Israeli/Swedish, but London based artist Shelly Ravid has been floating around in the reggae sphere for a while. In 2015, teamed up with acclaimed Dub producer Indica Dubs and toured Europe with their track ‘Guide You’, including Italy, France and Belgium. It also air played on BBC Radio as well, and both did a support act together for Channel One sound system. As well as gigging for her own band, Shelly has did backing vocals for major Reggae artists like Earl Sixteen and Danman, and has collaborated with reggae producer Alberto Blackwood (Sly & Robbie). Last year though, Shelly Ravid released her debut EP ‘Let Them Know’.
Since then, Shelly signed a record deal with No Joke Records back in April, the New York label known to have worked with some of reggaes top names such as Gyptian, Vybz Kartel, Spice, Luciano, Tarrus Riley and Dennis Brown. The ‘Livin’ Large’ EP is the first piece to come out of that deal and is a teaser of whats to come, her debut album will be out 2018 and has some highly impressive names attached to it, recorded in both London, New York and Jamaica.
‘Livin’ Large’ EP consists of 5 tracks speaking on both heavy subjects like politics with a clear aim at the leader of the free world, on the quest for success and passionate love affairs. ‘Chain Reaction’ delves in to, and features vividly descriptive lyrics from Shelly, about a rather physical love affair, singing about the thrill of the chase down to the passionate encounters. A bouncy number from Shelly, the vocals and production are both rhythmic and infectious.
The title track is a superb display of Shelly’s song writing and create a song that could be universally relatable. With fun, rhythmic production with Caribbean vibes, Shelly sings about her hopes and dreams of becoming rich and what she’d do for her lover. Shelly’s vocals are sung with confidence and smooth finesse, and the chorus is catchy too.
Whilst ‘Love Like Fire’ revisits the love, passion, and even desire, that Shelly undoubtedly has in her heart, ‘Blind 2 A Few’ explores almost the opposite, the lack of love, replaced by evil and hate in the world, where those in power are blind to the struggles and dissatisfaction in many communities, who they try and set rules for. Both tracks have infectious, melodious production, but with very different messages. Whilst the latter deals with more negative issues, the vocals from Shelly and the production are both warming to hear.
‘Bullet In My Chest’ is the other track on the EP, and is a Rock-infused, acoustic Reggae track, and could easily be interpreted as a song about love, politics, and pain and struggle at the forefront. “Erase you from my memory, like these shots for my enemy” could be Shelly eradicating her ex-lover, letting go of the pain that she’s incurred in a battle, leaving a bullet in her chest, the outcome of the years that she has fought. She also pleads for help and justice from those that are supposed to be in power.
Shelly Ravid once again combines rhythmic production with fine, swinging, melodious vocals, and lyricism delving in to love and politics, themes that Reggae is noted for. It’s that passion for what she believes in and her natural flair on a song that shows that she has massive love and respect for the genre. A connection with Reggae started out from the age of 13 when Shelly played in Reggae bands, and though her roots are in the Middle East and Sweden, she celebrates the Caribbean sounds she obviously grew up on.
The EP is now available on all online major music outlets such as Spotify, Amazon, Pandora and iTunes, via No Joke Records. There will also be limited copies on vinyl.