Let’s talk about personality. Let’s talk about splits. About love and responsibility. About doubt, gratitude and spirit. About change and new beginnings. Let’s talk about GENTLEMAN and his new album NEW DAY DAWN which will be out on April 22, 2013.
It is the 38 year-old’s sixth studio album. Two decades ago, the Cologne-based artist first set foot on Jamaican soil and over the years he has been spreading reggae music all over the globe with his shows and is now an international reggae headliner. Over the past 20 years, the intensity of his vibes and his sincere and honest personality have earned him growing respect and the love of a global audience. He lives and shares with us his stories and his experiences. Undisguised and unpretentious.
The album will come out as a standard and deluxe edition and with it he invites us to join him for a “New Day Dawn”. It marks an impressive next step in the artist’s career and is the purest “Gentleman”-album that has ever been. For one, it is the first album that was created completely without collaborations or featured artists. And secondly, a lot of the ideas were developed and written by the man himself. “I liked the idea of creating an album that would be purely Gentleman. There was no big plan behind it, it just sort of happened. I felt that “New Day Dawn” could work without featured artists. Which is not to say that I don’t like working with other people”, he explains.
While work on the last album “Diversity” saw ideas, sound- and vocal files travel back and forth around the globe and pass through innumerable hands, “New Day Dawn” is much more rooted. This is partly thanks to Gentleman’s new love and a new acquisition: A grand piano. “Despite the fact that I couldn’t play, I put a grand piano into my apartment about two years ago and it had a wonderful warm sound. Since then, I’ve learned to transfer the melodies from inside my head onto the piano. I can play chords and put them together which inspires new songs and then I find a pitch that I’m comfortable with. I started writing lyrics that fit those musical ideas and in which I deal with many of my experiences of the past few years. I also turned my little home studio in Cologne into a professional recording studio.”
A lot of the overdubs and backings, like Sherieta Lewis from Kingston, Gentleman’s wife Tamika and new band member Treesha Moore from Cologne, were recorded in Jamaica and that is also where some of the lyrics and the music were boiled down, intensified and refined, with the help of Daddy Rings, Jack Radics and Danny Brownie. Most of the vocals were recorded at Danny Brownie’s place in Kingston and some at Maarweg Studios in Cologne and at Gentleman’s own studio. “We recorded most of the music in Germany, but as far as the vocals are concerned, I still find it easier to get feedback in Kingston which is why they were done in Jamaica for the most part.“
Good friends and long-standing partners were involved in the creation and the production process which often began with one of Gentleman’s ideas which he would take to the piano. The result would then be finished together with his fellow musicians who have been at his side for years, even outside the studio and in his everyday life, among them Ben Bazzazian from Cologne who already came to our attention on the song “It No Pretty” on the previous album and who now runs the home recording studio together with Gentleman. It was completely natural to intensify this relationship even further and in the end about half the album was created in that way. The other half originates from the “Evolution”-band context, with drummer Giuseppe “Big Finga“ Coppola in the driving seat, complemented by keyboarder Frank “Pollensi“ Pollak. Two more pieces were created together with Danny Brownie (Mainstreet/Jamaica) in Kingston, and with Alborosie alias Alberto D’Ascola. “New Day Dawn” was mixed by the Jamaican mixing legend Errol Brown (Bob Marley, Gregory Isaacs, and many more) and Moritz Enders in Berlin and was given the final touches by Sascha “Busy“ Bühren in his mastering studio “True Busyness“ in Berlin.
“For me, music is always therapeutic.”
So, once again, the songs on NEW DAY DAWN have a unique sound. They find the perfect balance between roots-reggae, dancehall, pop and hip-hop. Lyrically, it is without a doubt one of Gentleman’s most personal albums. “The title New Day Dawn stands for a new beginning and I believe it is a new chapter, for me personally as well as the general zeitgeist. I have taken a big step towards reaching my goal of truly expressing myself through music.”