Pree10: Courtney John sees the ‘Future’ in Rootstronic

Pree10: Courtney John sees the ‘Future’ in Rootstronic

Written by Editor

Topics: Music

He’s sporting a new look and his distinct vocals are floating on a brand new sound. Courtney John continues to push his creativity to the limit, as evidenced by his latest innovation – “Rootstronic” – the exciting fusion of roots reggae and electronic dance music. Working with Natassja “The Wizard” Hammond and Stephen “Lenky” Marsden as The Courtney John Project, he is poised to officially launch the emerging genre by dropping an album titled “Future” at the end of next month.

He captured widespread attention as well as the collective imagination of music enthusiasts and industry insiders with the release of the single “Soul Of A Man” late last year. Now he has created palpable buzz with the recent release of “Black Cinderella”, a cover of the Errol Dunkley reggae classic. In this instalment of Pree10, we pose a few questions to Courtney John about the recently released track and the Rootstronic revolution…more after the jump.

The Courtney John Project

The Courtney John Project (Click image to open "Black Cinderella" on Soundcloud)

1. First thing’s first, the song “Black Cinderella” is a cover. What inspired you to cover this classic?

It’s one of my Jamaican all-time favourite songs. For about five years I’ve been thinking about covering it, but I always knew that I wanted to do it differently…I didn’t want to cover it the same way. It was very fitting that we were able to do it in a Rootstronic vibe.

2. It appears you took a vintage approach to this recording, did any particular artiste influenced this style?

Well…“Roots” is the foundation and “Tronics” is the innovation. We always try to keep sounds that are indigenous to us whether old or new. Like they always say in Jamaica, the future is always in the past.

“I make music that I enjoy and feel good making. I find that when you stay true to the creative process, like river to the ocean, it always finds its place.”

3. This interpretation of the song is eclectic. How was it conceptualised?

I played the song for The Wizard, and asked her what she thought about us doing the song over, but with a fresh approach. She worked on “Black Cinderella” for a few months and tried many different cuts with it. When Lenky came in to record his section, we decided to switch it up a little and make it different, going from a 4/4 timing to a 3/4 timing, which is not normal within our genre.

4. The Wizard and Lenky are a part of this musical “experience”. What was the process like?

I wanted this project to include some of the more musically driven, eclectic talents that I know and they came to mind. We have worked on many different project before, so naturally it was an easy choice.

5. Who do you make music for, yourself or the fans or both? If both, how do you find the middle ground?

I make music that I enjoy and feel good making. I find that when you stay true to the creative process, like river to the ocean, it always finds its place.

Courtney John

6. Is “Black Cinderella” the lead single from your soon-to-be-released album? What made you choose this track?

Yes, “Black Cinderella” is the lead single for our album “Future”, due out April 30th. We chose it because it’s one of the singles that we think truly represent this new sound that we’re trying to get out there.

7. I can hear a subtle dubstep infusion. Is this the theme for the entire project?

Well the project includes a lot of elements from different genres. I wouldn’t say it’s the full theme.

8. This song, and by extension the project, is somewhat of a rebirth. How receptive are the fans, radio, etc. so far?

So far it’s been good! Especially on the “Black Cinderella” single. We have been getting great support and I think it will grow as we continue with our promotion of the project.

9. How would you describe/categorise yourself as an artiste, as well as your music?

I’m a singer/songwriter, lover of life, lover of people and I try to make sure that reflects in everything I do.

10. Some artistes make music for the love of it, while others do it for money and fame…Why do you make music?

I make music because I think that’s what I was put here to do. To get paid is not a bad thing, but it’s always music first. Everything else is just a by-product of how good the music is.


*Pree10 is a special interview feature that serves up 10 questions to interesting personalities and top talents.

1 Comment For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Wonderful Q an A. Really enjoyable read.

Leave a Comment Here's Your Chance to Be Heard!

To prove you're a person (not a spam script), type the security word shown in the picture. Click on the picture to hear an audio file of the word.
Anti-spam image