Inspired by the survival of joy within the current onslaught on negativity, Light Warriors channels the subtle realms in every note, raising their collective frequencies and bringing love into action through a singular sound that blends Rock, Funk, and Reggae.
With global indie sensibilities that are both familiar and free of boundaries, their music transmutes energy that invokes uplift from the hopeless mundane and instills peace within and deep connection to our global human family.
With the latest release of their most recent album, 'Book of One,' Light Warriors have provided listeners with nine versions of their soul-captured single, "One." Fueling a soundscape that is passion-driven with golden saxophone notes, tightly woven drum patterns, and eccentric bliss that pushes boundaries on any genre stereotype, Light Warriors have cast a reel into the pond of melismatic effervescence and placed it in the ears of the beholder.
The ambiance that is radiated through their captivating performance sits in a euphonious spotlight of well-vocalized impressions. Capturing their ambitious quintessence in the kingdom of superlative soul-powered ballads, the harmonies that lay in the depths of "One" have us absorbed in a pool of self-reflection. The amalgamation of sounds fostered explore a universe that individuals wouldn't think to go naturally. They fashion a path of musical optimism in a world where reality and pessimism are often looked at as the first choice.
The prevailing tenors that seep from "One" allow each element reminiscent of a specific genre to pop in its individualistic manner. Without giving an ounce of their integrity up, Light Warriors crafts a message that has their fan base gravitating towards their every move.
In your own words, what does this song mean to you?
Steven Jean Baptiste (Drums): This song symbolizes the significance of Unity. Everyone on earth talks about peace and love and coming together to make the world a better place. This song is like the idea that will create the “spark” for that notion to grow like a flame so to speak. Unified experiences and feelings bringing us together as “One” to do the work we all dream of which is far greater than just world peace...since everyone has a different perspective of what that looks like!
Kris Brewer (Saxophone): Oneness can express individuality or it can represent a unified collective. The perception of Oneness is relative to the beholder. For me, this song expresses how we are all One, regardless of culture, race, sexual orientation, sexual identity, religion, physical/mental limitations, gender, or age. We are all part of the human family.
Erik Rabasca (Guitar/Vocals): The song is almost a melodic mantra. For me, oneness represents all living systems, human, animal, ecological, energetic. And humanity has to recognize the interdependence of all life. So, the “Book of One” release is a blueprint for humanity healing itself and getting right with Earth, who will kill us off if we keep destroying her. With our version and the poetic interpretations of all of our guest feature artists, a wide range of topics from reparations, spirituality, unity in diversity, destructive generational cycles, politics and war, and divinity are all weaved into a cohesive story. Like the lyric, we want to be a part of a “collectively transforming community.”
What does your typical creative process consist of? Was it similar or different for the creation of “One?"
SJB: My personal creative process is much different from how “One” was created. I usually start with creating a groove and letting that create the lyrics. But “One” was created with a communal flow of brainstormed ideas that came out naturally. To be honest, the song was made so easily together that I can’t pinpoint the actual progression of the song’s development. Thinking back now, I’d have to say it must’ve been like the Big Bang theory, creation out of nothing but a jam. And then music fell into place. The rhythm section started playing a random groove. Kris on Sax followed and so did Erik on guitar. Before we knew it, we had this collective mellow sound pumping through the veins of the band.
KB: Transcription and transposition are usually how I create. I take a lot of time to listen deeply to the initial track or demo recording. I transcribe as many melodic and harmonic options for the song as I hear and test what works. What’s tricky for horn players is that I have to transpose the song key to ensure my instruments which are designed in Bb and E will play in key, will match the song. I seek to support the vocals when necessary, add harmony when possible, and look for empty spaces to fill or solo when appropriate.
ER: Each song is different in how it’s written. It was basically a solo project for the first couple of albums. For “One”, it was really a group collaboration on how it all came together. During recording sessions, each instrument came together pretty easily and found the groove. Then, as I was mixing, I started sampling everyone’s vocals in the chorus to give it that multi-layered rhythmic effect. Some 70s Jamaican dub-influenced the sound with the delays and reverb shots. For “Book of One”, we kept inviting guest artists to participate and before we knew it, we had innovation on the single with nine versions of the song. We stripped vocals and sent them to the guest artists to drop in their verses. When we got their verses back, we started stripping apart the original music and rebuilt the songs around each artist. Each version of “One” became its own universe. Lyla June’s version felt more earthy to match her tone. Kwadjo SPiRi’s more spoken word-hop version was an exciting creative challenge because he wanted us to dialogue, so I had to find spots in his poetry to thread the narrative with my own thoughts. Sydney Salmon’s epic reggae version came together after we kept evolving it together back and forth over a couple of months. Mistaish and Shane Digital both constructed entirely new instrumentals. I then mixed in our rearranged vocals, dubbing out parts with that Jamaican dub approach. It was a joyful process. Stenny Sten and Steve’s version was reconstructed with new instrumentation after they dropped their verses in. Rebuilding all versions felt more like a painter using new brushes and color combinations.
