New Music: Abdel Wright


A while back, I was checking out music videos at the ITunes music store. I clicked on one called “Quicksand” and was pleasantly surprised to hear a combination of reggae backed by a folk guitar. Think Ben Harper's “Burn One Down” or K-Os' “Hallelujah”. But this was an artist I'd never heard of before, nor could I find any of his songs.

That's when I first heard Abdel Wright.

Abdel Wright spent most of his childhood in Jamaican orphanages before ending up at the SOS Children???s Village in Montego Bay, a facility that was funded by the late Johnny Cash (who happend to own a place near by). After learning how to play the guitar at age 12, Wright began writing songs.

At the age of 18, Wright was legally an adult and was kicked out off the Children's Village. Having no where to go, he turned to crime as a means of support. He was finally caught and sentemced to eight years for possesion of a fire arm. In prison, Wright wrote his first two singles “Quicksand” and “Ruffest Times.”

After a chance meeting with Brian Jobson, Wright's career took off. His name and music was passed on to Dave Stewart(founder of the Eurythmics) and then to Bono, who became an instant fan. In 2003, both Bono and Stewert invited Wright to perform at the Nelson Mandela AIDS Benefit Concert in Cape Town, South Africa.

His self-titled debut is being released by Weapons of Mass Entertainment/Interscope Records on August 16th. For DC folks, he's performing at Jammin' Java in Vienna VA this coming Wednesday (August 3rd) at 7:30.