Interview: Reggae star Alborosie talks about working with the Wailers for new album 'Unbreakable'
Courtesy of Greensleeves Records

The new album from international reggae star Alborosie is called Unbreakable: Alborosie meets the Wailers United and after fans hear the stellar new music they’re likely to exclaim “unbelievable!” Unbreakable is Alborosie’s ninth release for Greensleeves Records, the vaunted reggae and dancehall label, and he put together quite a crew to be featured on the record. Alborosie’s backing band for the effort is the Wailers United, a group comprising former members of Bob Marley’s Wailers along with reggae scion Aston Barrett, Jr. J Boog, Raging Fyah, Jah Cure, Beres Hammond and Chronixx also appear on Unbreakable.

We had a chance to chat by email with the Kingston, Jamaica-based Alborosie and he told us about working with Wailers United and his decision to cut a reggae version of Metallica’s “Unforgiven” for the new release. His commentary below is given exclusively to AXS.com.

AXS: You worked with some of reggae’s most revered players during the recording sessions for your latest album Unbreakable. Can you share a favorite moment from working with the Wailers United?

Alborosie: The whole recording was a memorable moment. I learned a lot, especially from hearing of their experience with Bob Marley. I believe the Wailers learned too as my way to work is unique and at times bizarre.

AXS: Unbreakable features a cover of Metallica’s “The Unforgiven” that you perform with Raging Fyah. How did you get the idea to rework the rock classic?

A: I've been a Metallica fan from 1989, at a tender age. “Unforgiven” is one of my favorite tracks. I always wanted to do a rock metal cover in a reggae style so I decided it was the right time, especially with the Wailers.

AXS: You’ve played a couple dozen festivals in Europe so far this year. Were you able to jam with other artists along the way, or meet some players that really impressed you?

A: Well, I headline most festivals so my hours are late. Once I go onstage most of the artists before me have gone back to their hotel or back to their journey. I did anyway enjoy stage performances where I invited Protoje, Kabaka Pyramid and Duane Stephenson to join me.

AXS: Are you planning on creating a music video for any of the songs on Unbreakable?

A: Yes. “Contradiction” and “Unforgiven” are on their way.

AXS: Will you be working as a producer of other artists later this year when your tour is completed, or do you have any session work coming up?

A: I think I'm going take a break; I need to rest a bit. So I hope to get a new vibe, new energy and new inspiration.

Follow Alborosie here