March 14th, 2023 8pm Stage 2
The ancient Roman adage "carpe diem," or seize the day, has historically never been lost on Jamaicans or their descendants - as evidenced particularly by the mass migration of ordinary Jamaicans to Britain post-World War II to participate, on various levels, in the economic rebuilding process.
As a descendant of that movement, the history of that "Windrush Generation" is poignant to singer Vincent Darby. Darby's grandparents, a bus conductor and a nurse, met while doing their daily rounds amongst the other members, all of whom contributed, in ways great and small, to the intertwined histories of both Britain and their respective homelands.
That heritage is a major guidepost for Darby as he seeks to make his own mark on the world through music - building on his previous output to create his latest single, "We Could Be," a futuristic electronica-infused midtempo blend of retro and contemporary stylings produced by French producer Blundetto, even as he looks ahead to an upcoming album.
On reflection, his own journey has taken him from his formative years in Birmingham to studying at that city's renowned Ormiston Academy, absorbing all the sounds of the famed "City of the Beat" to turning numerous fans on to his uniquely blended style, and making a powerful opening statement of a new artist with conviction - and with no small amount of "old soul" feeling to go along with it.
Now, Darby, like so many other artists, is more than eager to take his act on the road.
Darby, who spent some time writing and recording in his ancestral home, is equally thoughtful in his assessment of the current musical output of Jamaica. and the country's continued global esteem as a cultural force and spearhead. "The music is still getting out there, doing what it needs to do, and it's gratifying to me, because I am Jamaican, to be a part of what's happening and to share my own ideas and feelings within that broader space."
And once those ideas do percolate in the wider music world, it's only a matter of time before Vincent Darby, with his unique combination of calm confidence, musical curiosity, and smoothly emotive vocals, finds himself right in the thick of the new musical flourish.