Cen'C Love
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Cen'C Love

Lilburn, Georgia, United States | INDIE

Lilburn, Georgia, United States | INDIE
Band R&B Soul


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"Q & A With Reggae Artist Cen'C Love"

The ROCKSALT Meltdown!
February 26, 2011
By Mick Stingley
Q&A With Reggae Artist CEN’C LOVE!

Cen'C Love
Cen’C Love is rising star in reggae music. The 25 year old is relatively new to mainstream audiences, but she has been honing her craft for some time in Atlanta and Jamaica, performing and recording. She appeared at the Cannibis Cup in Amsterdam and the Reggae Awards in New York in past couple of years, but recently has been concentrating on being a new mother and working on her first album. Her debut, “Love Letter” (Lyvestone), dropped this month and she’s been hard at work promoting it. A bright collection of songs mixing traditional reggae with elements of jazz, hip-hop and soul/R&B, the album reflects the two worlds she lives in and channels Sade, Erykah Badu and The I Threes (Rita Marley, Judy Mowatt and Marcia Griffiths). Smooth, fresh and mellow but reggae through and through. It’s something that’s in her blood – as the daughter of the legendary Bunny Wailer – Cen’C Love is a torchbearer of reggae music. But as an artist she’s doing it her own way.

Cen’C recently returned from Jamaica and graciously took time to answer a few questions and share a little about her life and music.

1. Congratulations on your new album! You must be very excited; but can you talk about the road you took to get where you are now? Given your impeccable pedigree, was it natural for you to sing reggae or did you want to try out other styles as well? Do you feel a responsibility to reggae, particularly traditional soul/roots?

I am extremely excited about the release of my debut album LOVE LETTER. We (Lyvestone Music) had a successful launch in Jamaica on Feb. 9th. The road that led up to where I am now was just like the album…and Life, unpredictable, but all unfolding into a beautiful journey. My family background– my schooling, mixed with my experiences living between the Caribbean and the US have had a great influence on my art and character. I grew up in a Dancehall culture, but a Reggae legacy still kept food on the table. My subsequent studies at DeKalb School of the Arts, exposed me to even more types of music–Opera, Jazz, and Theatre Music, making it seem like pure destiny that I would make this career choice. It’s funny that I didn’t settle into the idea of it until I was about 20. A friend of mine, Ozi, gave me an acoustic guitar that I taught myself to play. I always composed R&B songs back when I just played the keyboard, but the guitar opened up the Alternative side. After a friend told me to add my native Patois to my lyrics, my unique style really took form. My style is a mixture of Reggae-Soul and Acoustic-Alternative. My vocals are reminiscent of Jazz and Blues, and my content has a modern Dancehall swag. The vibe of my tunes range from Easy-listening to Hip-Hop. I am an artist, my art is an expression of Life as I see it, and I look at things from many angles. Sometimes as an African, sometimes as a Kingstonian, at times my point of view is from living in the “Facebook Era” where many lives overlap, at times just a soul with heavenly desires. I feel I carry the responsibility to keep the fire burning for high quality art, living true to my words, creating outside the box, and maintaining that standard within the Music.

2. “Love Letter” is (or appears to be) a collection of songs about love and redemption: would you call “Love Letter” a concept album? What shaped your songwriting for “Love Letter” and was this written as a cohesive album; or did you approach recording on the strength of the songs? (How much of it was written from personal experience?)

“LOVE LETTER” is a concept album. It’s like Alice in Wonderland got sucked into a new kaleidoscope and came out on a Negril beach, hearing drum and bass pumping from a sound system, as a fresh whiff of Sensi smoke puffs past her little nose. It’s dreamy and retro, bombastic and futuristic all at once. “LOVE LETTER” is a collaboration between myself and Shaka “Tom Cruz” Girvan, my long time colleague and music partner. We had already recorded demos for some of the songs a few years back, I wrote a few new tunes, we collaborated on one or two, and I covered one of Shaka’s originals, “Springtime.” We added some tracks at the last minute while we were still looking to fill in some gaps. The subject of all the songs is Love in one expression or another– romantic love, self love, forgiveness, breakup-to-make-up, and vice-versa, love of society–some from personal experience, others from observation, or wishful thinking. We didn’t think too hard about the content, nor did we record a bunch of songs and deliberate over the selection. We just let the music take over.

