WE CAUGHT UP WITH CONRAD AND MICHAEL CRUISE TO FIND OUT ABOUT HOW THEY’RE BRINGING THEIR MUSIC TO THE PEOPLE OF LEEDS
Leeds based music producers, label owners and band colleagues Conrad and Michael Cruise have released ‘Wisdom of Roots,’ a collection of sounds combining modern music making expertise to create a varied album of music with Jamaican popular music at its core.
Working under the band name DX1, Conrad and Michael have taken some material they originally wrote some years ago and combined it with newly penned material to produce ‘Wisdom of Roots’. Both brothers wrote all the material and provide the musical backing between them in taking care of percussion, guitar, and state of the art keyboards.
They’ve enlisted the help of two seasoned local vocalists Rickey Smith and Clifford Hughes who, between them, imbue the sung material with different feels and moods appropriate to the tracks they appear on. As Conrad explains: “our aim here is to make Jamaican music accessible to all and to show the breadth of styles and emotions this great musical form provides.”
‘Wisdom of Roots’ covers a varied range of subject matter from earnest love songs to moody and edgy city instrumental soundscapes through to more upbeat ‘party style’ flavoured sounds, sometimes through adroit re-workings of a similar musical refrain that’s appeared elsewhere on the collection, to create different moods and emotions.
The album is designed to be enjoyed by those already fans of the reggae and roots sound along with those exploring and sampling this type of music for perhaps the first time.
The brothers’ desire to extend Jamaican music’s appeal is not surprising as they both work tirelessly to achieve this through their production and music making endeavours with their label, Cruise International. They champion music from both exciting newcomers and artists who recorded many years ago; they believe in giving a chance for hitherto older music to ‘live on’ through being released on their label.
As Conrad further comments: “so many people would enjoy music that they may not ever get the chance to listen to, so we’re doing our bit to put people in touch with music they’ll like and may even become passionate about.”
To achieve this, along with the release of ‘Wisdom of Roots’ showing that reggae based music can be accessible and its roots and characteristics shine through even while being made with modern music making technology, the Cruise International website is designed to be easy to navigate and download music from.
Working as music creators through their work with DX1, and pursuing their roles as producers and providers through running a label, puts Conrad and Michael in the position of seeing music creation from both a music maker and a publisher’s perspective, so giving them a unique take on the situation: “we can empathise with the artists we work with and they know they’re dealing with people who have been, and still are, in their position” said Conrad.
A wide and ever-growing selection of older and newer reggae, roots and related music can be downloaded from Cruise International; get in touch by visiting www.dx1music.bandcamp.com/releases
DX1’s ‘Wisdom of Roots’ can be downloaded from popular platforms such as Spotify, Amazon, iTunes and Juno.