Reggae, Rasmee, Soul…What’s not to like about the new single released last month by the Srirajah Rockers? From humble beginnings in her hometown as a young girl to now appearing on almost every entertainment news channel and being booked up for months in advance by those craving her Isaan soul vibes, Rasmee has been taking Thailand’s alternative music scene by storm. So much so, she has had to send her regrets for being unable to join our Citylife Garden Fair this year…shame. Well, at least we caught her last year just before she took off!
For those unsure of who the Srirajah Rockers are, just search their name in Google and open your eyes to the world of Thai reggae that sits on a plethora high above the sounds of the tourist anthem Doo, Doo, Doo, Doo Ter Tum.
Their new single released before their upcoming album features Rasmee as the main vocalist, singing in her unique soulful countryside style in the single titled Don’t Cry. Waxing her lyrics across the melodic 2/4 beat of the reggae backing, she warbles her voice just like a Thai Isaan singer should, repeating the words “ya hai dae,” Isaan for don’t cry.
Alternative, quality music is emerging in Thailand and, despite often being snatched up by the bigger corporations with attractive record deals and the likes, these artists on the whole are maintaining their unique styles in favour of becoming electronically whitewashed.
What is even more apparent is the changing tastes of people in this area of the world, with the rebirth of mor lum, the boom of non-commercialised reggae and the huge fan base that 80s style bands such as Polycat are drawing — things have changed. Sure EDM, pop, rock and the usual radio edits are still very much at the forefront, but the interest is there, just take a look at all the hippie/rustic/vintage/alternative concerts and festivals popping up across the country despite the difficulties they bring with them when dealing with authorities.
Chiang Mai is home to this scene, with the recent Jai Thep festival featuring very British style festivities, the recent reggae party in Mae Rim (featuring Rasmee and Srirajah Rockers) and a range of other rustic style events and parties cropping up across the province later this year, it is no surprise that the cooler weather, slow life attitude and small communities of the north are where these alternatives wish to be, because who would want to be swallowed up and be left unheard in the dense belly of Bangkok?
Check out the new single by searching Srirajah Rockers feat. Rasmee [Don’t Cry] on YouTube.