3. You posted a video clip/teaser of the making of your album. Who are some of the people in the video who participated in bringing your music forward (and what contributions did they make, etc.)?

The Lyvestone Music team consists of myself, Cen’C Love – Composer/Musician/Songwriter; my mother, Sequoia M David- Executive Producer, CheifCookBottlewasher; Shaka Girvan- Producer/Songwriter; my brother Abijah “Asadenaki” Livingston- Artist/Songwriter/Assistant Engineer, Paul Katzman- Musical Engineer. We all laughed and fought to deliver this “LOVE LETTER.” We recorded the album at Coconut Rose Studio in Atlanta. We had a few live musicians add to the production as well. We started recording at the beginning of 2010 and finished by the spring. So far we’ve released the single “CASANOVA,” and its video in Jamaica. A new video for the song CYSTEM, which we shot in New York, was recently released and is up on YouTube

4. Your first release, “A Little More Time” (available on iTunes) features two songs and two instrumentals. What was this experience like and was the intention only for it to be a single, or was it going to be a full album?

My first release, on the Revolutionary Label, consisted of “A Little More Time” and “Strange.” We recorded these tracks at Roy Francis’ Mixing Lab Studio in Kingston. It was a great learning experience. I worked with several musicians, Grub Cooper, and Dean Fraser, to name a few. I got fairly good exposure from the release, radio airplay, and a music video directed by Keneil Blake and 13th Tribe Productions.

5. What was it like growing up in Atlanta and Jamaica?

Growing up in both Jamaica and Atlanta helped to create my multi-dimensional persona. I have learned to communicate with different psyches at once. Like overlapping languages. I have been able to bring together the cultural differences and identify the many similarities between urban life in the States and of Jamaica. My idea of ‘consciousness’ has also evolved into what it is as a result of my access to both realities.

6. Atlanta has a thriving reggae community as well as a huge rap/hip-hop and soul/R&B history. How was this an influence on you growing up; and how does it influence your music now?

Atlanta’s music has helped influence my style as far as my lyrics and the neo-soul element in my music reminiscent of Erykah Badu and India.Arie. I love the way Southerners slang their English. It’s colorful and entertaining. Outkast has mastered the art form.

7. It seems as if reggae is always undergoing an evolution of style. Do you think traditional reggae artists face greater difficulty in getting their music heard? Why do you think has reggae been embraced by US college students yet almost completely ignored by American radio? As you begin your career what (if any) plans to do you have to maintain it; are you open to exploring new and different styles of music or do you see yourself staying true to traditional reggae?

Every genre of music since the beginning of history goes through periodic evolutions of style. At times so much so, that a whole new genre is created. The history of Reggae shows several evolutions to what it is today. Even today’s new reggae artists have a different mode. It’s called Sing-Jay –a mixture of Dancehall’s Dee-jaying, and traditional melodic singing. Nothing remains the same, yet everything has its place. We still listen to Billie Holiday even though Blues turned into R&B. Reggae is very down to earth and true. Sometimes it’s harder to commercialize the truth than a fairytale. College students are always searching for the truth, they are the revolutionaries, so they connect with Reggae.

8. To a lot of people, reggae music and marijuana are inextricably linked. What are your thoughts and experience, if any; and what opinion do you have on the way America views it and the way Jamaica views it? (Also, what is “Balance The Herb?”)

