have messages people can relate to…dem can sey, 'I've been there, been through that',” he told the Jamaica Observer.

Jah Thunder and Jah Fiery are experienced recording artistes, affiliated with Capleton's successful David House camp. Juwdah Man knew them prior to immigrating, and approached them to become the first acts he produced songs for his label.

The spiritual content of those songs are inspired by Rastafari, a faith he was drawn to from his teens but did not formally embrace until 2007. Being in the United States, he said, made him more aware of his faith.

“Inna Jamaica, people still look on yuh as careless bwoy an' foolishness like Blackheart Man when yuh sey Rasta. Since I've been here, mi si di faith in a different way,” he said.

Jah Thunder was one of the artistes Juwdah Man rubbed shoulders with growing up in Portmore. Capleton, Jah Cure, Admiral Tibet, Josey Wales, Half Pint, and Frisco Kid are among his biggest influences.

Being around the vibrant Portmore scene for years not only prepared him for recording, but guiding other artistes in the role of producer.

“Is still a learning process but when yuh working with people yuh know dat process is easier,” he said.

—Howard Campbell

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