Deeply mystical, Jah9 has emerged from a chrysalis of poetry, dub and spirit to become a powerful femiNINE energy within a universal grassroots movement of consciousness. Inspired by the open spaces in the instrumental dub of 1970’s Jamaican roots music, Jah9 sings with a voice that belies the dimensions of her physical body, from a soul much older than its current vessel; “reminiscent of that darkly operatic wailer for truth & justice, Nina Simone.” Her philosophy-profoundly spiritual, and her style-Jazz on Dub.
Born Janine Cunningham, Jah9 spent her first 9 years in Falmouth, Trelawny, on the rural western edge of Jamaica before moving into the city of Kingston, in 1991. Transplanted in the city, this country girl, used to the idyllic Falmouth where everyone knew everyone else, was suddenly struck by chaos disguised as order in Jamaica’s capital. Highly sensitive to her surroundings, she ventured inward and found an outlet for her feelings in the words that she wrote.
Jah9, a certified yoga instructor trained in Kemetic, Ashtanga and Iyengar methods, has been known to compel her audiences during her live set to pause, breathe deeply and feel empowered.
She opens minds and soaks them in knowledge and positivity. As a way to intimately engage with her fan base, Jah9 also curates an organic rhythm-based yoga experience she calls ‘Yoga on Dub’. Jah9 is rooted in her African heritage and driven to serve. In 2015, while on tour in Italy and Malta she was intent on engaging with African refugees, sharing with them insight on the new environment they would face, natural wellness as well as yoga/breathing as healing therapy.
Jah9’s words are a reflection of the life she has constructed. Considered a nation builder and community activist, she has been heavily involved in youth development work. She has helped develop programs for at-risk youth in Kingston, worked on the creation of “Healing of the Nation” public awareness campaign and been at the core of the creation of the non-profit youth and arts advocacy group known as Manifesto JA in 2005.
In 2016, the Universal year of 9 [2+0+1+6], Jah9 has established for herself a foundation as a formidable lyricist and revolutionary force; and now shifts her energies to unveiling a deeper more personal deployment of her ‘Jazz on Dub’ sound. Empowered by her femiNINE – that which is found in the symbolism of 9, the symbol of creation and womb of the universe – Jah9 is set to release her sophomore album divinely-entitled ‘9’.
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