Introducing, Yusuf, the Starlight Rocker

Written By: Khadeeja Coonrod

“The Repenters Reggae Band is not just a musical entity, but a revolution! The hope of our music is for you to experience the transformation of a CONTRITE spirit, which gives you the keys to a
life of peace within your own heart, towards the world around you, and towards the God of your own understanding. The hope of our music is also for you to simply kick back and chill off our vibes for awhile, we see these two hopes as equally important. As we travel on this road together, enjoy our melodies and rhythms. Let your heart rejoice. Let your heart be healed. Let peace be renewed and restored…. through the process of a repentant and contrite heart!!! “- Yusuf and The Repenters Reggae Band

If you saw him walking down the street the first thing that may come to mind is that of a Rude Boy. Yusuf, lead singer of Washington D.C. based reggae band, would smile at you in return and give a thumbs up while inviting you to a show with his band. They performed at the 2008 D.C. Reggae Awards. Their style of music would consist of having Doo-Wop, Reggae, Roots, and a Rockers feel to it. The band was formed in 2007. Yusuf is one of the most recognizable faces in D.C.

Yusuf and The Renters members are: Yusuf the Starlight Rocker- Lead Vocals, Rickey ‘Sucker-Free’ Payton Jr.- Producer/ Drummer, CJ Diachenko- Keys/ Marley Girl Back-up Randy Rebel- Funky Bass on Demand Gem ‘Annika’ Thompson- Marley Girl Back-up/ Music Techy, Leanna Gold- Operations.

I was able to catch up with Yusuf Abdul-Azim (otherwise known as, the Starlight Rocker) for a little Q and A time. He came up with the name for the band that he felt best suited how he wants to be a repenter, one who would make a change for the better. He’s written most of the groups songs and has come up with melodies for the tunes. He joined the group during a time in his life when he felt as though he was at a crossroads; an event in which most everyone can relate.

Yusuf’s favorite song from their first album is called Stereotyping. This was a song that Yusuf could most relate to ladies and gentlemen anywhere because the world is full of stereotypes that have yet to be broken. This interview explains about what he’s mentioning in his lastest music nowadays.

KC: Why reggae?

Yusuf: Because Reggae is, in my book, the genre that is like a soup.

KC: Was the fact that your father, Mark Greene of The Moments, who’s also a singer have anything to do with you wanting to sing?

Yusuf: Nah… but it let me know that it is in my blood if i try it.

KC: What’s the definition of stardom mean to you?

Yusuf: Stardom to me is when you are touching people in a positive way and
they love you for it.

KC: Name the number one person who’s had influence on your music the most and why.

Yusuf: Probably Bob Marley because Marley sparked me in a tune when he said, “which man can save his brothers soul?’ I wanted to be one of those kind of men; a good guy type rebel.

KC: What’s the best music advice given to you that you’d like to pass on to the next person who’s starting out?

Yusuf: If you’re gonna rock remember if you benefit the listener you will last forever; if not, you will be forgotten.

KC: Is there any message you hope your audience will incorporate into their lives after seeing you perform or listening to you sing?

Yusuf: Mainly, the end of good is good. The end of evil is evil.

KC: What’s the name of your newest album and which song do you recommend to be listened to first and why?

Yusuf: Original Rockers is the name of the newest album. First tune I recommend is: the Wrecking Ball because it’s a brief summary of what took place in my world up to the event of the show about to be presented.

KC: What’s the concept of your newest album and how did the idea steam?

Yusuf: The concept is about a host of different realistic topics like Laws of the jungle and Concentrate; kind of like lessons that should have been taught in school but aren’t. The concept was to make smash hits that are timeless and beneficial to our generation. The generation of older people and the next generations to follow after. It steamed from when I was a teen… the word in the underground was righteousness.

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