Song Premiere | JonQuan, “Sunny Monday” Ft. Eazy D

Though JonQuan is relatively new to the reggae scene, you’d never know it by listening to the music on the upcoming EASY STAR PRESENTS: JONQUAN & ASSOCIATES. Working closely with two-time GRAMMY winner Victor Rice (Easy Star All-Stars, Bixiga 70, Ticklah), JonQuan has fashioned an album’s worth of brand-new tunes that evoke the power and soul of the golden age of reggae. These tracks are being released as singles (with dub versions mixed by Rice) over the course of the next few months, culminating in an album release in April 2022.

Today JonQuan shares the latest single coming off from the upcoming album, “Sunny Monday” ft. Eazy D. JonQuan said about the track, “I’ve known Dennis, Eazy D, for almost 20 years. He’s one of the most prolific songwriters I know. From ska to reggae, rocksteady to punk rock, Dennis has the chops and deep musical knowledge to prove it. He was strumming Sunny Monday on a ukulele one day, and I asked if he’d like to record it. Jason Budman drove down from dc to play the drums and two days later it was sent off to Victor rice for mix, who also played bass on the track. Ska music!”

When it came to putting EASY STAR PRESENTS: JONQUAN & ASSOCIATES, JonQuan mentioned that was inspired to create his own original riddims to help cure the suppressive boredom and woes of being off stage. “This is my first project where I produced the riddims myself. I wanted to leave the door open for the players of all other instruments for maximum creative input, but within certain parameters. I personally chose who I wanted to play what instrument on what song. I’m most accustomed to live writing with a band while feeling for a groove.” Once he had an album’s worth of riddims, he set about finding great vocalists to collaborate with, which ended up also including Sammy Dread, Vernon Maytone, JonnyGo Figure, Kelly Di Filipo (of The Loving Paupers), among others.”

Once JonQuan had the record finished, Victor Rice made the connection to Easy Star Records, his label for the past few years. For the team at Easy Star, they felt like they were reconnecting with their own origins as a label, as their very first release was a similar project, EASY STAR VOL. ONE, which paired their own foundation-inspired original riddims with vocals from both Jamaican veterans and New York City-based newcomers. A generation has passed since that project, with the label since becoming a major player in the genre, and an entire U.S. reggae scene evolving into a major force, so getting involved with this scrappy upstart project that had so much energy and creativity was a joy for the label.