Thursday, October 11, 2007

WE Spotlight - Warrior King

by Monica J. McIntyre

Acclaimed reggae star and Rasta messenger Warrior King is sending this message to all women: “Keep your heads up high and keep strong. It’s the 21st century and women must play an equal role in the day to day activities of society,” he says. “ It’s not like back in the day when women cooked the food, and washed the clothes, those days are over. No more woman on the back burner.” The message is no surprise coming from an artist whose breakout single “Virtuous Woman,” praised and uplifted women.

When the single hit the air waves in 2001, it topped the charts in both Jamaica and New York, and was a hit internationally. Since then the talented 28-year-old has put out two albums: “Virtuous Woman and “Hold the Faith” and has toured throughout the Caribbean, Europe, North America, and Japan. When we spoke he had recently returned from touring in Europe.

His positive lyrics are about social and cultural issues, “man and ohman relationship,” and Africa. He says love is the foundation for all of his messages.

He’s now working on his third album, and has released the single called “Melody,” a track from the album. “No matter how powerful your words are if you don’t have melody people can’t sing along,” he points out.

Warrior King feels blessed for the success he has achieved so far, but credits Jah with using him as an instrument to spread his love, message, and positive vibrations, around the world. “We cannot take the praises for ourselves because without him we can’t write a song, or find a new melody, so we have to put him first in everything,” he says.

Born Mark Dyer, in Kingston, Jamaica, he is the second of four brothers. His father is a businessman, and farmer, and his mother, a nurse. As a child he loved music, but only realized that he could sing when he was 13 years-old, he says. He imitated reggae artist Bounty Killer, and was so good they called him “Bounty Junior.” As a young singer he also used the sobriquet “Junior Kid” and “Junior King.” When dancehall artist Frisco Kid began calling him “Warrior” because of the powerful lyrics in his songs, he became Warrior King.

Although he was immersed in music, and pursuing a career as a reggae artist, Warrior King didn’t let his education lapse. He attended the National Tool and Engineering Institute, in Kingston, and received his diploma in mechanical engineering. He says it’s a profession he can fall back on if he ever needs to, because you never know what tomorrow will bring.
“If you have a car and you are driving to the country you should have a spare tire,” he says, “because you can get a puncture along the way.”

Asked what he thought about the prevalence of guns, gangs, and drugs, among young people nowadays, he points to the negative images young people get from the media, and its influence on them. “Young people listen to the radio, watch TV, and read magazines, and there is a lot of negative news happening,” he explains. “A lot of positive things are happening in Jamaica, but if you check the news, and listen to the radio, the only thing you’ll hear is who got shot today, and who got killed. If the media would put a greater focus on the positives there could be a big change,” he says.

Now a family man with two young sons he says the family unit is very important as it’s where love begins. “It starts within the family, and then goes to the community, the nation, the world, and the universe.”
He encourages young people to get an education. “Read and examine all things, and choose and follow the good,” he says, “and women and men must stand side by side. Unity is strength.”

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