On Gentleman’s second combination album Conversations – his first was with powerful crooner Richie Stephens – he teams up with Bob Marley’s son Ky-Mani Marley. He appeared on Gentleman’s excellent MTV Unplugged set and that was the start of their future collaboration, which led to a joint tour and ultimately this album.
No Solidarity – which they sang together on the unplugged album – is also featured on Conversations, but with a more polished production. And that’s the case with the album as a whole – it’s polished and sophisticated with ingredients such as vulnerable strings, subtle piano, grand backing vocals and melancholic lyrics about ways to make things better in a world of war and despair.
Conversations is a call for change. Gentleman and Ky-Mani Marley are tired of social media and faceless communication and believe that face to face communication can create better interactions and deepen connections between people.
It might be some truth to that, but social media is also a powerful tool to reach people and connect with others around the world. People that you would never have talked to otherwise. For artists it’s also an immensely important marketing and promotional tool, a tool that can be tailored for sharing messages of universal love and equality.
So, sure, there are challenges with the digital age. Unplug and disconnect and talk at the dinner table, but don’t forget that there’s another world out there with people waiting to hear from you.