With numerous tracks on 'Book of One,' titled “One,” what was your thought process when bringing this idea together? How long did this concept take?
ER: It happened very organically and only could have happened with the backdrop of the pandemic. When in the course of history has every person on Earth been afflicted by the same thing? So it was a pure flow state, that group mind type of vibe, that birthed an international collaboration with artists all sharing conscious and spiritual perspectives of Oneness. We had recorded the Light Warriors version pre-pandemic in February 2020. Then the pandemic slowed down the album we were working on. But in the wake of George Floyd, we wanted to do something to support the larger Black Lives Matter movement. So we released an earlier mix of “One” on Juneteenth exclusively on Bandcamp to raise money for NAACP Legal Defense Fund and The Brotherhood/Sister Sol. Then we just started asking friends to contribute and by end of January, the nine versions were recorded, mixed. Mastering was done by my friend Dave O’Dell who really brought out the details beautifully.
I was connected with most of the feature artists. Lyla June, Kwadjo SPiRi, Sydney Salmon, and I all met on a peace and spirit delegation to Ethiopia back in 2018. Shane Digital, Mistaish, David Culture, and I all knew each other from a group I toured in called Trumystic in the mid-'00s. Ish co-produced the last Light Warriors album, Raise The Frequency, and my first solo record. So there’s family and ONEness in commUNITY with Book of One. And as word starts to spread, we’re hearing Book of One is not only innovation on the single (with the album’s length narrative and song reconstructions) but is potentially an industry first. I’m keeping my feet on the ground though (laughs). The one artist I didn’t personally know was Stenny Sten. Steve mentioned something about having bars at a rehearsal one day and I was like, “YES! I want to hear those bars!!!” And he invited his brother Stenny to the party and their version is BRILLIANT!!!
SJB: For the version with Stenny Sten, we listened to the instrumental for a while after it was created. We allowed the beat along with the direction of the chorus to guide our lyrics into fruition from what we felt in our listening.
ER: Their version (One feat. Stenny Sten and Steven Jean Baptiste) is pure fire with the depth of spirit. A definitive poetic statement. And as blazing as theirs is, is as serene and otherworldly as Kris’s version is.
KB: I sought to mimic the original instrumentation with my own instruments. I wrote out a saxophone quartet (soprano, alto, tenor, & baritone saxophones) that I had floating around in my head as the Book of One concept started coming together. I added a fifth clarinet part, some last-minute melodica. Erik added some percussion and a crazy string instrument and the result was simply amazing.
How would you like “One” to be perceived by your audience?
KB: I would like for the world to receive “One” as an anthem, for everyone to know and sing. Oneness applies to all humans on Earth and should be seen as our One common bond, even if we are polar opposites in every way. To be “One” is universal.
SJB: Yeah I agree. And I’d like the audience to dance to the groove of “One,” allowing the energy of it to take them on a journey within. Everyone internalizes everything differently, but the core essence of that notion alone shows a commonality we all share and can recognize, as One!
What's next for Light Warriors?
SJB: We’d love to know what you think is next for us! Other than that, more music is coming, that’s for sure. We have a new album in the work.s
KB: And we have more gigs coming shortly as things are slowly opening up. But, what I personally hope for Light Warriors in the future is for us to continue spread awareness, love, and refreshing music in this sometimes harsh, cruel world. Because we are all in this together, on this One world.
ER: Amen to that! This is the year of Oneness! Also, earlier this year, we became Ambassadors to WhyHunger’s Artists Against Hunger and Poverty program.WhyHunger was co-founded by Harry Chapin back in the ‘70s. The organization is amazing and we’re proud to be part of their family. So, we’re going to keep spreading awareness of food insecurity and try to raise money for their efforts. Half of all Bandcamp sales will be donated to fighting the rise food insecurity crisis we’re facing as a result of the pandemic. We’d love to maximize our donation on the next Bandcamp Friday on April 2. So if everyone can go to www.lightwarriors.bandcamp.com and buy the Book of One, we can help feed some people who really need it. We hope to do more fundraiser shows and releases.