Giving thanks first and foremost for today, Zion I Kings unleash a deep cut, throwback track from the vaults from the very first Zion I Kings session in St. Croix, USVI. Featuring an incredible performance from Vaughn Benjamin, the Akae Beka, sharing his very essence on “Yad” with this earnest message to be thankful for the moment, today, right now.
Moon Bain recalls: “ We had been on the island about 5-6 days just tracking riddims, Vaughn came up to the house and Jah D said “ come on man, I been here almost a week and still haven’t heard you sing! “ Vaughn chuckled, went to the other room and started singing a melody to this riddim, we had tracked earlier that same day. He came back into the studio room, where Tippy I had set up the mic, knowing intuitively what was about to happen….Then Vaughn shot out this amazing song, based on his experience that very day – in one take, at one time. It was quite smoving to witness.”
The power of Vaughn’s song influenced the title of the release, along with an earlier iteration on Tuff Lion’s instrumental album , “Ten Strings” called “Yad Along” released in 2008. The riddim laid dormant for a while until it was revisited for up and coming reggae great, Marcus Gad’s album “Rhythm of Serenity” (2020) produced by Zion I Kings. Once it was unearthed and revitalized for Marcus, Zion I Kings key member Drew Keys took hold of it and put down the majestic trombone parts, icing the deep roots cake. It was only a matter of time before the track found it’s way to ZIK, brother in arms- Lutan Fyah, who keeps it real on his rootsy meditation on the power of silence in “Talk Talk Talk”.
Yad On Riddim hits hard in the most pleasant way, with a signature Virgin Islands feel made famous by artists like Midnite, Bamboo Station and Dezarie. Boasting a laid back lean on the drums, performed by VI native drummer, T-Rock accompanied by deep, minimal baseline and a sweet major , minor chord progression that pulls out feelings of nostalgia and renewed energy, all at once. This track has a timeless feel and it’s undoubted fans of Midnite, Akae Beka, Marcus Gad and Lutan will be soulfully satiated with this latest offering from Zion I Kings.