Coming in from the cold, singer/songwriter Arif Gir, better known by his professional name Reefah has embarked on a unique journey into the Reggae World. Born and raised in Toronto, Canada with a Guyanese background, Reefah’s West Indian upbringing is the main root of his inspiration. Growing up amongst individuals from other Caribbean countries like Jamaica and Trinidad, he found a sense of belonging at a very young age learning the cultural similarities between the Caribbean islands and his parents homeland in Guyana, South America. Reggae music became the connection and a link to what was going on abroad in the Caribbean. Reefah found it to be more meaningful and honest to write and sing his music fitting to that of his Roots and Culture. Reefah is an artist growing and developing the deeper he emerges himself into the music. With positive motivating lyrics and life lessons for people of all walks of life to enjoy, Reefah is on the rise!
His latest single featured on his self titled LP is “Baddest Indian”. The track is a self-empowering anthem all about Reefah’s pride. It features storytelling elements of how Reefah became who he is today. His proud of his diversity and cultural upbringing. He fuses a contemporary reggae sound with his authentic flare and create musical excellence. Instrumental additions create a mind-blowing soundscape and take the listener on a journey like no other. We love and admire the confidence and bad boy aesthetic that Reefah exudes. “Baddest Indian” is being added to my summer playlist and I highly recommend you do the same!
Check out “Baddest Indian” here and read more below in our interview below.
Hey Reefah! Welcome to BuzzMusic! How did you get started in the music industry?
I honestly started by taking the time to learn and mold my craft as a singer/songwriter. When I began doing music I was just writing lyrics out of thin air or from a instrumental on YouTube. I quickly realized in order to really express myself I would have to learn how to play an instrument. I chose to learn to play the guitar and it opened up my musical horizon as well as setting up a home studio for a creative outlet to record my ideas. I took the time and put the work in to really get to know myself as an artist and to continuously learn and grow.
Was there a specific event/person in your life that made you get into music/ start recording your material?
After working on my craft for a couple of years. In 2016 I went to Kingston Jamaica for my first time by myself. Being that I make Reggae music I always knew that I would have to go where Reggae music originated. I always told myself that in order to continue my pursuit in this music I would need to get a "Stamp of Approval" from the people out of Love and Respect. I had to make sure they understood who I was and what it is I'm really trying to do and say. Reggae music is so powerful and influential to the world and I didn't want to do it any other way. It was only until I went to Trenchtown which is the birthplace of Reggae and home to many legends alongside Bob Marley where I was blessed with the opportunity to learn more. After visiting the legendary Culture Yard where many of these legends resided I met with some local musicians who took me through the streets of Trenchtown, where we would eventually end up at the local studio to record a demo the same day. The response was great and it wasn't very long until my now brothers and I decided that this is something we need to work and build on. I went back home after that trip a different person and the feelings and visions that I had been manifesting were beginning to come true. It elevated me as an artist and motivated me to return the following year to record my Ep and then again in 2018 to record my album 'Reefah'.
Who are you musical influences and how do they help shape your sound?
Bob Marley is obviously my main influence. What he represented and what he strived for really inspired me to work hard and to create a legacy for myself and to have something that I can leave for the world even when I'm not here anymore physically. To see the legacy continue with his sons is very influential for me as well. Stephen Marley and Damian Marley are big influences for me, to see them continuously working, touring, recording, producing and just constantly releasing great music year after year is amazing. Their work ethic is truely inspiring. So many reggae artists to mention throughout every decade. I listen to so much reggae music and I'm always discovering older songs and artists I didn't know before. It's one of the things I love about Reggae music I'm always inspired.
What does “Baddest Indian” mean to you? What do you want your listeners to take away from it?
Being that this was my first album I want the world to know who I am and where I come from. I'm proud of my culture and my identity and its something I think everyone should be. I felt it was only right to start my album with a declaration of who I am and what my intentions are as artist. I speak on a few feelings and topics that we go through as every people. I can only hope the listeners feel my truth in the song and to try and be more consciously aware about themselves and what's going on in the world and to hopefully learn who they really are and what their purpose is in life.
What’s next for Reefah?
At the moment I am in the process of writing my next album which I plan to go back to Jamaica to record some time next year in Kingston at the legendary Tuff Gong Studios. It's a dream of mine and I'm very excited but also working very hard towards that time writing new material and also doing what I need to do in order to make all of it actually happen. Until then it's all about me spreading the music and positivity to everyone and developing new content. I've only just begun and I have many goals and ideas I'd like to pursue, but I believe the universe will align everything in its rightful place and time as long as I keep doing the work I was put on this earth to do.
Keep up with Reefah through his social media!