One of reggae music’s most powerful singers, Garnet Silk, died on December 9, 1994 while trying to save his mother from a burning house in Mandeville, Manchester. Four months later, Novlyn ‘Lovey’ Banton gave birth to his last child Garnet Silk Jr. who, this Friday, will release his debut album, Let Reuben Live.
The 10-track album, including a cover of his father’s original song, Disadvantaged, is being released on the younger Silk’s Reuben Order Records. It will also be the first single released from the album. Let Reuben Live is being released on iTunes, Spotify and other digital platforms, and also features an original track called Promises.
“It’s me reasoning, uplifting and sharing my perspective with every-day people about how government impacts our lives,” said Silk Jr. “It’s also about people in their crab-in-a-barrel mentality, ultimately teaching us that unity as a people is very important.”
On a whole, he said, the album is to inform all generations of their history and why it is important, and also keeping up with current situations. “It’s me sharing a few personal experiences, sharing my perspective on certain things. I am also talking a little about my father and how important preserving his legacy is to me,” he said, while also revealing that the name of the album also pays tribute to his forefathers.
“My grandfather was born on the first of April, my father was born on the second and I was born on the third of April, and April – born are considered Reubenites. Reuben is the first son of Jacob and Reuben is considered one of the 12 Tribes of Israel, so it’s a Rasta reference. So I say ‘Let Reuben live’, as in ‘I and I will preserve the legacy.’ Let Reuben live and never die.”
The 22-year-old Silk Jr., his brother Eon Smith, Earl ‘Chinna’ Smith Jr., Chris Lion, One Harmony Music Group and Justus, are producers on the album that also features tracks like Jah As My Witness and two of his personal favourites, Zion Awaits and Hotta Than Fire.
“Hotta Than Fire is one of my favourites because my brother and I worked on that track, so that was something special,” he said.
“Zion Awaits is me talking in the first person and is very personal, and I speak about my father a little in it.”
There are also a few cuts – Lady Divine, a track he produced with ‘Chinna’ Smith and the Chris Lion-produced, All I Desire – that are for ‘the ladies’.
“Lady Divine is also one of my favourites because it is an acoustic track and it’s very, very intimate,” he revealed.
Growing up, Silk Jr. came to learn about the incredible legacy his father left behind, one that he is destined to carry on.
“As I grew older and started digging deeper, trying to find out more about my father and started listening to his music, I started to accept and acknowledge how much a great man Garnett Silk was and what he means to people. It started to inspire even me in the greatest way possible,” he said.
“Music is an in-born thing. It has always been a passion. It just so happens that my father became one of my inspirations, and so I definitely believe in preserving the legacy while keeping my own identity and individuality.”