Roots | Pentateuch Movement

Irie™ Magazine | Roots - Pentateuch Movement

Photography by: © Ricardo ‘Himages’ Bailey aka El Puru

Pentateuch Movement

Pentateuch: the first five books of the Old Testament: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and 

United by a desire to create a better reality for future generations, Pentateuch Movement is moving reggae forward by drawing from African traditions and foundation reggae music.

The Pentateuch Movement was founded by lead singer/songwriter Kevor ‘Var’ Williams and drummer Brady ‘Jah Bradez’ Robinson—two progressive Jamaican students from the prestigious Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts in Kingston, Jamaica.

“Pentateuch represents the first five books of the Bible, however this movement is a continuation of the journey of Jah people which rests on the shoulders of this generation– the journey to preserve our roots and culture, which is Africa, the journey to Zion, as we see in Exodus, Movement of Jah people,” said Kevor.

Pentateuch Movement emerged from a conversation between Kevor and Brady on the balcony of Block 3 at the Edna Manley College Hostel.  They wanted to start a band that would feature Roots Music with good vibes while staying true to their beliefs. 

“We asked Kevin ‘Zuggu’ Patterson along with Andrade Bowen and Andrew Ayre and together, we started rehearsing in Room 13 of Edna Manley,” said Brady. “As time progressed, Garth Forrester replaced Zuggu as guitarist and we started playing at Edna Manley College and all around Kingston city. While in college, we got a lot of love and encouragement from tutors like Derrick Stewart, Ibo Cooper (former band leader and keyboard player for Third World) and Maurice Gordon.

As young black men, Kevor and Brady knew that a cohesive voice was necessary to promote African consciousness and unity, and they chose to deliver that message as well as live it. Their collective influences include a roster of classic reggae, R&B and gospel artists: Burning Spear, Leroy “Horsemouth” Wallace, Sly Dunbar, Shirley Caesar, the Wailers, Sam Cooke, Nina Simone and Otis Redding.  Much inspiration also comes from their contemporaries: Midnite, Roots Uprising, Kendrick Lamar and Raging Fyah, Protoje, Chronixx, and Jesse Royal. 

In 2011, Pentateuch Movement made their mark on the music scene with their uplifting single and video “Black Face,” featuring Kevor’s soulful, melodic tenor. The song encourages people of the African Diaspora to love our skin, our hair and African features and culture.

“Do you appreciate the color on your face; it seems to me you hate your skin. Black man emancipate, we are no longer slaves. Remember that black men once were kings… Ooh I love I love my self, yeah, I don’t want to be nobody else…Black woman, you are a queen, so why oh why you got a low self-

‘Black Face’ came to me while I was sitting in the Piano Room at Edna Manley,” said Kevor.  “I never wrote a line in that song; I just sang and the words came—that’s how I normally write music. I introduced the song to the other brothers and they loved it and created the music right away. I think it was a gift from my ancestors, so I know it will bring strength to our people throughout all generation as it is a song of truth. As long as Africa exists, this song will live and Africa as we know will live forever.”

‘Black Face’ is featured on Pentateuch Movement’s 2012 debut album ‘The Genesis.’ Pentateuch Movement’s foundation of unity translates from their daily way of life to their live shows. They have landed them performances in Europe, Rebel Salute in Jamaica, Chronixx’ ‘Capture land’ tour and the 2015 Sierra Nevada World Music Festival in Boonville, CA, a notable and critical world stage for new artists to prove themselves, They recently went back to the United States earlier this year in April, where they graced stages such as Austin Reggae Festival in Austin Texas and also Hopi Veteran’s Memorial Centre Kykotsmovi Arizona.
With the soon to be released ‘Crime’, the first single from their new album ‘Chapter XVIII’, the Pentateuch Movement hope to shed light on poverty and injustice in their homeland.  Drawn from the headlines, ‘Crime’ is a response to the British government’s proposal to provide millions of dollars to construct a prison complex in Jamaica.

‘Crime’ is pretty much straight forward, said Kevor. “You can’t solve crime if the poor man still can’t find a dime. Instead of building more prisons for our youths, we’d rather have more opportunities to provide basic food, clothes, and shelter. We need to focus on the issue of unemployment, instead of preparing to build a prison for our children here in Jamaica now.”

Produced by the Pentateuch Movement on Pentateuch label ‘Chapter XVIII’ features stellar musicians such as Nambo Robinson (trombone), Dean Fraser (saxophone), Wade Johnson (keyboards), and Kevon Webster (keyboards) Kino Newby, (bass) Garth Forrester (guitar) Jason Welch (bass), Ranoy Gordon (guitar) and Adrian Henry (bass).

‘Chapter XVIII’ reflects our experiences within this time, spirituality and politically, our (personal) relationships and struggles we endure. We see it as the next part of our journey. We are a part of a generation of singers and players of instruments who have a positive vibration; a movement that includes everyone who was before us and who is soon to come. Reggae music will live for eternity.”