A Legendary Voice for the People. Legendary Prolific Artist Speaks On The Longevity Of His Career And Being A Voice For The People
I try to stay in a certain lane with my music and don’t come out of line
Richie Spice has long been a staple in the culture of Reggae. Born Richell Bonner of Rock Hall, St. Andrew, Jamaica, Spice is no stranger to music as he hails from one of the islands most renowned family of artists. Three of Spice’s brothers are musical pioneers- Pliers, Spanner Banner, and Snatch Lion. Though Richie is surrounded by musical greatness, he is in a league of his own. Spice gained major popularity in the mid-90’s and has not lost any steam.
Since the release of Spice’s first single “Killing a Sound,” which was produced by Dennis “Star” Hayes, Spice has not slowed down. Spice then teamed up with producer Clive Hunt Bonner for his debut album on the Island Jamaica label and from then on Spice’s career took on a life of its own. Spice did not stop there, his second album included hits such as “Earth a Run Red,” which still rings off at every Dancehall and Reggae function, and smash single “Marijuana.” He then followed up with hits such as “Land of Jamaica,” “Time So Rough” and fan favorite “Youths Dem Cold,” which was featured on Grand Theft Auto IV and the ending sound track of movie “Attack the Block.” Spice’s music is timeless as it speaks to the core of his fans and though your favorite song from Richie Spice could have been recorded in the 90’s, it still speaks to current social issues while touching the hearts and minds of the people.
There are two major things that an artist wants to accomplish, breaking out into the business and Longevity. Richie Spice has achieved both. When asked what is the secret behind his amazing long-standing career, Spice says “Hard work and focus is the key. I try to stay in a certain lane with my music and don’t come out of line. I focus on social issues and sing songs for the ladies, while using my talent in a productive and progressive way.”
This statement rings true as Spice’s music is described as relatable and truthful. He is no holds bar when it comes to speaking on the current state of the Jamaican economy, the sufferings of the disenfranchised and what needs to be done to assist the youth with achieving a better tomorrow. But make no mistake, Spice might speak on his distaste of some of the sufferings of his people in his song “Land of Jamaica,” but he is very prideful when he speaks about his love for his country.
Richie Spice is a proud member of the Rastafari movement and openly expressed his pride in practicing his religion. There is a love-hate relationship with Rastafarianism as it is the visual representation of Jamaica, yet there is a stigma that comes with a Rasta’s appearance as even schools are requesting that children not have dreadlocks. When asked of his thoughts of experiencing prejudice in his own country Spice states, “There is a lot of manipulation when it comes to my people and instead of people looking in to themselves, they look out of themselves. But we hold firm, as Bob Marley says, yuh grow yuh dreadlock and don’t be afraid of the wolf.
You have to know yourself and people need to educate themselves and not judge.” Spice doesn’t allow any stigma to affect what he does for his people. He is a man of the community and works diligently to improve the welfare of his people through his philanthropic work with Food for Poor (FFP).
Together We Stand
We are in the middle of a global pandemic and Richie Spice was able to achieve what very few could. He released an album called “Together We Stand,” which was five years in the making and featured lead single “Together We Stand.” This song went on to cement itself in history as it was the anchor song used in the Jamaica Telethon and is referred to as the song that got Jamaicans through the peak of the pandemic, as it reiterates the message that we are all in this together. “I had a lot of confidence in this song and it was recorded a couple of years ago, but it shows that if you put the right energy behind it, it will stand the test of time,” Spice says. This is a true statement because just as the song “Together We Stand” will stand the test of time, Richie Spice has proven that he will do the same.