Historically, Reggae Music has been associated with three things– the Ethiopian Flag, Dreadlocks, and Marijuana. These are all physical aspects of the Rastafari way of Life. Not all Reggae artists are Rasta, but these things generally go hand in hand. I don’t have dreadlocks, and I don’t always wear Red, Gold, and Green, but I do promote a green way of life, and my name represents the highest grade of green. The criminalization of marijuana is a political and economical issue, not moral or medical. If alcohol and cigarettes, which have proven to be two of the most addictive and hazardous substances for MANY people, can be legal and sold over the counter, I don’t see why a natural, unprocessed herb that doesn’t rack up body bags should be called a DRUG. The majority of Jamaicans don’t really consider marijuana a drug, but propaganda from the US is what makes it criminal in most countries. When we lighten up in the US the whole world will look at the issue differently, and all the closet smokers will come out!

9. Your father is quite an enigmatic character; and “Blackheart Man” is widely regarded as one of the classics of reggae. What can you share about your father that influenced you, musically, and as a person? Which of his songs are among your favorites; and do you ever perform his music in your live sets?

My father, Bunny Wailer is an enigmatic character. Just sitting with him and hearing him reason is a joy. He has so much history under his belt and he is so strong in mind, body, and spirit. He has maintained his status as a Living Legend, a King of Reggae, and Don Dadda among the people of Jamaica. He is a philanthropist by day and one of the biggest, brightest stars by night, effortlessly belting classics from his extensive collection, like my favorite “Rise and Shine.” He is truly “a shooting star that never burns out.” My favorite song of his to perform is “Electric Boogie.” the dance phenomenal classic which most people don’t know he composed. It always gets people up and dancing.

10. There are not too many women in reggae: do you see this as a challenge or an obstacle, or is this irrelevant to you and why? What advice has your mother given you? And what do you hope to achieve as an artist in the future?

The fact that there are not many female Reggae stars… makes it easier for me to be one! My mother and many of her independent, entrepreneurial sistrens that I grew up watching, kicked down barriers like Joan of Arcs in African print, offering a challenge I look forward to surpassing. They all believe in me, and so do I. I look towards a bright future full of abundance and accolades for the hard work I will be putting in. I plan to produce many projects on my own, come up with more ingenious art and set a good standard for my family and protégés.

Check out “Love Letter” and follow Cen’C Love:



- Rocksalt magazine

"Cen'C Love drops Love Letter Feb 9th"

LYVESTONE Music recording artiste Cen'C Love, who is the daughter of legendary reggae artiste Bunny Wailer, is getting ready to take one of the biggest steps in her career. The songstress will release her debut album titled Love Letter on the 9th of February.
The first single off the album Casanova and its supporting music video are currently enjoying strong rotation on local radio and television.
Cen'C Love recently shot a music video for a track called Cystem, which will be the next single to be released from the album. The video was shot at various locations across New York under the guidance of Condra Magee, TY Walker and Raevaughn Lucas of Point Blank Period Productions.
Come next Tuesday, February 8, Cen'C Love is scheduled to perform in Negril at the weekly One Love Reggae Concert Winter Series showcase, before launching her album in Kingston the following day.

Read more: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Cen-C-Love-drops-Love-Letter-February-9_8325427#ixzz1I8lC3Ql1 - The Jamaican Observer

"Interview Cen'C Love"

Cen'C Love is an up-and-coming reggae singer-songwriter. She is the daughter of the legendary Bunny Wailer. Her new single Casanova, was released in September last year and her debut album 'Love Letter' is about to be released on February 9th. Cen'C recently discussed her songwriting process, memories of her childhood, and her lyrical inspirations.

How does your songwriting process work?

I get divine inspiration from Life. Sometimes it begins with a melody in my head that I turn into chords on the guitar, or a "la la la" that I turn into lyrics. At other times it starts with a thought, a catchy phrase, a poem that I turn into a song. Not all the songs I compose are completed in one day. There are those magic moments when everything just flows out at once, but often I develop my masterpieces over time. That can range from a couple days to a couple years.

How old were you when you wrote your first song?

