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Group from Jamaica performed at annual Calgary ReggaeFest

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The five-member Raging Fyah musical act hit the Jamaican music scene in 2006 and since that point evolved into a dynamic international performing group. This group specializes in reggae music and has performed in Russia, Germany, France, Poland, Slovakia, Belgium, the Netherlands and throughout the United Kingdom before coming to Calgary as one of the headline acts of the 2014 Calgary International ReggaeFest held on Aug. 14-16. This group recently released its second album, “Destiny,” in June.

The lead vocalist of the group, Kumar Bent, spoke to the Calgary Journal’s Zarif Alibhai at the festival.

ZA: How did you get started in music and what was your inspiration?

KB: Raging Fyah all started a few years ago in 2006 out of Edna Manley, a visual and performing arts college in Jamaica — the only one of its kind in the Caribbean actually. So we all went to school with the exception of Gizmo the guitarist. (Gizmo) is a street musician. We went to Edna Manley from there I mean we all had the same liking for music and the same feel in the music, so we became friends and the music is here.

ZA: How did you decide who is going to do what in the band?

KB: I mean everyone has their role. It’s natural because you can’t find a better keyboard player than Demar or Spydah or when you hear Anthony plays drums or Pele play bass. You just know what each person is supposed to do, so it’s not complicated like that you just know your role.IMG 9489Raging FyahRaging Fyah first came together as a reggae group in 2006 when most of the members were attending Edna Manley, a visual and performing arts college in Jamaica. Since that point the band has went on multiple international tours and have released two studio albums. Pictured here from left to right:Demar Keysie Gayle (keyboardist), Kumar Bent (lead vocalist) and André Dennis (keyboardist).

Photo by Zarif Alibhai

ZA: You’ve been touring quite a bit. Tell me about that.

KB: We just released our second album, titled “Destiny”, on June 17. We went on the Destiny tour. We started in California and then went to Europe and then we also went to Russia. So we’ve been on the road seven weeks now. We just left from the U.K. to be in Canada. We (have been) actually touring this album for two months now.

ZA: How do people receive your music in North America?

KB: Wow! It’s been amazing man. Everywhere we go people love reggae music. They love Raging Fyah. Yes sir!

How did Bob Marley inspire your group?

KB: Just his story. Coming all the way from the country . . . coming to the city and not knowing what lies ahead and to become this world superstar in everybody’s eyes is revolutionary. And that is inspirational.

ZA: Tell me about of your hit songs people should know about?

KB: The first album we released Aug. 7, 2011, was called “Judgment Day” and Judgment Day was a smash hit off that album (along) with songs like Far Away and Irie Vibe which we used a Go Pro video for which was the first Go Pro music video of it’s kind that’s ever been recorded. Raging Fyah made history with that off the Judgment Day album. For the new album check out Brave, Africa, Barrier, Step Outta Babylon. There are so many songs on the album that are amazing.

ZA: When you speak about Africa in your song what message are you trying to convey to the listener?

KB: I’m talking about the beauty of Africa. Growing up in the west the image of Africa is not the best. They sell you that image because they don’t want you going back to Africa where life started. They want to keep you over here living off the bodies and blood of people in Africa and have all this nice equipment like telephones and everything that we know. We know what’s happening and it’s just about educating the people about it. So (the song) Africa on the album is just painting a picture of Africa as we know it and see it.

ZA: Do you feel a sense of spirituality through your music?

KB: There has to be spirituality because before religion and before the flesh and before everything else you have to be spiritual. You have to be connected to the universe that everything is one. So the music itself is connected.

ZA: Do you put spirituality in your music as well?

KB: Definitely, we have to be on a spiritual level, you know, all of us on the stage at one time. We don’t talk to each other and so we have to be talking in the spirit. We have to be understanding of what’s going to happen, what’s the vibe like and what’s the drummer feeling?

ZA: What does the future hold for your music?

KB: Raging Fyah we don’t play music, we live music! We pray to God that he showers his blessings financially and for Raging Fyah to keep doing this work and impacting the world note by note, melody by melody.

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