[Reggae Entertainment News]
Brooklyn-based Reggae singer Elijah Rocq is now embarking on promising solo career…
Photo: Elijah Rocq
Brooklyn-born Reggae singer Elijah Rocq “poised for greatness.”
In the 1960’s, a new musical marvel called Reggae burst onto the scene created by an often-suffering, struggling, underclass of disaffected Africans from the ghettos and hinterlands of the post-colonial Caribbean island of Jamaica.
Reggae articulated the pain, struggle, and suffering—as well as the joy and triumph of everyday working-class people battling economic exploitation and repression. This is one primary reason why Reggae gained popular global mass appeal. Today, people from diverse backgrounds all over the world love and respect Reggae music.
The legacy of musical greats like: Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Jacob Miller, Bunny Wailer, Dennis Brown, Gregory Issacs, Burning Spear, Sly and Robbie, along with important bands like: Toots and the Maytals, Third World, Steel Pulse, Aswad and Black Uhuru has made this reality so.
When Reggae is mentioned people naturally think of Jamaica where this music originated. But today, artists from every corner of creation play Reggae. And, sometimes important Reggae voices emerge from areas very near our own backwards.
Recently, I was reminded of this when I happened across Brooklyn-born Reggae singer Elijah Rocq as he was performing at Hurricane Harry’s Bar, on the Nautical Mile, in Freeport, Long Island.
While listened to Elijah Rocq, and watching him perform, some things were immediately apparent besides his obvious vocal skills. First, the singer displayed a love and passion for performing and had magnetic charisma engaging with the receptive crowd. This led numerous people to stop and listen who had been just passing by. Some then joined those already dancing on the bar’s open-air dance floor. Others started pulling out cellphones to videotape the artist. Some made their way to the bar to get a drink and listen more to the soulful singer.
Another thing that was clear was Rocq’s versatility in singing several different styles of popular Reggae standards including lovers rock ballads, dance songs, and political songs. I started paying even more attention when he blended his own original music into the mix. In speaking to Rocq, after his performance, I was impressed by his down-to-earth humility and willingness to enthusiastically engage with anyone as he did when he was performing.
Elijah Rocq was born Elijah Dixon in Brooklyn, New York, the sixth of nine children. He credits his mother with instilling in him a deep love for music from an early age. On his www.elijahrocq.blogspot.com page, it says “Due to his mother’s love for music and to keep her clan in the field of music, she gave them instruments and turned her family to a band. Elijah would listen to his mother sing, while they played and decided at an early age that he was going to take singing as his profession.”
Music was a constant in Rocq’s Brooklyn house where he listened to everything from Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Steel Pulse to Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway, and The Chi-Lites, to name a few.
When he was 10, Rocq’s family moved to Jamaica, where he lived in the Parish of St Ann, on the island’s north coast—where Reggae greats Burning Spear and Bob Marley were born. The Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey was also born here.
While living in St. Ann, Rocq gained a deep appreciation for the melodious sounds of nature like listening to the waves, water, wind, and the “chirping birds.” According to Rocq, he composes his music “psychologically.” Because of his love of singing, he sang every chance he got at outings, weddings, and in hotels. He eventually found himself in a group named Access. Later, along with a member of Access, they formed a duo named Two Souls. The duo released two powerful songs named “Freedom” and “Kumbaya,” in UB40’S studio in Oracabessa, St. Mary.
In 2006, Rocq got a chance to sing at the Air Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival. He then sang at Heroes Park, alongside saxophone great Dean Fraser. After his Heroes Park performance, he was recruited by the Live Wyya Band to be their lead singer. With Live Wyya he toured the U.S., Europe & Japan sharing the stage with famous stars such as: Gregory Issacs, Marcia Griffiths, Sanchez, Buju Banton, Lee Scratch Perry, and Sly & Robbie.
Rocq is now a solo artist working under his own TriumphantRootz label. On his album “Back To Me,” Rocq showcases his talents including on the ballads “Guess You Didn’t Know” and “Masterpiece” and on inspirational songs like “Brighter Days” and “Reality.”
When he is not recording, Rocq can usually be found performing somewhere for the people, including at various venues in the New York City area. As a Reggae veteran, Rocq is confident his solo career is “poised for greatness.” Given his recently released ballad entitled “All Seasons Love” it’s hard to argue with his assessment. This fantastic love song illustrates Rocq’s vocal talent. The ladies will surely quickly fall in love with this song and the soulful singer who hails from Brooklyn.
A few of Elijah Rocq’s songs—including a partial live performance at Harlem’s “The Shrine” are posted just below, along with links to contact the artist.
Elijah Rocq’s “All Season’s Love”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_qfKuvWU30
Elijah Rocq’s “Father Protect Us”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6N-Nhgp5IUg
Elijah Rocq at The Shrine: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoEg91hBfBk
For more information on Elijah Rocq logon to www.elijahrocq.blogspot.com or https://www.facebook.com/elijah.dixon