INTERVIEW: Eddie Witz And The Most High Discuss New Single ‘Jamaica Time’

In a new interview with Eddie Witz, we talk about his latest single, ‘Jamaica Time’.

Welcome Eddie – how are you? 

Give thanks, I am doing well and excited to be speaking with you! It’s always a pleasure to share my journey and music with others.

To kick things off, can you tell us about the inspiration behind ‘Jamaica Time’, and the creative process behind it? 

“Jamaica Time” has its origins over 30 years ago when my Jamaican songwriting/producing partner, Grammy Award-winning Native Wayne Jobson, wrote it for Jimmy Buffett to record. Jimmy never recorded “Jamaica Time,” so after his passing, Native Wayne suggested we record it together as a dedication to Jimmy Buffett. The song captures the essence of the laid-back, carefree vibe of Jamaica, and our creative process was all about bringing that feeling to life through music. We wanted to create something that felt authentic to the spirit of the Caribbean while also paying homage to our friend and mentor, Jimmy Buffett. It was a collaborative effort that really allowed us to infuse our own experiences and influences into the song.

‘Jamaica Time’ is your first release as a musical collective ‘Eddie Witz and The Most High’ – how did each musician’s unique contribution elevate the single? 

Well, “Jamaica Time” is actually my 2nd debut record, as my first record is called “My Island.” However, both songs were recorded in Jamaica, and we shot the music videos for both songs in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, and the Paris of Saint Ann in Jamaica, where Bob Marley was born and grew up. As for ‘Jamaica Time,’ each member of Eddie Witz and The Most High brought their own unique flavor to the song. From the infectious and soulful rhythm & keyboard section recording in Kingston, Jamaica with Sly Dunbar and Robbie Lyn, Randy Cooke’s lead drum kit performance contribution elevated by Adam Topol’s world class percussion tracking, we worked tirelessly to bring out the authentic sound of the Caribbean. We wanted to capture the essence of Jamaica in every note, and I believe each musician’s individual talent and passion did just that.

‘Jamaica Time’ promotes tourism in Jamaica, capturing the country’s essence. How did your personal visits to Jamaica inspire the song? 

I first visited Jamaica as a 7-year-old child and fell in love with the island and the irie vibes. Later, I spent my honeymoon in Jamaica with my wife, Michelle, and each visit fills my soul with positive energy and makes me feel connected to the sweet island, its people, and rich culture. These experiences were the driving force behind ‘Jamaica Time.’ The song is a tribute to the beauty and spirit of Jamaica that I’ve come to know and love over the years. It’s inspired by the vibrant colors, the rhythm of life, and the sense of freedom that permeates the island. I wanted to capture that essence and share it with the world through music, hoping to inspire others to experience the magic of Jamaica for themselves.

Can you give us an insight into how you originally got into music, and who your influences were growing up? 

I started piano and singing training at age 5, and throughout my school years, I studied music and performed in the theatre. I even majored in Theatre Arts in college. Music has always been a central part of my life, but it was the legends like Bob Marley who truly inspired me. From childhood until today, Bob Marley has been a massive influence on my music and my outlook on life. Additionally, artists like John Lennon, Paul Simon, Elvis Presley, Neil Diamond, and Elton John have heavily influenced me. Their music, lyrics, and the way they connected with their audience resonated deeply with me and continue to shape my own musical journey.

‘Jamaica Time’ is the first release from your anticipated debut album, ‘I Am What I Am’. How does ‘I Am What I Am’ represent your musical journey, and what messages do you want the album to put across? 

The messages I want the album to convey are ones of self-discovery, acceptance, forgiveness, being grateful and a celebration of individuality. I want listeners to feel empowered to embrace who they are, to explore their own journey, and to find strength in their uniqueness. Whether it’s through the Jamaican rhythms of ‘Jamaica Time’ or the introspective lyrics of other tracks off my upcoming EP like In Too Deep and One That Got Away, I hope the album resonates with people on a deep level and inspires them to live authentically.

How did you work towards crafting a distinctive sound for ‘I Am What I Am’?

Crafting a distinctive sound for ‘I Am What I Am’ was a collaborative effort that involved a lot of experimentation and exploration. We wanted the album to reflect the diversity of influences that have shaped me as an artist, while still maintaining a cohesive and unique sound. First and foremost, I drew upon my Jamaican roots and the reggae rhythms that have always resonated with me. But we also incorporated elements of rock, pop, and soul to create a fusion that feels fresh and exciting.Working closely with my co-producers, co-writers and band mates, we spent countless hours in the studio experimenting with different sounds, instruments, and arrangements. We wanted each track to have its own identity while still feeling like part of a larger musical journey. Ultimately, I found that balance by staying true to myself and allowing myself to be vulnerable allowing my individual personality to shine through in the music. The result is a sound that I couldn’t be prouder of how it turned out.

During the writing process of ‘I Am What I Am’, did you come across any significant challenges and discoveries that have helped shape the project? 

The writing process for ‘I Am What I Am’ was full of challenges and discoveries that I worked together with my wife Michelle and another songwriter partner from Australia, Glenn Bidmead. As we delved into the themes of identity, self-discovery, and embracing individuality, I found myself confronting personal truths and vulnerabilities. It was a journey of self-reflection and growth, both musically and personally. In the end, I emerged from the process with a clearer sense of who I am as an artist and what I want to say with my music. ‘I Am What I Am’ is a testament to that journey, and I’m grateful for every challenge and discovery along the way.

 Following the release of ‘I Am What I Am’, what are your goals for 2024?

I want to take the music from ‘I Am What I Am’ on the road and connect with fans through live performances. Touring allows me to share the energy and passion of my music in a way that’s truly special. I’ll be focusing on growing my fanbase, engaging with listeners on social media, reaching new audiences and continuing to deliver high-quality music that resonates with people. I’m working on collaborations with other artists as well. I plan to continue writing, recording and releasing new music, songs in the works currently like Drink Deep, Same Moon Tonight, Keys to the Kingdom and a cover of a lesser well known Bryan Adams song called “Coming Home,” will round out my first LP by the end of the year.

Listen to Jamaica Time:

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