Author: Fabian Thomas | Date: 31 July 2013
I met Kris Jobson when he was a wiry teenager and member of Ashe Performing Arts Ensemble in Kingston, Jamaica. That was more than 20 years ago. Today Kris is an international artist on the rise and one to watch as he continues to share the beauty of his artistic abilities and inspirational spirit.
Born in Kingston Kris grew up in a musical family. His parents and relatives were tied to the music industry in some way or the other as musicians, singers, songwriters or music producers. Kris knew at a very young age that music/arts were his path and with a B.F.A degree from NYU, Tisch School of the Arts, he has followed that path with passion and verve.
On his journey, he has lived in many major cities across the world from New York to Los Angeles, Milan to Rome, Berlin to Cologne, Paris to Zurich to name a few, and he has absorbed the musical culture that each offers as well as acquiring fluency in Italian and French.�
Kris has performed on TV, Film and Stage and recorded original music throughout his career, but only now has he sought to follow a solo career expressing his unique and rich perspective.
He likes to define his present musical style as 'Island Rock', a smooth blend of his roots of Reggae with the international sounds that have helped to mold the man he is today.
World, meet Kris Jobson:
How would you describe your 'sound' and 'style' as a singer?
I feel like a fusion of many cultures. I grew up in Jamaica then finished my adolescence in New York and LA then became a young man in Europe. This journey has molded me and my music. As a result, my sound is very eclectic. It definitely has a reggae base and a Caribbean feel, which is who I am at my core, but it also has other influences: for example, some alternative, reggaeton, and world sounds and, of course, a dose of fun and high energy.�
The sound is, however, organic and each song finds a new balance of these genres and colours. My style, not unlike my sound, is also a fusion. I have influences of reggae/dancehall and soul mixed with light rock. I think I am introducing a new sound that others have termed 'Island Rock' or 'Euro Reggae'. �But, in essence, it is just the musical language that life has taught me.
Who are your five favourite male singers?
Luther Vandross, Stevie Wonder, Seal, Bob Marley and John Legend.
Who would you identify as your main influences as an artiste and as a man?
As an artiste, I have been moved by a number of people, but the two main ones who come to mind are Michael Jackson and Bob Marley. Michael, in his power and reach as an artiste, through his unique combination of dance, music and message. Bob Marley, as he fearlessly expressed his truth and insight with reggae music as his medium, impacting the world.�
These two artistes, as well as my parents, Karol and Oliver, have imparted upon me the importance of integrity and courage in speaking your truth and standing up for it with a firm and steady stance while, at the same time, being aware that as you grow and evolve your perspective and your truth will also evolve along with you. These are life lessons that help make me the man I am today.
When he's not modeling, singing & recording what does Kris like to do?
I like to read any material that delves into our deepest essence and greatest potential as humans. I am drawn to expanding who and what I am at the base level. I am addicted to learning, ha ha. On a more entertaining note, I have found renewed excitement in theme parks; learning to jump right into the fear and let go. But, my all-time favourite thing to do is to spend time with a family member or close friend who I really connect with and be spontaneous. Talk, joke, play cards, go dancing, anything that makes me revel in the joy of the bond we share.
Tell me about your current project
I am currently promoting my debut single Say Yeah , which is a part of an EP of four to six songs. It is getting growing attention from the US, Europe, Australia, Canada and I am enjoying this fun ride.
What does 'Brand Jamaica' mean to you?
To me, Brand Jamaica means everything that makes me happy and proud of being Jamaican. The warmth and welcoming energy of our people - the fun, joy and consciousness of our music, the flavourfulness of our food, the lush greenery of our mountains and bright colours of our flowers, the richness and diversity of our culture - all this is Brand Jamaica.�
Do you have any rituals/consistent habits as a singer/performer?�
As a performer and singer I am very responsible with the way I eat; ensuring that I avoid the foods I am intolerant to, knowing which foods drain my energy and which ones actually give me energy. I am a firm believer in vitamins, minerals and supplements to help reinforce my well-being. Meditation and contemplation are a real part of my everyday life. Physical stretching is key to a healthy, strong body and I use it as a meditation in itself.
Tell me two things that most people don't know about you
Most people don't know that I have a long-time fear of alligators and crocodiles and that I can actually eat two times my body weight in any given day. (smile)
What is your most memorable moment as an artiste so far?
My most memorable moment was landing the starring role of Leroy in the national tour of 'Fame' The Musical, in Italy. I was given the opportunity to do a role that had inspired me so much as a young artiste.�
Uniting all those art forms of acting, singing, dancing and then to do it all in a new language, Italian, was both a challenge and an honour beyond measure. �We did the original adaptation and the writer of Fame came to Italy and gave us all the inside information on such an iconic piece of musical history. �The show was a huge success and that launched my career in Italy to a whole new level. �