Reggaeville Album Review - Wake Up

"I am my father's daughter, I got a lot to say, my music is the answer, I know no other way."

With this quote introducing track four of her debut album, Azana Makeda Smith aka Xana Romeo makes a clear statement as to what we can expect from her. And that this is indeed a lot, she has already sufficiently demonstrated on countless stage appearances alongside her father Max Romeo as well as with the extremely successful single Rate Rasta, which is here finally cast on a proper release. 

Wake Up, so the title of the musical revelation, is a carefully crafted joint family venture of Xana herself, her equally talented brother Azizzi Romeo (who produced tracks 1, 2 and 5) as well as her uncle Lindy Lambert, who has produced Mercy Pleasetogether with Romax Romeo, yet another son of daddy Max. Released under the family label Charmax Music, the album not only brings to the fore the technical genius of Jamaican producer and mixer Jallanzo, but also highlights the lyrical and vocal prowess of the singer thus presented to the world. 

And oh, her voice! Throughout the six tracks, she belts out, croons, entices, protests, climbs angelic heights and dives into powerful depths in a way that make it hard to believe she's only 22 years old. Despite her young age, she picks seriously conscious themes to sing about. Whether appealing to mankind with a plea for justice in Wake Up and Mercy Please ("Dem lock up di Ganjaman, dem never lock up di pedophile"), taking a stand against material vanity in Glitter Ain't Gold or praising His Majesty in King Of Zion and Righteous Path, her convictions become obvious and will certainly appeal to a wide like-minded audience worldwide. 

All but the first song have a Dub version to skank along to, and with advocates such as Selector Yaadcore (who already released a Mercy Please mixtape), these bass-ful frequencies will soon take over Kingston and beyond. Wake Up is yet another musical blessing of an upcoming generation of conscious, true-to-their-roots and at the same time innovative artists, and an assurance that Reggae is in good hands. Says Xana: "It is time for my generation to rise from their slumber and face the world our children will inherit. My aim on this musical mission is to spread this message throughout the globe, one soul at a time." "Wake Up" Review "Wake Up" Review

Reggae veterans send out their offspring part... 'Wake Up' is the highly anticipated long player debut of Azana Makeda Smith aka Xana Romeo, daughter of Max.

With the title of the album, Xana wants to give her peers a wakeup call: "It is time for my generation to rise from their slumber and face the world our children will inherit. My aim on this musical mission is to spread this message throughout the globe, one soul at a time." Xana made the production of 'Wake Up' a real family affair: her brother Azizzi was responsible for 3 of the 6 tracks on the album, and with her uncle Lindy Lambert and other brother Romax, she recorded 'Mercy Please'. Finally the whole album was expertly mixed by Jallonzo. It might surprise some of you, but there's not a single lovers tune on 'Wake Up' (even though the cover photo might perhaps suggest otherwise). For Xana it's all about the content of her songs, or as she puts it in 'Glitter Ain't Gold': "I am my father's daughter, I got a lot to say, my music is the answer, I know no other way." Title song 'Wake Up', 'Righteous Path' and 'Rate Rasta' were all already released as singles, and on 'Wake Up' they are now supplemented with the excellent opener 'King Of Zion', a hymn to the Most High, Emperor Haile Selassie, the dubby 'Mercy Please' with the ear-catching refrain: "Dem lock up di ganjaman, dem never lock up di pedophile...", and the aforementioned 'Glitter Ain't Gold'. 'Wake Up' is also an album in classic showcase style, because in addition to the six vocal cuts, you'll also get 5 heavy dubs (only opener 'King Of Zion' didn't get a dub counterpart for some reason). More than "empressive" album debut, especially if you know Xana is still only in her early twenties!

