Interview and photos by Stacie Joy
I recently talked with Colin Simpson, an aspiring reggae artist who goes by Ras Redemption. He lives and works on the Lower East Side, overseeing maintenance as a superintendent for a residential management company.
He told me about his recently released single, "Brethren," and how the neighborhood reminds him of his hometown in Guyana.
Tell us about your journey to the Lower East Side.
I was born and raised in Georgetown, Guyana, and moved to the United States in 2007, living first in Brooklyn. I moved to the Lower East Side in 2011 for work and have lived here ever since.
I have a video about my journey on YouTube if you want to check it out for more about me.
How do you describe your music?
My music is uplifting, redeeming, inspirational and universally friendly. Reggae is righteous music; it's about awakening and knowing yourself. It frees you from whatever tribulation is going on in life, and it's music to keep you grounded and focused.
So, my music and lyrics mirror that — it mentally takes you to a different place.
It has influenced me in a positive way. I come from a place where, from the moment you're awake to when you're out in the street, you greet everyone in a warm and friendly manner, and I get that same response from living in this neighborhood — it reminds me of home.
Living on the Lower East Side inspires me to write positive music, making me want to extend/show that same kind of warmth and gratitude to the world.
Where can people see and hear you perform?
I’m in the studio working on my first EP and some new singles. So, for now, if people want to hear more of my music, I’m on all digital platforms and social media.
You can find Colin's social media and videos at this link.