Cover Photo: Nickii Kane
Note To Self is more than an album, it is a lesson for life. Jah 9 (Janine Cunningham) has penned the recipe for spiritual healing into the very structure of the music, ensuring that this album will be counted amongst the transformative tools of the reggae genre in years to come.
The Jamaican reggae artiste recently celebrated two major milestones: her 37th ‘earthstrong’ (birthday) and the release of the final visual instalment of her third studio album, Note To Self.
The album was officially launched on March 13th. “Nine”, as she is affectionately known, has been dropping gems on the yellow brick road to spiritual healing with singles such as Highly (Get to Me), Could It Be and Ma’at (Each Man).
The beauty and success of the Note to Self album lies in Jah9’s lyrical ability, which she uses to compel listeners to engage in quiet contemplation of their actions, thoughts and feelings.
Note To Self: An Introduction is set in the form of a 13-minute narrative, directed by Fernando F. Hevia and Samo Kush and shot in Jamaica. The video is filled with mantras on how to treat yourself, reminders on how to gently resolve internal wars and compassionate reprimands on the need for accountability while on the journey to knowing the self. The visuals are perfectly blended with snippets from a select few songs of the 15-track album.
Arguably the most favoured and timely release from the visual series is the album’s namesake single, Note To Self (Okay). The collaboration with reggae heavyweight, Chronixx, has already amassed more than a million views on YouTube. The track is a recitation of a mantra guaranteed to put listeners in a calm state of mind, despite whatever chaos is occurring.
Jah9 hosted Note To Self Unplugged on Wanene TV, an online platform based in Tanzania and had this to say about the Note To Self (Okay) track — “A song that was inspired most by that which I want for my brothers and sisters; to see them find peace and calm… to be able to, in the midst of whatever adversity, remember that I am okay.”
In addition to the hour-long acoustic session, Jah9 also celebrated her birthday with the release of Could It Be visuals — the fourth and final video release from the album. The latest single is one which stands on one of the central pillars of the album, what Jah9 refers to as self-study, where she weighs how we perceive ourselves against how we are perceived by others.
“Do the work, trust the process and manifest.” — Jah9