Every serious reggae collection should contain “Virtuous Woman”, the debut album of Mark Dyer, better known as Warrior King. If you like to know who gave him his artist name and why President Barack Obama and Formula One racing driver Lewis Hamilton name Warrior King as their favourite artist, read the interview.
I read you get in the music together with your deejay friend Little Blacks. How you found to reggae music and Rastafari?
Warrior King: I was born in Kingston Jubilee Hospital and grow up in Franklin Town in Kingston. My father comes from Clarendon. So I went down there and grow up from age about 4 till about 11. That’s in the country, me come from more rural Jamaica with hills and valleys, back a de yard.
My Father kept a dance, when I was a little boy at his shop. It was a popular spot. All the sounds used to come there, music all the time. I start to love music from there. That was the root of the music.
I left Clarendon and lived in Waterford, Portmore about age of 11, 12. I met Little Blacks there, because I start deejaying in school. They used to call me “Bounty Junior”. Blacks was a deejay like me so we lived close together, close to Admiral Tibet, too. The Foundation lay there.
Admiral gave me a lot of teachings and strength. Him is one of my inspiration to Rastafarai. I started studying Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, the real foundation, the knowledge and wisdom of Rastafarai I cooperate in music, because it’s one!
You got your artist name “Warrior King” from dancehall artist Frisco Kid.
Warrior King: We are from the same Portmore City and he was a good friend of mine. We lived very close, so I often went down there with the bicycle. People was calling me “Junior King”, but being around Frisco Kid him call me “Warrior”. So from then everybody was starting call me “Warrior King”.
“Virtuous Woman” in 2001 was the tune I get my first contact to your music. It wasn’t just a hit tune in Jamaica.
Warrior King: Of course it was a new experience when you’re young. You get a lot of pressure, but it was still a nice vibe. It was good feeling, when people like what you create. People came from all over for productions, dubs and interviews. It was a very good feeling.
VP Records came to me, so I started working with Bobby Digital, one of my earliest producers. Then Penthouse and of course Michael Johnson from Lion Paw, cause him produced “Virtuous Woman”.
Things a start rocky with a lot of stress. I had to move from my community where I lived, cause certain vibration. Me set the song so it comes to advantage and disadvantage. Sometimes people don’t understand what’s behind the scene – a lot of fiction and escape where man coming from. But still I give thanks to Jah for the blessings I got.
I noticed you sang a lot about love. Why?
Warrior King: Cause love is everything. Love is why we are here. Love is why I do music. Love is in the interview. Love is the reason for doing many things. Love is the sense of what I do. Love is what I bring to the world. Love has no boundary, colour. Love is always on everybody’s side. So that it’s about.
I feel like that in Jamaica modern roots / conscious artists most time are reduced to their big tunes. For example in Europe you play a full concert. How do you feel about the difference?
Warrior King: It’s the culture of Jamaica, but sometimes as an artist I think the culture is not the right view, because singing two or three songs not gives you the chance to show your potential. This is why I like to perform in the international scene.
It’s a better way to express yourself more – bring the real message to the people. But this is the way Jamaican people like and still people in Jamaica have a lot of vibes when it comes to party.
What’s the aim of your music? Do you want to spread news or do you like to talk about timeless themes?
Warrior King: I want to spread the message of Rastafarai. Rastafarai is love, righteousness and positive thinking.
2005 you released your last album “Hold the Faith”. I read you work on a new album named “Love Is In The Air”?
Warrior King: It’s out on iTunes since September 2009. At the moment we plan to release it as a CD. It’s a beautiful album, it’s all about love!
Tell us more about it.
Warrior King: “Love Is In The Air” is a Roots Warrior production. Various producers are on the album like “Girlfriend”, a Max Romeo collaboration, Kingswell Music, “Wanting You” and “Want To Give Me Your Love” from Dynasty Productions. I work with musicians from all over the world, because I want a proper album. But still I produce the most songs of the album in the studio.
Every song is beautiful, but my favourites are “Wanting You“, ”I’m Cold” and “Own Me”. I think the world will love this one. No one can sing about love like rastaman, cause rastaman knows love and shows love and express everything him do in love.
In an interview Barack Obama (CBSNews, 60 Minutes) and Lewis Hamilton, too, told the press that their favourite artists are Bob Marley and Warrior King. That makes me proud about the things I create.
The last words are up to you
I want to say that I managed by Imhotep C. Records by Biggaton (Kevyn Roye). I managed by Rasta, we have the same vision, mindset. So I love working with him. In the near future you will hear a lot of Warrior King.
We getting bigger, stronger and better than before. We are more confident and convicted to the thing we do. Then at the moment we are working on my backing band. Rastafarai work never stop!