Janine “Jah9” Cunningham
Old school blues improvisation meets hard hitting lyrical prowess in a rich imaginative blend of vocal clarity and complexity. Singer/songwriter/activist Janine ‘Jah9’ Cunningham brings her refreshing mix of contemporary and conscious poetry to the stage and delivers a mature, sophisticated style with a unique and captivating energy all of her own.
She has been credited as the creator of the Jazz on Dub genre. Her vocals blend the Jazz melodies of Billie Holiday and Nina Simone with the Dancehall attack of Sizzla Kalongi above the heavy Dub rhythm akin to Augustus Pablo.
Every song contains a message inspired by natural and universal laws. Her voice calls attention to the abusers of power and also highlights the need for spiritual growth in everyone, including herself. “I am my designer from concept to execution,” she reminds us in the single ‘Designer’ about the innate ability to control our own destiny.
Her signature sound has led to collaborations with platinum producer Donovan Bennett of Corleon Records, dancehall pioneer Rory Gilligan of Stone Love International, and living legend Beres Hammond and Sheldon Bernard of Harmony House Music. Her anticipated debut album is slated for release in 2011 but Jah9 is already in demand as a songwriter and creative director of repute. The album’s single ‘Warning’ has already received heavy spins on local radio as was voted as SONG of the YEAR by German based RIDDIM magazine.
Jah9 developed her sound in the underground poetry/live music scene, but now intends to take her word sounds to the world. As a social/arts activist Jah9 works in the inner city communities, schools and government places of safety in Jamaica and is a director of Manifesto|Jamaica, a non-profit youth organization dedicated to youth empowerment and nation building through Arts and Culture. She is connected across all spheres of cultural organisation, governmental departments and social organisations, and it is believed she will be the rising star of Jamaican cultural activism and development over the coming years.