Jesse Royal (musician)

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Jesse Royal
Jesse Royal, 2017
Jesse Royal, 2017
Background information
Birth nameJesse David Leroi Grey[1]
Born (1989-04-29) 29 April 1989 (age 34)[2]
OriginMaroon Town, St James Parish, Jamaica
GenresReggae, dub, roots reggae
Occupation(s)Musician, singer, songwriter
Years active2011–present
LabelsEasy Star

Jesse David Royal (born 29 April 1989) is a Jamaican reggae musician.

Early life[edit]

Jesse Royal (Jesse David Leroi Grey) was born in St James Parish, Jamaica to a family of Maroon ancestry and Rasta faith.[3] The Royal family relocated to Kingston in 1997 where his father took a job with a telecommunications firm.[4] While in school Royal became friends with Daniel Bambata Marley, son of reggae artist Ziggy Marley.[5]

Music career[edit]

Early life (2010–2016)[edit]

Royal began his career being mentored by the late Fatis Burrell (the father of one of Royal's classmates), who produced Jesse's first two releases, Singing the Blues and Long Days and Short Nights in 2010.[6][7] Royal toured extensively in Jamaica, Europe and the United States, before releasing his first major work, Modern Day Judas, a single off of his mixtape, which was a runaway success.[8]

In 2015, Vogue Magazine listed Royal as part of a greater on-going "Reggae Revival" movement (along with other reggae artists Chronixx, Jah9 and Protoje) happening in Jamaica and the rest of the world, revitalizing the genre of roots reggae.[9]

In 2016, Royal was featured on the Raging Fyah album, Everlasting in a song titled "Humble".

Lilly of da Valley (2017)[edit]

After seven years of the release of his first single, Royal recorded his debut album, Lily of da Valley, released by Easy Star Records on October 6, 2017.[10] The album topped the Billboard Reggae Albums chart.[11] The album title draws reference back to an old church hymn written in the late 1800s. Royal explains that the song, which he learned from his grandmother's time in church choir, has been a "source of comfort and reflection for the artist through hard times and serves as a personal reminder that Christ came as an example, not as a deity", encouraging a deeper overstanding of the concept of Christ beyond just the idolized 'picture on the wall' to which He so often gets reduced".

Recordings for Lily of Da Valley took place in many studios like Applehead Studio in Woodstock, New York, the legendary Tuff Gong and Big Yard Studios in Kingston, Jamaica. It was mainly produced by Llamar "Riff Raff" Brown.

The album features recent singles "Always Be Around" and Jo Mersa Marley on the single "Generation", as well as two previously released singles; the Winta James-produced debut song "Modern Day Judas" on the Rootsman Riddim and the Marijuana anthem "Finally".[12]

Royal (2021)[edit]

On June 11, 2021, Jesse Royal released his second studio album titled Royal on Easy Star Records. The LP features collaborations with top reggae artists: Vybz Kartel, Protoje, Kumar, Ghanaian afrobeats artist Stonebwoy, Jamaica's rising talents Samory I, and Runkus.[13]

Jesse Royal was nominated for his first Grammy Award for his album Royal.[14] The album was produced by Grammy-winning reggae producer Sean Alaric who produced most of the album, along with Royal himself, Natural High, Dretegs, Iotosh, Yared "Boomdraw" Lee, Romario "Runkus" Bennett, and Wayne "Unga Barunga" Thompson.[15]

In December 2021, Jesse Royal was nominated for the fans-choice "2021 Album of the Year" award by Surf Roots TV & Radio for his album Royal. Voting was determined by Facebook, Instagram and Twitter users. This was his first time being nominated with the reggae rock streaming TV channel on Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, and Roku.[16]



  • Misheni – DJ Tall Up (2012), Jamaica
  • In Comes the Small AxeDJ Tall Up (2013), Jamaica
  • Major Lazer's Walshy Fire Presents: Royally Speaking Mixtape (2014), Jamaica




Reference [17]
Title Release Date Album
"Butterflies"  2011 Major Lazer's Walshy Fire Presents: Royally Speaking Mixtape
"Modern Day Judas" 2012 Misheni
"Feel Your Pain"  2013 In Comes The Small Axe
"This Morning"  2013 In Comes The Small Axe
"Gimme Likkle"  2014 Gimme Likkle
"Finally"  2017 Lilly of the Valley
"Generation"  2017 Lilly of the Valley
"We Matter"  October 26, 2018 (Single)
"Weight On Your Shoulders" November 29, 2019 (Single)
"Glad To Be" (feat. Randy Valentine)  October 18, 2019 (Single)
"High Tide or Low" 2021 Royal
"LionOrder"  2021 Royal
"Natty Pablo"  2021 Royal
"Rich Forever"  2021 Royal
"Strongest Link"  2021 Royal
"The Weed Song"  2021 Royal

Featured In[edit]


  1. ^ "Reggaeville: Jesse Royal". Reggaeville.
  2. ^ Mahddy, Rasta (2014). Jesse Royal (Reggae Vibe Summer Issue ed.). Reggae Vibe.
  3. ^ Taylor, Angus. "Interview with Jesse Royal". Reggaeville. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 3 December 2015.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  4. ^ Mark Deming. "ALLMUSIC Artist Biography". ALLMUSIC.
  5. ^ Reggaeville. "Reggaeville: About Jesse Royal".
  6. ^ Cambell, Howard (15 December 2013). "Jesse Royal patiently awaits his break". Jamaica Observer. Retrieved 4 December 2015.
  7. ^ Taylor, Angus. "Interview with Jesse Royal". Reggaeville. Retrieved 3 December 2015.
  8. ^ EasyStar. "EasyStar: Artist Profile".
  9. ^ Aguirre, Abby (27 October 2015). "Reggae Revival: Inside Jamaica's New Music Movement". Vogue. Retrieved 4 December 2015.
  10. ^ Jackson, Kevin (2017) "Jesse Royal looks to new Generation", Jamaica Observer, 21 August 2017. Retrieved 15 September 2017
  11. ^ Jackson, Kevin (2017) "Jesse Royal tops Billboard chart Archived 19 October 2017 at the Wayback Machine", Jamaica Observer, 17 October 2017. Retrieved 18 October 2017
  12. ^ "Jesse Royal – Lily in da Valley". 6 October 2017.
  13. ^ "Jesse Royal - Royal".
  14. ^ "The Nominations for Best Reggae Album GRAMMY 2022". 28 November 2021.
  15. ^ "Spice, Sean Paul, Etana, Jesse Royal Among Nominees for 'Best Reggae Album' at Grammy Awards 2022". 23 November 2021.
  16. ^ "Album of the Year 2021 - Fans Choice – Surf Roots". Archived from the original on 27 December 2021.
  17. ^ "We Matter, says Jesse Royal", Jamaica Observer, 27 October 2018. Retrieved 27 October 2018

External links[edit]