CD REVIEW: Rise Up by desmond the Songwriter

desmond the songwriter is fresh on the music scene with a killer reggae tune, “Rise Up.” The song kicks off his upbeat and powerful new album, “Happiness Is Priceless.” desmond hails from Kingston, Jamaica, the epicenter of reggae and dancehall. He brings all that classic sound with him, but adds his own flair to it. “Rise Up” sounds like reggae, but it also sounds like something fresh. It’s lyrics speak to the common person, grinding their life away, and then the chorus picks you up with it’s uplifting message of “rising up” above it all and gaining success and confidence. It’s an excellent song for a summer playlist, or to put you in a good mood driving into work.


desmond and his cool new tracks have already gained some attention, with Pop Magazine placing him at number 44 on their list of top 50 albums of 2020. They also nominated him for an Emerging Artist 2021 award. On desmond’s website, he states that he “wants to be a global superstar,” and it would seem he’s got his foot in the door. Much like the song, “Rise Up,” desmond has put in the work and now he has found his calling and is on the come up. Before launching his music career, desmond acted lead roles in Jamaica’s LTM National Pantomime at the famous Ward Theatre. He also did cabaret performances on Jamaica’s North Coast hotel circuit and worked as the first administrator of the performing rights organization, the Jamaica Association of Composers, Authors and Publishers, Ltd (JACAP).

“Rise Up” is the first of ten tracks on desmond the songwriter’s concept album, “Happiness Is Priceless.” The album tells stories about people with different wealth backgrounds, exploring the choices they make due to their situations. It also explores the cliche “Money can’t buy happiness.” While that phrase has been around a long time, it’s never been wrong. Wealth can buy a lot of things, but true, simple happiness isn’t one of them. desmond’s songs, however, will definitely make you feel that little flame of joy in your heart. Even the more serious songs, like “Affluenza” or “Jo Po Wants to Know,” are irresistibly catchy. desmond really knows how to create a hook that gets stuck in your head and makes you hit “repeat.”

Along with his own talent, desmond enlisted creative support from some amazing talent embedded in the music business. For his album he collaborated with musicians like Dean Fraser (Sly & Robbie, Luciano, Tarrus Riley), Courick Clarke (Toots Hibbert, Tessanne Chin,) and Mikey Bennett (Shabba Ranks, Dennis Brown, Cindy Lauper). He also worked with powerhouses Sidney Mills ( Smashing Pumpkins, Ziggy Marley,  Dennis Brown, Cindy Lauper) and James Gately. This makes for a first album worth catapulting desmond to stardom. Every track is clean and listenable, a true pleasure.


If you’re looking for a song to snap you out of your funk and make you excited about life and sunshine, “Rise Up” is for you. It really captures that feeling of personal achievement and self-confidence; a joyful, grateful, yell. Warning: you’ll find yourself humming it all day, but you won’t mind a bit.

by Julia Albano

The music of Desmond The Songwriter has been heard all over the world in partnership with the radio plugging services offered by Musik and Film Radio Promotions Division.  Learn more

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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