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INSPIRATION BEHIND “EQUANIMITY”
Our goal was to create an album that is inclusive of everyone and spoke to some of the major challenges our global society currently faces. As climate change is rapidly increasing, war and poverty are on the rise, and racial and religious tensions are at a climax, Equanimity is Reviva’s musical response to these challenges. The term literally means “mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, especially in a difficult situation.” We feel calmness and evenness of temper are the only ways to overcome these challenges as a human race. We must learn to treat these challenges with compassion and consideration for all involved, rather than through the lens of just one race, creed, or nation. At the end of the day, by acknowledging the inherent value of all living beings, we can work together to form a more equal global society.
Equanimity comes from an understanding that everything and everyone is connected. Since this is true, by doing harm to your enemy, you are really doing harm to yourself. It is the same with the environment the planet, and all living beings. By not respecting and loving those who look, talk, and think differently than ourselves, we are really disrespecting our own family and friends. In these highly-polarized times, equanimity is extremely important if peace is to be achieved. Seeing difficult challenges such as the refugee crisis, climate change, war, and famine through the lens of equanimity allows us then to treat all beings as if they were our own family.
We are infinitely proud of and excited to release our third full-length album, Equanimity, in the summer of 2017. The album was produced by multi-Grammy award winner and Ziggy Marley bassist Pablo Stennett, whose relentless passion for music could be felt throughout the process. It was an honor to work with Pablo and his core team as they put in countless hours at Central Root Studios in Albuquerque, NM, along with Central Root owners and engineers, Colin Diles Hazelbaker and Mike Gerdes. They often worked 15 hour days piecing together parts and ensuring that we got the right sound we wanted for our reggae/rock/pop album.
The album was produced in a collaborative manner, as we brought in many studio musicians such as Audley “Chizzy” Chisholm, a veteran guitarist who’s toured and recorded with Maxi Priest, The Wailers, Big Mountain, Lauren Hill, Steel Pulse and Shabba Ranks to name a few, and Pablo’s son Brandon Stennett, who’s an amazing and gifted drummer. The melodic background vocals were performed by Shanera Johnson and Brandon Peace. Special thanks to Engineer Timothy Armstrong, and to Dino Monoxelos who’s bass lines can be heard on “It All Runs Down” . Other talented musicians and instruments also contributed: Brass section, Strings section, Harmonica and Keys which can be heard throughout the album, and special thanks to Shawn Pitt and the Choir at God’s House in Albuquerque NM for appearing on “It All Runs Down”.
One of the most exciting parts of the project was working with legendary Sound Engineer Errol Brown, who mixed albums that forever changed the lives of the members of Reviva. From Bob Marley, Dennis Brown, Carlene Davis, Duane Stephenson, Busy Signal, Cultura Profetica, I-Threes, and the Marley family, Errol is considered the most accomplished Sound Engineer in the history of reggae. What was most surprising was his humility and candid advice for young men from New Mexico taking a shot at producing what we feel is our best work yet.
The band members, along with Producer Pablo Stennett and Co-Producer Rena Braud, dedicated their time to create this unique album that we know will reach audiences worldwide. As it will soon be in the hands of our fans and the World, we feel confident that the songs will make people want to dance the night away, and hopefully also take a moment to consider a message that we think is pertinent in the times. We want to thank all of our families who sacrificed so much to make this happen, and look forward to coming to a town near you soon to share the songs from our album Equanimity!