Franklin Fernando and reggae outfit RasTamils are releasing their second album It’s A Dream in Winnipeg, before touring Canadian this fall:
It’s A Dream with Franklin Fernando & RasTamils
Concert performance & album release party
With special guests Dr. Love, Keisha Booker, Ismaila Alfa & DJ
Saturday, September 26 @ 8:30pm
The Pyramid Cabaret @ 176 Fort Street
Tickets $15 advance / $20 door
Tickets at Music Trader & Into the Music
ABOUT THE ALBUM
It’s A Dream is sonic soulful reggae inspired by generations of Jamaican legends like Dennis Brown, Gregory Isaacs, Sly & Robbie, and Bob Marley, and reminiscent of South Asian singers such as Gunadasa Kapuge, Nusrat Fateh ali Khan, and A.R Rahman. The album is a collection of 11 dance-inducing anthems, laced with ever-potent, politically-charged lyrics in solidarity with the Tamil people of Sri Lanka. It’s also a reflection of simple day-to-day life that is universal in theme, that anyone can relate to.
When Franklin Fernando returned home to Winnipeg in 2007 after growing up in war-torn Sri Lanka, the teenager empathized with his fellow Tamils. He wanted to shine a light on what was happening in the world. He wanted to share about what happened to his own family, who felt firsthand the persecution and prejudice of the majority group.
Fernando was compelled to take action. The challenge was figuring out how to do this. It didn’t long for Fernando to realize his best weapon would be a Fender Stratocaster. The best ammunition? An arsenal of songs about peace, empowerment and prosperity.
It was during a late-night drum jam on Canada Day 2010 that Franklin Fernando first met Rasta percussionist Martin Valach. A long-time veteran of Winnipeg’s reggae circle, Valech shared Fernando’s passion for music with a message. Together they founded RasTamils.
RasTamils combines two words representative of two cultures – ‘Ras’ (short for Rastafarian) and ‘Tamils’ (the name of Sri Lanka’s minority people). Putting these two words together reflects the hope that Franklin Fernando and his bandmates share of cultures coming together around the world.
Rounding out RasTamils are Christian DeVoin (bass), J.R. Hill (lead guitar), Andy Castello (keyboards), Maththew Walden (trumpet) and Janice Finlay (saxophone/flute). Together they create a beautifully layered and tasteful take on classic reggae rhythms, weaving in the contemporary sounds of Santana and Michael Franti with hooky pop components of ‘60s rock.
The culmination of their sonic concoction can be heard on the band’s self-titled 2011 EP, which garnered positive attention from CBC Radio. The program Manitoba Scene chose the track Friends as one of the Top 5 of 2012.