I just heard a song that made me channel one of the House Wives of Atlanta characters. I say that half-jokingly, of course I don’t watch that show nor would I admit if I did. I digress, all I know is the first minute I heard the reggae rendition of Adele’s song, I was like Hello! Now I know I am prone to waxing poetic about songs, music is my first love even before prose and poetry. However, rest assure what I write about Conkarah and Rosie Delmah’s version of Hello is no hype.
Let me say from the outset, I don’t know anything about Conkarah and Rosie. I just happened to be surfing reggae covers of popular songs until Rosie’s voice shattered the monotony of traffic and delivered me into the arms of entrancing music. Like I mean ever had music that just grabbed your soul from the time the first beat dropped until the fade kicked in? Ever been captivated by music that grabbed your attention and your neck alike as you sway and nod your head with each cadence? That is precisely what happened to me while I was driving on 14th Street on my way to Busboys and Poets to wait out the late evening traffic.
There are certain singers that people should be very leery to do covers of. It is usually best to avoid musicians who are known to us by first names. Unless you are supremely talented, the best advice is to steer clear of trying to cover the music of Micheal, Whitney, and Sade for example. Well you can add Adele to this list; the vocal range and pure power of Adele makes her one of the preeminent talents of our generation. Covering her music should only be undertaken by the most talented of singers or by those of us who swear that we are gifted as we are singing behind shower curtains accompanied by music turned up full blast.
Well I am here to report that Rosie lived up to the task as her voice was dynamic enough to make me think that it was Adele’s voice being dubbed over reggae beats. Conkarah’s steps in half way and lets you know that he too is gifted with the voice. This is how music interconnects us, Rosie and Conkarah are brother and sister—proof that out talents are bestowed in our blood. Rosie grew up in Solomon Islands and Conkarah calls Kingston, Jamaica home—proof Jam Rock is the umbilical chord of music (read Marley Riddim Lives). I wanted to do a bit more research about both of them, but then I realized that it would take away from the spontaneity of this write up. You see, this article is being written real time as I’m listening to Rosie and Conkarah sing their version of Adele’s Hello. There is no preparation for this, I am writing from the heart and as the music moves my spirit.
To the people of Solomon Islands and beyond; hello from the other isle. To all lovers of reggae and really to everyone who loves music—that pretty much covers 99.99% of humanity in my estimation—hello to the music of love that resides in all of us. If I am moved to write about music today it’s because I realize that melodies are what what heal and redeem us. May all that divides us be erased and all rocky roads that shatter us be made even; may we all reconcile our differences and realize that there is no other side. In time we will find coexistence and happiness, maybe it starts with a simple hello to perfect strangers. #HelloFromOtherIsle
“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.” ~ Bob Marley
If you are digging the message behind this write up and further love the music of Rosie and Conkarah (below) as they kill it on their rendition of Adele’s Hello, share this article on social media using #HelloFromOtherIsle and follow @RosieDelmah and @Conkorah on Twitter
Check out the Ghion Cast below where I discuss why I love music so and why musicians and artists are the true revolutionaries who will deliver us to redemption.
Originally from Ethiopia with roots to Atse Tewodros II, Lij Teodrose is a former community organizer whose writing was incorporated into Barack Obama's South Carolina primary victory speech in 2008. He pivoted away from politics and decided to stand for collective justice after experiencing the reality of the forgotten masses. His writing defies conventional wisdom and challenges readers to look outside the constraints of labels and ideologies that serve to splinter the people. Lij Teodrose uses his pen to give a voice to the voiceless and to speak truth to power.