written by Jen Cheshire
I interviewed Jemere Morgan for a radio station when he was a junior in High School. At the time, like most juniors, he didn’t really know what he wanted to do after school, an architect, a lawyer, maybe go into the music industry. This was at the time of his first single release “First Kiss”. I have been following the heir to the Morgan dynasty in the years since then and am happy he decided on music as his career.
Coming from the Morgan family I had no doubts about the production of his latest album “Self Confidence”, but have been impressed by the quality and maturity of the lyrics, that have a meatier content than his debut album “Transition”.
The album opens with the first track that was released off the album, “Troddin”. “Troddin ft Stu Stapleton” received rave reviews on its release. The lyrics talk about life’s journey.
In “Good Time”, Jemere sings about smoking and having a good time. This track has a beachy, summer feel, including a waves soundbite, and is about smoking and having a good time. It’s a very catchy, upbeat song that is guaranteed to be a festival favorite. The thing that struck me was the sweet voice of Keba Williams in the background, a perfect blend with Jemere’s voice.
The next track is a remake of Bob Marley and the Wailers “Music Lesson”. Jemere has taken the basis of this classic song and updated it, warning artists to give careful thought to their lyrics and the message they are sending.
“We’re Gonna Be Alright ft Satori and Morgan Heritage” is track 4. Satori sings about how the media reports instill fear and trepidation into the younger generation then Jemere comes in saying he will not be held down by fear and to free the future generations with love, “we’re gonna be alright” as Jah is in control.
“Mind Your Business ft King Koahi” is a song about not caring what people say about you, “I’m gonna live my life in my own way. I don’t really care what nobody say.” I get the feeling that this song is very personal to Jemere.
The following track “Favorite Song” is my favorite song on the album. This acoustic song really resonates with me because no matter what is going on in your life, music fixes your mindset. “I’m gonna play my favorite song, turn the world off and put the music on. Even if I sing off-key, it still sounds good to me”.
“Blank Page” is an upbeat tune with Jemere starting off “Why do people like to tell you how to live?” He goes on to say instead of criticizing, sit down and talk about it. Stop arguing and reason about your differences. If you have the opportunity to listen on a good sound system or good headphones, check out the percussion towards the end of this track.
In “Cool and Bad ft Sheldon Palmer”, the title speaks for itself. It’s an upbeat song with a great bassline and some wicked sax playing by Sheldon Palmer. This would make an excellent dub track.
Next up is an Interlude in which Jemere explains his understanding of the phrase “Self Confidence” in a conversation with “G”. I don’t know who G is so I’m guessing maybe it’s the producer of the album, Gennaro Schiano.
The title track “Self Confidence ft Keba” is next up. This track has a smooth R&B vibe, in which Jemere sings about having the self-confidence to follow your dreams. He says there is nothing wrong in being confident in yourself as long as you remain humble. This track shows the versatility of Keba. Not only does she have the sweet background singer voice we heard in “Good Time” but she is also a powerhouse vocally when she is let loose.
The next track, “Can’t Leave You Alone”, is a love song.
Another love song but with a twist is “Be Mine”. This is a love song by a young man not ready to commit, asking if she can handle the musician’s lifestyle and would she wait for him until he is ready to settle down to a relationship.
“Proud” is a song in which Jemere is saying he is proud of his heritage and the family he belongs to and how whenever he steps out the door he is representing his family, “I walk with a clean heart. I’m confident and I’m well strong. I know who I am and I know who I’m gonna be”
“I’m proud like a champion. I’m proud where mi come from. Nobody can take that away from me.”
Keeping the theme of self-confidence is “Follow Your Dreams”. This is a pretty song with a Latin vibe to it, telling you to forget about the naysayers, dream big and follow your dreams.
The closing track is “Victory Dance”. Jemere sings that he has worked hard to get where he is so “Watch me do my victory dance. I’m going ‘round the world doing my victory dance”.
In the track “Mind Your Business” is a line that says “Some say, you only use your family name to get your fame”. I think this album has proved them wrong. Without the name Morgan, Jemere would still have the talent to make it and this album proves it. Although he is already a Grammy winner for his track on Morgan Heritage’s Grammy-winning album “Strictly Roots”, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he wins a Grammy in his own right for “Self Confidence”. Well done Jemere, I am proud of you!