By Beverly Bryan
Konshens is heavy as a lead weight. When he walks in you can feel the gravity in the room getting stronger like we’re suddenly on a bigger planet. The internationally popular dancehall star is 27 “on a good day,” yet acts much older. Business minded, keen of wit yet severe of manner, during his interview with with MTV Iggy he keeps his mirrored shades on but makes eye contact. He can be charming in conversation too. He’s a dancehall guy after all. Still, there’s always a touch of dread. This is true of his music as well as his personality.
He might be in his twenties, but as someone who has already been performing all over the world for the better part of a decade, Konshens has earned the right to speak like a grizzled veteran, however, you get the feeling he’s been a this way for a long time. No doubt it’s that gravity that has made him a globally sought after artist. (That, and he’s a great musician.)
He can calibrate his patois to be more or less intelligible to non-patois speakers and does so as he chooses. No doubt, he’s learned to shift his communication style to connect with fans scattered across the continents. He has a big following in Europe and he’s performed in Kenya, Guyana and also Jamaica. But his live debut was actually in Japan, where his following is outsized. Many of his biggest fans don’t speak English, let alone Jamaican patois.
A professional and a performer above all, the singer tailors his message to his audience and he’s never had one release that was available to all of his supporters, until now. With the worldwide release of Mental Maintenance on his own Subkonshus Music he will be able to bring one single message to everyone at the same time. And what is his message? On the lead track “World Citizen” he sings “we are one.”