Niyorah: ‘Rising Sun’ Album Review

Niyorah‘s new album, Rising Sun, is just the latest in a long line of very solid modern roots reggae albums from the superb collective of U.S. reggae artists who have ushered in the most significant transformational period for reggae in several decades. This gifted vocalist was born Nigel Olivacce in Dominica and educated on the streets of Savan ghetto in St. Thomas. While Niyorah is a gifted vocalist with a distinct vocal sound his true talent is his ability to translate and relate his experience and life lessons learned through music.

Although ‘Rising Sun’ features production from several European houses, the heart of the album lies in the Caribbean. Thematically, ‘Rising Sun’ is a Rastafari album at its core with songs that range from the deeply devotional (“Here to Serve,” “Let Love Flow,” and the title track) to political (“Media Portray,” “War Is Not the Answer”) to celebratory (“Rastafari Is My Guide,” “Rainforest”). ‘Rising Sun’ features production from a diverse group of production houses from Austria, Morocco, St. Croix and Jamaica, making for an incredibly well-balanced set.

Niyorah has a finely-tuned voice and a dynamic vocal style which ranges from classic singer to sing jay. On the Laurent “Tippy-I Alfred-produced “Rising Sun” Niyorah performs brilliantly as singer along with guest artist House of Shem (a trio from New Zealand). The influence of sing jays like Sizzla Kalonji, Anthony B, and Capleton is evidenced on tracks like “Workday,” in which Niyorah goes sing jay over the over the Rub-A-Dub Maket riddim.

We now live in a post-Jamaican era of reggae where artists and producers from every imaginable town on the globe can catch a vibe, link up, and produce a sound that is authentic and accessible. ‘Rising Sun’ is both a product of this new reality and a testament to the global influence of reggae and Rastafari.