Probably as soon as I could talk I wrote my first song, maybe not on paper. My mom used to make up childrens' songs for us growing up so that was natural.

What was the first song you learned how to play on guitar?

I am Ready for Love from India Arie, was the first song I learned to play, once I got over my bruised fingertips.

What inspires you lyrically?

I am inspired by everyone's stories, my own included. Our experiences give us so much to write about.

Do you remember the first reggae song you heard?

It was probably in the womb, and was most likely a Wailers tune. I do remember listening to Black Uhuru as a child.

Do you remember your first time onstage?

Since becoming a recording artist, my first time on stage was at Centennial Park in Atlanta in 2006. I had a little stage experience prior to that as a performing arts student at Dekalb School of the Arts in Atlanta.

What are some of your favorite childhood memories?

Listening to my father reasoning with his brethren in our yard. I learned a great deal about life and about how men think. He is very colorful and entertaining, and his voice is one of a kind. I really loved traveling with my Mom in the summer and going to cultural events and meeting other Rasta children and their families. I learned a lot from those experiences.

What do you feel are the biggest misconceptions about your father?

People always think that he's sitting on a bag of money. But he is really a pipeline. As it comes it flows.

What are the most important lessons you learned from your parents?

My parents taught me that we create our own reality, and you reap what you sow. They also taught me that a strong foundation is the best gift you can give a child to prepare them for a successful future in this world. If you sow good seeds and begin with strong roots you will get firm trees and rich fruit.

How do you feel that your sound has evolved over the years?

When I first began composing as a recording artist I had more R&B and Neo-Soul tunes. Because my voice was still fresh out of training, it was a little difficult to come out of my round classical voice. I had to work on getting back the natural edge I had before vocal training. That's when I started singing with a more Dancehall flavor and writing in a 'street' style. Now I'm in the middle with a sing-jay vibe. I have grown to embrace my unique sound, and my confidence has helped me to polish my delivery.

Who are some of your favorite producers to work with and why?

Bunny Wailer is one of my favorite producers to work with because he allows me creative control in the studio, and supports my compositions with high quality live music. I also enjoyed working with Bobby Digital. He appreciates my voice and originality, and is very encouraging when I am in the booth. I also love his riddims.

What artists and producers would you love to collaborate with?

The list is long! I look forward to working with Andrew Tosh, NAS, Sizzla Kalonji, Outkast, Queen Ifrica, Pressure, Fyakin, Lady Saw, Tanya Stephens, Ras Attitude, Junior Gong, Beres Hammond, and Midnite. I really could go on. Producers I admire... Stephen Marley, Stephen McGregor, Rico Wade from Organized Noize and more.

What advice would you give to up--and-coming vocalists and songwriters?

Read Read Read! Reading and writing go hand in hand. Be willing to put in long hours and sacrifice food and sleep. Make sure you love what you do so it's work and play in one. Maintain positive relationships, because the music world is very small.

Can you tell us about your upcoming album 'Love Letter' ?

Shaka and I met at Georgia State University and have been close friends and music partners since. I had previously written and made demos for about half of the songs before we even decided to do the album. It's while I was in my last trimester we decided to start recording for the album. We didn't have a name until we were almost done recording. We linked up with musical engineer Paul Katzman, one of Shaka's friends and a longtime fan of "Supreeme". He was eager to do some recording while he was off from school for a while. After I gave birth to my son in December 2009, we cranked out the album. Shaka had some original beats he was already working on, I had songs I had been longing to get out, so we collaborated. We co-wrote a few songs, and I covered one of his original songs, Springtime. He also added to my acoustic compositions, Hey You and Paradise. On one of the tracks Shaka uses a sample from a Bunny Wailer classic, with a hip hop twist, one of his many tricks, Kanye West style. We had a few 'spontaneous' additions, like Casanova, which I penned a few years ago with a friend of mine, Georgia Phipps-Blake, and Feel Good, which just featured Shaka and my brother Abijah at first, before I added a verse.

