Reggae Artiste Written Kicks Off 2024 with Movie and Album Debut

by Howard Campbell

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Well-spoken and low-key, Written does not fit the profile of artists hyped as the next big thing in dancehall/reggae. With a debut album pending, as well as an appearance in a mega Hollywood movie, the singer is one to watch in 2024.

We Alright is the name of his album, to be released by Nah Ramp, a label owned by American music industry veteran Gary “Dr. Dread” Himelfarb, founder of RAS Records. Based in Washington DC, that company distributed albums by elite acts like Bunny Wailer, Gregory Isaacs, Culture and Israel Vibration.

Gary "Dr. Dread" Himelfarb, Written and bass guitarist Flabba Holt
L-R: Gary “Dr. Dread” Himelfarb, Written and bass guitarist Flabba Holt

Written, who is in his 30s, also plays Junior Braithwaite, an original member of The Wailers, in Bob Marley: One Love, the Paramount Pictures movie scheduled for release on February 14.

While wary of the high expectations for album and movie, Written says his outlook has not changed.

“The plan is always to excel beyond where we are physically, spiritually and mentally. But this year we are actually looking to the lands beyond to spread the message of love through performance,” he told South Florida Caribbean News.

Previously, the Kingston-born artist recorded songs for different producers in Jamaica, including Bunny Wailer. The approach was different working on an album for an overseas label.

“With this being my first album I’m very happy and eager to hear how it will be received. It is something I’ve always wanted to do, and when you are being supported by a legend like Dr. Dread who has worked with so many movers and shakers of the industry, I can only do my best. But my best is what we’ve grown accustomed to over time so I wasn’t nervous about that,” he said.

Written, whose real name is Jason Wright, hails from Tavares Gardens, a rugged community also known as Payne Land. It is close to Trench Town, which was once home to some of his musical heroes including Wailer and Bob Marley.

Recording Career

His recording career began five years ago, and has produced songs such as Remember December and Fear to Understand (a collaboration with Alborosie). Briefly, he was part of a Wailers tribute trio with Wailer’s son, Asadenaki, and Blvk H3ro.

Being in that group helped prepare Written to play Braithwaite, a Trench Town native who sang lead on the classic Wailers ballad, It Hurts to be Alone. He was murdered in Kingston, at age 40, in 1999.

Although he had no acting experience, Written was selected to play Braithwaite. He downplays his minor role in what may be one of the year’s biggest movies.

“I’ve never really thought about what it could do for my career besides giving me the experience in that field, but I learned a lot just being around them (actors) and seeing how they work. Also I would definitely love to do more acting, seeing how everything was done has peaked my interest,” he said.