House of Marley - Lionesses On The Rise

hom xana

Xana Romeo is the Daughter of Reggae Veteran Max Romeo – who’s song Kanye West sampled ‘I Chase The Devil’ helped to bring his expansive catalog and unique sound to the ears of a new generation. Xana has released a series of songs in the last year all to rave review in the reggae roots community. ‘Rate Rasta’ is one of the favorites that plays in Roots and Culture events all around Kingston and beyond.
Her musical career is just beginning but with a soothing tone and potent lyrics we have high expectations. Next up is a mixtape with DJ and Roots Ambassador, Yaadcore along with touring Europe this Summer with her Dad & brother Azzizi Romeo.

lionesses hom

Top Toppa 20: Large Up's Artists to Watch in 2016

Meet Xana Romeo, self-proclaimed dub empress and daughter of the legendary Max Romeo. Being born into a musical family, it was only a matter of time before Xana picked up the mic. Last summer she released her first single “Rate Rasta,” and earned herself two slots on Yaadcore’s Roots Dawta mixtape. She is in no rush to create music merely for the hype; Xana aims to create music that will stand the test of time. We agree — you can’t rush perfection. Keep an eye out for this empress as we patiently wait for more from this rising star in 2016. —Jahneen Leslie

How would you describe your sound?

Roots. Blending my dub obsession with my rootical message, and passion for reggae music.

My music is more of a feel, not a sound. I feel music, not hear it. I express myself along with the instruments. I can’t say who, or what, I sound like. You’d have to listen and feel for yourself.

Tell us a little bit about the place you come from

I’m from the beautiful island of Jamaica. I was born in Kingston, but now live in the rural side of St Catherine. Ever heard of Linstead Market? Yeah, that’s where I’m from. The ackee capital of Jamaica!  Not inside the market, but on the outskirts, in a fruitful community called Treadways.

Tell us about the moment  where you knew you had broken through as an artist…

The reaction my music got on social media platforms. And I once overheard some patrons at Kingston Dub Club discussing their admiration for my lyrics and voice while having a conversation at the bar. I smiled, because I instantly realized that my music was actually impacting people in a positive manner, just as I intended.

What were your highlights in 2015?

I released two singles “Righteous Path” and “Rate Rasta.” I did a lot of shows locally sharing the stage with my Dad (Max Romeo) and brother (Rominal). My music was featured by magazines such as VogueRiddim and Irie Magazine and radio programs all over the world. I’ve had a lot of people reach out to me and giving me good reviews on my singles so far.

What should we expect to see and hear from you in 2016?

I leave for a European tour early this year. It is called the Max Romeo & Family Tour featuring Max Romeo, Rominal, and myself. I will be releasing visuals for my previous singles, and more to come. I’m currently working on two projects to be out this year. Trust me, there’s a lot to expect from Xana Romeo in 2016!

What artists are you watching in 2016? 

Right now my eyes and ears are on Rominal and Micah Shemiah. I just love Micah’s style and voice, his music speaks to me on a different level. Even though Rominal is my brother, I respect and admire his creative process, and I have exclusive access to see him evolve into a great musician. He writes, sings, plays instruments, and makes instrumentals at such a young age. I’m left in awe everyday.

Irie Mag

Xana Romeo was born Azana Makeda Smith on August 26, 1994, in a small community called Greenwich Town, in Kingston Jamaica. She is the youngest daughter of reggae veteran, Max Romeo. Xana has been playing around with music her entire life but recently, in 2014, decided to make it her career choice. 

In the early 2000’s, Max Romeo moved with his wife and kids to a place called Treadways, located in Linstead, St Catherine, Jamaica, where Xana finished school and currently resides with her parents and siblings. 

Xana is the manager of her father’s business, Charmax Music Enterprise, which includes the Red Ark Recording Studio and Charmax Music label. This is where all her tracks are recorded, mixed, mastered and produced. Working alongside her dad, Max Romeo, Omar Johnson, otherwise known as Jallanzo the multi-talented from the group, DubTonic Kru, and Calvin Bennion of Firsteye Production from London England, Xana is currently in the process of working on her first project set to release soon. The project will be a Dub Treatment, the genre of reggae that Xana is focused on. Her love for Dub music has grown over the years and she now composes Dub Instrumentals and assists with the arrangement of the tracks. 

Xana is a very artistic individual who enjoys creating her own art, paintings, and drawings etc., in her spare time. She has a love for African fashion and plans to release her African Print Clothing line in the future. Photography is also an interest of Xana. She never leaves home without her camera and likes to take random snaps of whatever strikes her interest. 

Xana has worked with a lot of major producers and musicians and has been featured on a few shows with her dad and brothers (Rominal). Xana Romeo is set to tour Europe and the world in the upcoming year with hopes to leave a mark in the reggae music industry as effective as her dad did. 

Xana recently released her first single to the public titled ‘No Love’, on her birthday, August 26, 2014.