We produced the album at Coconut Rose Studio, our home studio in Atlanta, so the environment was relaxed which made the process comfortable and fun. That's what really made it possible for me to spend quality time with my newborn, and regroup. We are now continuing to develop Lyvestone Music, and this is our first project. There are collaborations in the pipeline, but none on this album except features by Shaka Girvan and Abijah Livingston. The music is different, very new, yet it's reminiscent of classic Reggae and R&B, where simplicity goes a longer way. With jazzy melodies plus new-school Dancehall lyrics, a cool ride with unexpected turns like life itself. I'm excited to have this album released, to widen my reach and help engage this generation to open our minds and hearts to another level of consciousness and Love.
- United Reggae

"Cen'C Love unveils her Love Letter"

Hasani Walters - Cen-C Love performing at the launch of her debut album, 'Love Letter' recently.
An extended performance from Cen-C Love, daughter of reggae stalwart Bunny Wailer, brought life to the night at her debut album launch held on Wednesday at Studio 38, New Kingston.

Guest speaker Professor Carolyn Cooper had only words of encouragement to offer the young female artiste as she congratulated her on accomplishing one of her goals and getting closer and closer to the level of international acts like Billie Holiday, Lauryn Hill and Jill Scott to whom she has been compared.

Cen-C Love performed for those in attendance, singing songs from the album titled Love Letter. Songs such as the popular Casanova hit home extremely well with the audience as they sang along as best as they could.

"This song is for all the players who think dem get weh wid it," she said before she began asking in song, "Casanova, where you gonna go tonight?"

These Lies, Love Letter and Hey You were among some of the other songs which she had fun with while singing onstage.

Love Letter contains 13 tracks which focuses mainly on the topic of love which goes effortlessly hand-in-hand with its title.

The album also features the collaboration Cystem with her brother Abijah Livingston.

- Hasani Walters
- The Jamaican Star

"Cen'C Love to Deliver Love Letter"

Love Letter, the debut album from singer-songwriter Cen'C Love, is scheduled for a February 9 release by Atlanta-based record company, Lyve Stone Music.

In an interview with The Gleaner last week, Cen'C Love said the set will be available digitally through iTunes and CD Baby. Cassanova, a dance track first recorded in 2008, is the album's lead song.

The daughter of reggae legend and multiple Grammy winner Bunny Wailer, Cen'C Love describes her sound as a cross between roots-reggae, dancehall and hip hop. She added that while Love Letter honours the message-legacy of her father and his contemporaries, reaching out to her generation is just as important.

"I have that old-school sound and I deal with social, cultural and political issues but I really want to appeal to my generation," she said.

Cen'C Love wrote or co-wrote most of Love Letter's 12 tracks with Shaka Gordon, an American of Jamaican parentage, who produced the album. She also played guitar on some of the songs including the acoustic number, Hey You.

The 25-year-old artiste was born Ngeri Livingston in Florida, but raised in Jamaica, where she attended Meadowbrook High School. She started recording four years ago when she did 14 songs produced by her father for Solomonic/Tuff Gong Records, but they were never released.

She also cut the Rhythm And Blues song, A Little More Time for Revolutionary Entertainment, a company in Delaware, and worked with producers Bobby 'Bobby Digital' Dixon and Grub Cooper of the Fabulous Five.

Love Letter, however, is the most ambitious project, to date, for Cen'C Love and Lyve Stone Music. Because it has not attracted any interest as yet from a major distributor, there is no official timetable for Love Letter to be released on compact disc.

There are plans to release Cassanova in Jamaica where Cen'C Love has performed on live events like Western Consciousness. Her management believes it is critical to make a breakthrough in the land of reggae.

"Jamaica is the base. Even though I live in the States, I can get more exposure if my songs are accepted in Jamaica," she said.
- The Jamaican Gleaner


Love Letter Album (released 2011)
All songs were engineered and recorded by Paul Katzman at Coconut Rose Studios.

