Honoring their reggae roots, the father-son duo arereviving the legendary John Holt’s number one single with a spin of their own, that almost 40 years from the original release proves how relevant this record is today.
John Holt, the Jamaican-born reggae artist who went on to change and elevate music for the world, best known for writing ‘The Tide is High’, left an abundance of accolades, with 40 global selling albums, including the popular 1000 Volts of Holt, creating an iconic legacy. By the early 1970s, he was one of the most celebrated stars of reggae – “Stick By Me” was the biggest selling Jamaican record worldwide of 1972, and in 2004 he was awarded the Order of Distinction by the Jamaican government for his contribution to Jamaican music. Bamm and Junior are excited to continue the musical legacy to honor John within the reggae community and beyond.
Jamiacan-born and brooklyn-raised singer song-writer duo take infuences from an eclectic style of music, and this is refected in their latest single. This cover of “Police in Helicopter” captures John’s iconic words while also providing a personal and modern twist to the lyrics.
Like father like son, Junior Holt has been recognized over the years for his voice and accomplishments in music. Having been raised by the legendary reggae star himself, Junior took on his father’s passion and vocal ability – most cannot even tell them apart by sound. John Holt’s classic and distinctive voice is immediately recognizable in Juniors performance and undeniably, echoes in the record. Junior comments on his inspiration behind kick-starting the tribute album and single.
“Working with my son is something that I wanted to do with my father, but didn’t get the chance to, so now we have this opportunity to work together and create something beautiful that keeps my father’s voice alive. I realized that my son has great energy and intentions that refect my own as well.”
- JUNIOR HOLT
Having grown up surrounded by reggae and other musical infuences, Bamm favored the sounds of modern rap, but soon realized rap is heavily infuenced by the reggae genre. This naturally led him to fnd his own reggae-inspired voice, which can be heard in his vocals, tone and lyrical ability. Collaborating was a perfect opportunity to fuse the two genres without modernizing the classic melodic beauty of reggae.
“When I was a young boy, I never fully understood the infuence of my grandfather [John Holt], and it wasn’t until his passing that I was fully able to grasp his legacy and understand that it is my duty to him to carry it out. I actually manifested this album as a way to connect with him again and bond more with my father. It’s all about the respect and the love.
- BAMM HOLT
John Holt wrote “Police In Helicopter” during a time of international disagreement in the early ‘80s. It became an anthem for the Jamacian community while undergoing the distress of US military actions being taken on their country with helicopters fying over their farmland and spraying toxins to kill their marijuana crops in an attempt to stop the smuggling of narcotics into the United States. Holt created a call to action to bring awareness to what was happening in his country, which is applicable to current events of today as well.
In today’s political climate regarding police reform, racial inequality and violence, and other societal and political discrepancies, Bamm and Junior make this track theirs, not just by their performance on the record, but by sampling original lyrics and writing their own. Bamm’s rap lifts and modernizes the track, as well as appealing to a younger audience, that could revitalize interest and reintroduce John Holt’s music to a whole new generation.
“We want to not only retain the power in John Holt’s words, but also touch on the issue that is indifference across cultures, parties, beliefs, etc, and how it has affected us as a world across generations. We want to push and practice peace and love, and we hope that bringing hope and life through music will speak to the people.”
- BAMM & JUNIOR HOLT
Both Bamm and Junior anticipate touring together in the coming future with this upcoming album on the horizon.