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CERA KYMARNI The Lioness Sings Tonight

Cera Kymarni
Cera Kymarni

Cera Kymarni, who has a new single, Island Breeze, out now and is appearing at The Bird tonight (Friday) will perform at the Freedom For West Papua Benefit this Sunday, April 26, at the Railway Hotel. BOB GORDON has a chat. 

Describe the moment you knew that reggae music was for you and the journey from then to here… 

Reggae music resonates with me, it’s such a message music. Noel Woods gave me my first opportunity to sing lead with Grove Roots reggae band in Wellington N. I wrote some reggae songs with them; I loved ragga and wanted to try that too. It just felt right. The first time I performed was with Groove Roots at a show headlined by Katchafire that also had other great reggae bands. It was  an outdoor festival in NZ, with thousands of people. I just knew that reggae was it for me!

Tell us about your single, Island Breeze, the background to the song and your feelings about it. 

I heard a riddim called the idrop produced by Hawaiian producer Jah Son, which featured an artist I got mad respect for, Luciano. I wrote some lyrics as I was singing along to it, and felt it inspired a laidback summer vibe – everyone can relate to wanting to go to that place – a tropical island getaway. Rootstime (label) really liked my song, and jahson blessed it up with two dub mixes to release it as an EP on his label. The quality of the production is awesome, I just love it.

Are you pleased with the reaction to it thus far? 

I am really humbled by the amazing reviews, on iTunes and reggae websites, and the support from radio stations around the world, places like Serbia, Paris, Toronto, UK and of course Australia.

What are you working towards at this point in time?

I’m currently working on an album with Rootstime Productions, and a few singles with some European reggae labels to come out in the next few months. I am preparing to travel and work in Europe and the home of reggae, Jamaica!

You’ve scored two Shaggy supports, in Sydney and Perth. That must be exciting? 

I feel really humbled to be given the opportunity to work at that level so early in my career. I am playing support for three great touring acts during May – Shaggy (Astor Theatre, Saturday, May 23) , Paua (Prince of Wales Bunbury, Saturday, May 2)  and Sons Of Zion (Sunday, May 31, Rosemount Hotel). Big up natural touring!

You’re performing at the Freedom For West Papua Benefit at the Railway Hotel on Sunday. How important is an event such as this given that there is very little in the mainstream media about the crisis?

I believe that music can change the world, and this kind of gig, for freedom, is really important. Using our gift and our blessing to change the lives of others – it’s a blessing to bless others. When I only recently saw some footage on Facebook about some of the things going on there I was horrified, innocent people being tortured and murdered. Then to find out that this has been going on for 50 years – why haven’t we heard about this?

From 2pm-10pm this Sunday The Freedom For West Papua Benefit also features Shangara Jive, Dilip N The Davs, Downbeat, Ragga Tings, The U-Nites, Tani Walker, Jericho Band & The Tropical Gangsters, with General Justice, Colin Clark, Upfront, Quizzy & Doody on the decks, plus the Death Disco DJs. All proceeds go to freewestpapua.org.