1. Intro: Arranged by: Shaka Girvan, Paul Katzman

2. Love Letter:
Written and Performed by: N. Livingston
Produced by: Shaka Girvan
Mixing and Mastering: No.4 Entertainment
Piano Solo: Nick Ward

3. These Lies:
Written and Performed by: N. Livingston
Produced by: Shaka Girvan
Mixing and Mastering: No.4 Entertainment

4. Casanova:
Written by: N. Livingston, Georgia Phipps Blake
Performed by: N. Livingston
Produced by: Shaka Girvan
Mixed by: Shaka Girvan
Mastered: Rodney Mills Mastering House
Piano Solo: Shaka Girvan

5. Paradise
Written and Performed by: N. Livingston
Produced by: Shaka Girvan
Acoustic Guitar: N. Livingston
Viola: Adam Schatz
Mixing and Mastering: No.4 Entertainment

6. Hey You
Written and Performed by: N. Livingston
Produced by: Shaka Girvan
Acoustic Guitar: N. Livingston
Viola: Adam Schatz
Mixing and Mastering: No.4 Entertainment

7. Ghetto Slang
Written and Performed by: N. Livingston
Produced by: Shaka Girvan
Mixed by: Shaka Girvan
Mastered by: Paul Katzman

8. What About Love
Written and Performed by: N. Livingston
Produced by: Shaka Girvan
Mixed by: Shaka Girvan
Mastered by: Paul Katzman

9. Nobody Else
Written by: N. Livingston, Shaka Girvan, Abijah Livingston
Performed by: N. Livingston
Produced by: Shaka Girvan
Mixing and Mastering: No.4 Entertainment

10. Gave You my Love
Written and Performed by: N. Livingston
Produced by: Shaka Girvan
Musical Excerpt: Bunny Wailer “DreamLand”
Mixed by: Shaka Girvan
Mastered by: Paul Katzman

11. Feel Good
Written by: N. Livingston, Shaka Girvan, Abijah Livingston
Performed by: N. Livingston
Produced by: Shaka Girvan
Mixed by: Shaka Girvan
Mastered by: Paul Katzman

12. Springtime
Written by: Shaka Girvan
Performed by: N. Livingston
Produced by: Shaka Girvan
Mixing and Mastering: No.4 Entertainment

13. Cystem
Written by: N. Living ston, Shaka Girvan, Abijah Livingston
Performed by: N. Livingston, Abijah Livingston
Produced by: Shaka Girvan
Mixed by: Shaka Girvan
Mastered by: Paul Katzman
Drums: Abijah Livingston

All Singles:
Casanova (Love Letter 2011): Airplay in Jamaica, St. Thomas, St Croix, New York, Washington DC, Atlanta. Also official Music Video aired in Brazil and Jamaica.
Springtime (Love Letter 2011): London
Yours Alone ft Richie Spice (2009): Airplay in Jamaica, and the Caribbean.
A Little More Time (2009): Airplay in Jamaica, Atlanta, Washington DC, New York, St Croix
Hey You(Love Letter 2011): Airplay in Jamaica, New York, Washington DC, Atlanta, London, St. Thomas, St Croix,
One Phone Call (Stonehenge Riddim)- Airplay in Jamaica



Born in America to Caribbean parents, Cen'C was raised between Kingston and Atlanta spending time equally between the two.
In Atlanta, she attended Dekalb School of the Arts where she studied dance, drama, writing and was trained in classical voice by Jamaican born opera singer, Mrs. Dawn-Marie James nee Virtue.
Cen'C began performing on stages in Jamaica, Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York and Amsterdam. In Atlanta at the 2008 Natural Hair Show and at the Centennial Park Wednesday Wind-down in July where she honed her talent in front of very appreciative audiences. She appeared at the Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam 08 and at the IRAWMA Reggae Awards in New York in the spring of 2009. She has had numerous radio and television appearances and has been featured in local and international press i.e The Jamaica Gleaner, High Times magazine.