Iba Mahr calls for ‘airplay justice’

HE may be a leading light in the latest roots-reggae revival, but singer
Iba Mahr believes the uplifting message he and his colleagues are
pushing, is not getting air play in Jamaica.
During an interview with the Jamaica Observer, Iba Mahr, whose real name
is Mario Greaves, expressed his concern about lack of airplay for roots
music.

“I now see the music making a paradigm shift from roots and culture, not
that it has died, but it just needs to be played more. Regardless of
what is being played, the people need redemption songs, especially in
these times of division and world crisis,” he said.
The Linstead-born entertainer’s Sound a Alarm made VP Records’ popular
Strictly the Best compilation album in December. He has also recently
released several songs including Let Jah Lead the Way, The Time is Now
and She Cries.
The theme of his songs are a throwback to the 1970s when Jamaican artistes tackled social issues.
“I can only say that reggae music is a medium through which we connect
and touch people in any situation, so I work to preserve its legacy,” he
said.
Despite unsatisfactory airtime from local disc jockeys, Iba Mahr says the last two years have been good for him.
He has performed at Reggae Sumfest, Sting, Jamaica Jazz and Blues
Festival, Western Consciousness and most recently, Rebel Salute.
Even though he was keen on music since his years at Charlemont High
School, Iba Mahr says it was not until he completed sixth form at
Dinthill Technical High School, and studies at the University of
Technology that he began writing songs.
In 2008, singer Max Romeo produced and released his debut single
Had It And Lost It on his Charmax label. Shortly after, Phillip ‘Fattis’
Burrell of Xterminator Productions released his second single, Where
You Are.
Iba Mahr has also worked with producers Jermaine ‘Lenky’ Edwards and
Roland McDermott, who is behind the well-received single Will I Wait.
He is currently putting final touches to his 14-track debut album, slated for release later this year.
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