Hezron’s soul aches and voice wails on Save the Children, his latest release and a cry to all nations to protect, care for, and nurture children for a better tomorrow.
The single’s premiere comes in the wake of last month’s Clarendon massacre which saw a mother and her four children discovered dead with their throats slashed.
Written and produced by Hezron for Tad’s International Records, Save the Children was initially inspired by the film Beasts of No Nation, which follows the implications of civil war and the recruiting and exploitation of child soldiers. It made him think of local dons recruiting youth into a life of crime and violence, stories of which Hezron has been exposed to, having recorded music at studios located in inner cities over the years.
“Sometimes we busy, as elders and mature people, on our own survival that we might see a kid and disregard them, but this is what a lack of attention and focus on these problems is causing now,” the singer told The Sunday Gleaner. “The looseness, the atrocities, the vile acts, and even the rootlessness that kids have developed against us is because they feel like they were neglected when they were crying out. We have to take a look and ask, what does the future look like?”
Being a father to a son raised in the United States, Hezron has worried about having the right influence around his youth and is grateful to God that his family was around to steer him on the right path. Save The Children bears a specific message to parents to remember they are their child’s first teacher. He added, “Fathers have to be in the children’s lives more now, it can’t be a joke thing. We have to guide the future.”
He related the song’s genesis to his 2016 track, Mobay, an appeal to his native town to return to its caring state before becoming riddled with crime. The recording of these songs is such an emotional process that he has to have a professional engineer monitor his vocal levels, so the audio doesn’t come out distorted when played on air. On that note, Hezron said the track has been receiving radio play, but shared that he has passed having expectations of his songs creating a buzz.
“I did it from my heart, mi do mi part. The rest is up to the I dem.”
‘MAN ON A MISSION’
Save the Children forms part of his 17-track album, M.O.A.M. (Man on a Mission), scheduled for release on August 19 by Tad’s.
“My whole thing towards this album is to bring back authentic reggae music to the forefront in the international market, where it used to be many, many years ago when Bob Marley and Peter Tosh did it,” he said. “Most people would say they know Hezron has been doing music for many years, and I’ve always tried to make sure that the quality and integrity of the music, artistry and our culture stay above.”
The tracks include the pre-released title song, as well as TikTok I’m Coming, and the upcoming Turbulence collaboration, Made for the Battle, and reggae-Latin track Black Widow.
“I also have a collaboration called Warrior’s Code with the native Americans: the Hopi tribe and the Navajo tribe. It’s never been done before and it’s a unique song on the album. I also have a song called Kurudi Nyumbani, which is Swahili for ‘I want to go back home to Africa ’, for my African fans who have always asked to get a song like that over the years.”
Musicians on the project include drummer Kirk Bennett, bassist Donald ‘Danny Bassie’ Dennis, saxophonist Dean Fraser, guitarist Monty Alexander, keyboardists Carol ‘Bowie’ McLaughlin and Robbie Lyn, and multitalented musician Leroy Romans.