On the rise dancehall artiste Ijahmar is a big believer in the power of optimism, especially in this, the age of the pandemic which has brought so much suffering and depression to millions of people across the world. That is why his latest release, the sunny dancehall single, ‘Thousand Reasons’ has struck the right chord with listeners all over the world.
“When life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, show it a thousand reasons to smile. That’s what my song represents, inspiration, hope and perspective. Even when things are at their worst, remember that it is always darkest just before the dawn,” the enthusiastic Ijahmar, whose real name is Omar Robertson, said.
Released on the One Hundred Degrees label in January 2021, the single has been added to rotation on local radio stations such as Suncity Radio, IRIE FM, and ZIP FM. The video can be found in most digital stores and music streaming services.
“The response to the song has been great, people say my song shows them that there is nothing to worry about, once there is life, there is hope. When life comes at you hard, don’t hit back, just smile back, don’t get unsettled, no matter the circumstances, push through, put a smile on your face, press ahead with your hopes and dreams. Just live and smile,” he said.
There are few reasons to smile for members of the local entertainment industry, which is one of the hardest hit by the COVID-19. The sector was also among the first to suffer a shutdown due to the pandemic. The sector has been clamouring in recent times for a reopening but that maybe wishful thinking as any hopes of a restart may be postponed as COVID-19 cases have spiked once again.
“I want the sector to open up again, I want to do live shows again but it’s just not possible now. We still have to give thanks that the situation is not worse; the authorities are doing all they can to protect the weakest among us. I am just asking all Jamaicans to adhere to the protocols and obey the rules, because we can get through this as a nation if we do things together and believe that we will get over it. Wear yu mask,” Ijahmar said.
Raised in east Kingston, Ijahmar has been pursuing music for a few years. His songs tackle social issues and matters of the heart mixed with his optimistic philosophy that light exists in all things.
“I draw my inspiration from everyday living and activities in my surroundings or from a good story that I can relate to,” he said.
Born on December 2, 1992, he grew up in Rockfort, East Kingston. He was educated at the Norman Garden Primary and Junior High Schools and later graduated to the Edith Dalton James High School, where he discovered a love for music and started building his talent by the age of 15.
He recorded his debut song ‘Summer Sway’ on the Antivirus Riddim with various reggae-dancehall artistes.
In April 2017 he was featured in his first music video with Sean Smallz entitled Live on by Payday Music Group. He continued recording songs as an independent artist until June 2018 where he signed to New York based record label, One Hundred Degrees Records.
Ijahmar draws his inspiration from superstars such as Bob Marley, Bugle, Wayne Wonder, Sean Paul, Mavado, Vybz Kartel, and Wayne Marshall.