Romain Virgo’s “The Gentle Man”, Bringing Reggae to New Markets

by Howard Campbell

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Breaking new ground and reaching different markets were big on Romain Virgo’s mind prior to production on his fourth album. That set, The Gentle Man, is scheduled for release March 15 by VP Records.

It has 12 songs and may be the Jamaican singer’s best work to date. Strong on live instruments, Virgo also went for a broader sound on songs such as the Rhythm And Blues-inspired Been There Before and the Silly Walks-produced rocker, I Believe, which features Nigerian singer, Patoranking.

“I’m always looking at wider markets as that should be the intention of our industry. It’s the only way we can grow, I believe. While I’m making deliberate moves to improve my creativity, I’m still staying true to my sound and who I am as a person in every new adventure musically,” Virgo explained.

This is his first album in six years. Lovesick, his previous effort, was also released by VP Records.

Virgo has established himself as a lovers rock singer since he began recording 14 years ago. Songs like Love Doctor, Can’t Sleep and Soul Provider have made him one of Jamaican reggae’s top balladeers.

However, he is determined to expand his base similar to Beres Hammond with whom he has toured. The Gentle Man also features Masicka, one of the hottest deejays in Jamaica, Capleton and Jesse Royal.

Because of the lockdowns caused by Covid-19, the 34 year-old artist had more time to focus on putting out his most rounded album to date.

Romain Virgo The Gentle Man“We had more time and creative freedom with The Gentle Man album in comparison to my previous albums. The pandemic definitely had an effect on the depth of the writing style in all areas, and so it’s totally different in terms of the delivery and diversity on this album,” Virgo explained.

From rural St. Ann parish in northeastern Jamaica, Virgo won the Digicel Rising Stars talent contest in 2007. Three years later came Romain Virgo RV, his first album, released by VP Records which also distributed his second, The System, in 20212.

Romain Virgo is scheduled to kick off his The Gentle Man Tour with dates in Jamaica from March 8-10.

The Gentle Man Tracklist

  1. Been There Before (feat. Masicka)
    Produced by Romeich Major, Rayon ‘Slyda’ Ricardo Curate, and Nicholas ‘Niko’ Browne
  2. Switch You On
    Produced by Donovan ‘Doncorleon’ Bennett
  3. Good Woman
    Produced by Nicholas ‘Niko’ Browne, DJ Densen x .MLND for Lifeline Music
  4. I Believe (feat. Patoranking and Silly Walks Discotheque)
    Produced by Oliver Schrader, Joscha Hoffman, and Nicholas ‘Niko’ Browne
  5. Want You Now
    Produced by Maurice ‘Seani B’ Delauney
  6. Red Dress
    Produced by Rayon ‘Slyda’ Ricardo Curate, Romeich Major, and Nicholas ‘Niko’ Browne
  7. Driver
    Produced by Donovan ‘Don Corleon’ Bennett
  8. No Curfew
    Produced by Andre Stefan Hall and Nicholas ‘Niko’ Browne
  9. Take It Or Leave It
    Produced by Sean Alaric Ricketts
  10. Just Like That
    Produced by Phillip ‘Winta’ James
  11. Bridges (feat. Jesse Royal)
    Produced by Phillip ‘Winta’ James and Oliver ‘Cadenza’ Rodigan
  12. You Must Pay (feat. Capleton)
    Produced by Dayan ‘Pete’ Foster and Nicholas ‘Niko’ Browne