Jamaican Music Music Interviews

A Conversation with Jamaican singer, Gabriella Reno

Gabriella Reno is the singer in the duo Gabriella Reno and Samuele Vivian. Her acoustic sound defies genre as elements of soul, folk, indie and reggae can be found in her sweet smoky songs. Creating a sound which is truly unique.Her emotional delivery of songs, lyrics and musicality connects easily with any crowd, whom often find themselves singing along even if they have never heard the songs before. In the summer of 2013 she toured Europe playing in clubs and jazz bars. She recently opened for Toni Braxton and Chrisette Michele at the Jamaica Jazz and Blues festival. She is Tallawah Magazine’s girl of the moment and described by the Gleaner Jamaica as “Jamaica’s indie Princess”. She is currently working on her first album with Samuele Vivian and getting ready for another European tour. Her album named ‘As the Sea’ is influenced by her childhood beach goings on the island of Jamaica. These words for her are a metaphor of life, which is unpredictable and constantly moving ‘As the Sea’. Here is our conversation with Gabriella.

Tell us about your background and how did you get started in the music industry?
I grew up in a small place called Knolis in Bogwalk St.Catherine. I’ve always been singing and always wanted to be a professional singer. When I left high school I went straight to the Edna Manley College of the Visual and performing arts. While there I met a lot of people in the music industry. I started recording covers of famous pop songs with Samuele Vivan and people really loved them. So much so that people began to book me for shows. I decided I was going to do an album but before recording it I wanted to see what material people liked from me. So in the summer of 2013 I went to Europe and performed in a lot of clubs as a test to see if the songs were any good. What I found was really surprising because people loved them. I returned to Jamaica with a strong feeling that things would work out for me. Then by January 2014 I was doing Jazz and Blues Jamaica so I guess things are going pretty well.

How would you describe your sound?
Its indie reggae, it consists of soul, folk, and reggae music. It’s funny when I tried to write songs it wasn’t my intention for them to come out with hints of reggae but reggae music was so much I’m my blood that it was inevitable. 

Tell us about your song “Love You To Bumboclat”? What was your inspiration to write the song?
It started out as a song about one of my best friends. A person whom I strongly disliked for most of my teen years but then turned out to be the best/realest friend a girl could ask for. As the song evolved we made it into a romantic story and the music video pretty much reflects this. We choose the word “bumboclat” because it encompasses all the feelings we were trying to convey. Plus I just like the word bumboclat.

What is the feedback you are getting on the song?
So far everybody loves it. In one day it got more view than any of my other videos. A lot of people have approached me since to do shows and collaborations etc. Sometimes it’s hard to get through the song because so many people are smiling and laughing when I sing that it’s hard not to break out laughing as well. Most people are shocked by it and always ask me to repeat the title to make sure they are hearing correctly.
You have a single out. Are there more singles? When can we expect an album?
This is the first single I’m releasing. However a lot more is on its way very soon. Look out for the album in late April.

The one movie you can watch over and over again is…
All of the Harry Potter movies or all of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Deep down I am truly a nerd.

You favorite song this week is…
Anything and everything Lianne La Havas

Thanks for the time and we wish you much success. Any final words for our audience?
When you tell people you’re going to follow your dreams they’ll tell you you’re crazy and they’re right. And that’s great because it means you’re the right kind of person to make things happen. So be crazy and live the life they could only dream of.

Learn more Link to your website, facebook page, twitter etc.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gabriellarenomusic

Instagram: http://instagram.com/gabriellarenovatia

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Rehnovatia

About the author

Xavier Murphy