Music resides in the very bones of this multi-instrumentalist, who spent his formative years as a church drummer before formally studying classical piano and eventually strumming his guitar on stages across the globe. Even his leisure time is spent reading books about the history and science of music. Simply put, Kumar has never been afraid to evolve creatively or otherwise. As self-assured as he was when he declared that he will be “playing music for the rebels” on ‘Judgement Day,’ so he remains confident today, encouraging all who will hear: “If you wanna change then the time is now. If you wanna know, let me show you how.” (‘Good Life’)
Here is a man who knows where he is going but is also thankful for where he is coming from. Born on December 12, 1988, Kumar McCarty Bent was raised in the parish of Saint Elizabeth, Jamaica. As a young man he found himself frequenting sound system hubs in the neighboring parish of Clarendon, where he would purchase dubplates for resale in other sections of the island. It was not long before he found himself ghostwriting for upcoming artists, most notably Duane Stephenson who hired Kumar for a project in collaboration with producer Christopher Birch. A working relationship was then established with Birch, and Kumar grew into a full-fledged artist, known originally as Damari. His artistic development continued with productions from Notis Records before he was approached by Raging Fyah to become the band’s lead singer. Damari then became the world renown Kumar, helping the outfit to break beyond a local industry usually unaligned with band culture to become one of the forefront bands of the Reggae Revival movement.
The rest, of course, is history. Yet this is a history still unfolding and one in which a 30-year-old Kumar has returned to life as a solo artist, feeling renewed and experiencing new heights of creativity. The first single of this new phase, ‘It’s Alright’ (produced by Nebulus Records/Big Yard Music) is a signal to his longtime supporters that Kumar’s usual strength of voice and depth of message are not going anywhere, anytime soon. At the same time he is evidently evolving beyond the usual genres and sounds that have previously accompanied his words. Going forward, Kumar is delving deeper into various sources of inspiration and he invites us all to join him the rest of the way on his incredible musical journey.