Originally from Kingston Jamaica, Jesse Royal has traveled the world spreading his wisdom and Rasta faith along the way. This year, he played Monterey’s Cali Roots festival for the first time in his career, in an experience he passionately described as a “blessed time”. In talking with Jesse, we learned very quickly just how genuine of a person he was, and how authentic his music is to his being. Take a look as we explore what inspires Jesse to make the music he loves, and just why he believes that the West Coast is in fact the Best Coast.
How does it feel to be at Cali Roots?
It’s good! It’s our first time at Cali Roots. They say West Coast is the Best Coast, right? And we always get a whole lot of love every time we come west. Whenever we’re west, we almost feel at home, so we have a special set prepared, and we’ll be premiering a lot of songs that have never been played live before.
How do you identify as an artist?
First, I identify as a person like everybody else. We relate to struggle, we relate to pain, we relate to joy, we relate to happiness, and everything that comes in life. That’s my music, and that’s what music is to me, and that’s how I view my identity where music is concerned. (Music) is like a big mirror, because you can find pain in everybody’s pain, you can find joy in everybody’s joy, so you can relate. I think that’s the biggest problem on this earth right now.
Some people forgot that they’re human, and they forget that no matter how rich you are, or how poor you are, we’re still one, and on that day we’re going to the same motherfucking place.
What influences do you draw your inspiration from?
Life. Without life, we’re nothing. Everything in my life inspires me. When we get a reason to smile, that’s lovely. When there is something that comes that gets me down, that’s also lovely, because it’s life. What’s the sun without rain? What’s the sea without land? Everything in our life is a balance, and the more you understand that there’s good in bad and bad in good, you will start to live like you should.
Your song Modern Day Judas has a powerful message. What was your process in creating those lyrics?
Well that process was really just about being humble, and some people taking your humility for weakness, and some people taking your calm state for being weak. The song spun from that, and then it evolved to a bigger level.
You’ve played venues all over the world, how does Monterey compare?
Like we say, West Coast always shows a whole lot of love, and carries a whole lot of bud. We’re just here to play and have fun with these people tonight. We have a special set prepared, and we’re really just excited about vibing, playing some music, and giving some people a reason to feel good and feel happy. At this time when all these media outlets want to tell you why you should be afraid, and why you shouldn’t go outside, and why you shouldn’t smoke herb, and why you shouldn’t this, and why you shouldn’t that.
What is your biggest accomplishment?
My daughter. (She’s) Seven Months (old). (She’s) the real purpose. She’s life.
What is some advice you would give to those who look up to you?
Stay true to your craft. Respect yourself and insure that love and passion is at the forefront of everything that you do, because that’s the only thing that’s really worth anything. Keep the love alive
As an artist at your level, I’m sure you get asked most every question possible. Is there any question you are never asked on a subject that you have always wanted to speak on more?
I don’t know, I guess a question like that. A question like that is a good question because I’ve never heard it before. I always like when people take my mind into different places.
Check out Jesse Royal through the links below: