Respect | IQulah Rastafari

Irie Magazine | Respect | IQulah Rastafari

IQulah Rastafari

Strength of Life

From the forest to the palace but the lion remains the same. As does the message in the music. IQulah’s musical style carries a world music feel underpinned by a strong roots reggae foundation. Neatly orchestrated and enhanced by full strings, horns and percussion, played over solid reggae basslines, IQulah prefers to think of his music as The King’s music, fit for audiences of all ages and backgrounds. The clarity of IQulah’s lyrics tell a story which holds the attention of the listener. No surprise, then, that his collection has been described as ‘messages from the creator in the form of song.’

The abundance of raw talent on IQulah’s native island of Jamaica is evident by the range of reggae legends which have risen in the global music industry. But what separates IQulah from so many is his conviction. From an early age IQulah began to embrace the teachings of His Majesty, Emperor Haille Selassie I. As a youth he endured many of the hardships that rastas in Jamaica faced as a result of their decision to throw away the traditional ‘scissors and comb’. Nevertheless, IQulah’s confidence in the King of Kings never waned. Having overcome significant odds, IQulah began to spread the message of unity through his music.

In 1989, IQulah released his debut album, Rasta Philosophy, followed by a second album, The Mission in 1993. Three more albums were later released, including Rastafari 4Eva, in 1994. Touring extensively throughout Europe, IQulah quickly established himself as a legendary performer, taking his audiences to higher spiritual heights. Hailed by the press as the ‘High Priest of Reggae’ and the ‘Rasta Ambassador’, IQulah is known first for his authentic presentation, supported by high calibre musicians and second, for his unique charisma. IQulah has touched thousands of audiences across the world, from the Far East through Russia, Europe and Scandinavia to Africa and the Indian Ocean.

IQulah’s journey through Africa has brought him through Malawi, Tanzania, Mali, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Zimbabwe and South Africa. Some unique experiences on the continent have been live performances in Maskal Square, Ethiopia to a crowd of 80,000 people, IQulah’s performance as the sole reggae artist at the Fifa Fan Park at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, and also in the Harare National Sports Stadium, Zimbabwe in 2013 to a crowd of 40,000 people, alongside 14 African heads of state.

IQulah’s music stands as the foundation of his work to unite the people. Working alongside the African Union and having established community centres in Rwanda, Uganda and Jamaica, IQulah continues to focus on his mission. Twice elected as the International Chaplain to the Ethiopian World Federation, IQulah is a vocal supporter of the EWF. Many of his concerts have aided in raising awareness and funds to support programs in Shashamani, Ethiopia. As the president of EWF Charter 17 in his home of St. Ann, Jamaica, IQulah and his empress have initiated various development projects in Jamaica and Africa.

More recently, IQulah performed at the 22nd annual 9 Mile Music Festival held in Miami on February 14, 2015. The 9 Mile Music Festival is an important reggae tradition, this year, moved up to the month of February, Reggae Month in Jamaica, in order to coincide with the 70th birthday celebrations for Bob Marley being held in countries worldwide.

IQulah’s Food For Thought album, released in 2014, is a true representation of Haille Selassie I, a man that walketh, and not just talketh. Rastafari live. Irie Magazine Logo

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