In the earliest days of the coronavirus pandemic last spring, parts of Jamaica were subject to 24-hour lockdowns and heavily-imposed curfews much stricter than the social distancing measures in place in most other parts of the world. Through this, Jamaican artist Runkus was still able to pull off creating a 10-track LP, IN:SIDE, featuring artists like Jesse Royal, Munga Honorable, Naomi Cowan, and the legendary Tarrus Riley. The project, a succinct blend of reggae, dancehall, and trap, saw Runkus writing and recording a new song each day in his home studio to bring it to life."
In a new, short documentary IN:SIDE Portmore, Runkus explores living and creating in his hometown of Portmore, Jamaica throughout the pandemic. “We have never seen a time like this. We’ve heard of plagues before, pandemics but in this technological era? Never," he explained to FADER via email. "I've seen it in movies, heard about it but when it happened in my community, that i know and love and saw people scrambling; some knowing what to do, some not, some who have the means to cope financially, some who don’t. Music being my weapon, and film being [director Mykal] Cushnie’s, we teamed up to give people a musical and visual experience of what it was like being stuck inside."
On IN:SIDE, Runkus captures all of the complex feelings of anxiety, calm, fatigue, curiosity, and restlessness of life in isolation. Having shared singles like "5Gs" and "Quarantine Slide" last year, Runkus shared the nature-filled visuals for the slowed-down "Wading, Wading" last week.
Watch the clips above and stream the project below.
Thumbnail image via Director Kush.