Another firestarter from the Black Youth from Harrar, Mario Greaves AKA Iba Mahr. Iba meaning “humble” or “calm” one in Swahili. Mahr an acronym meaning Mario of Harar, a small province in Ethiopia. In my humble opinion, Iba Mahr is the truest star of the so-called reggae revival. With an unmistakable voice, signature vibrato, and a rare talent for songwriting, Iba was able to assemble the revival era’s strongest album in Glory To The King, a flawless EP that stands head and shoulders above any other set released by a revival artist.
As a toddler, Iba MaHr was nurtured by his grandparents in the community of Cheesefield, every Sunday evening Iba MaHr would dance to his grandfather’s stereogram, playing hits from the 70’s, while singing to each song as if they were of his era. After being successful in his Common Entrance Exam to go on to Charlemont High School he moved to reside with his mother in Linstead, a small town in the parish of St. Catherine, that is most popular for the famous “Linstaed Market” and the song titled “Carry Mi Ackee Go A Linstead Market”. Being the only child for Ms. Roselin, Iba was the main priority, with morality and education as her advocacy, leaving very little things undone if any. Even though Iba Mahr had the ability to write songs since going to high school, it was only while in University that his peers pushed him to perform his own words.
In 2008, Max ‘Romeo’ Smith of Charmax Music released his first song, “Had It & Lost It”, for a various artiste album titled, “Devil On De Run”. Later, Phillip ‘Fatis’ Burrell released his second single, “Where You Are”. The young sound has also worked with great producers and record labels such as, UIM Records, Marlon McCubbin, Bizzarri Records, Jermaine “Lenky” Edwards and more recent Roland “Rollie” McDermot of Born Rollin’s Production. He has scored a big hit with the single “Will I Wait” on the Born Rollins Production Label. “Will I Wait” went number one on Richie B’s chart and Stampede Street Chart. The hit single also got recognition on V.P. Records Reggae Gold 2012, Also A next single “Sound A Alarm” made V.P.’s Strickly The Best Volume 46 , In 2014 Stamp his mark with a hit single Diamond Sox for Notis Records .
Iba Mahr has graced the stages of Reggae Sumfest, Rebel Salute, Sting, Western Consciousness, Air Jamaica’s Jazz and Blues Festival among others. The talented artiste has placed his stamp overseas, performing in the Island of Barbados 2012. Iba Mahr has completed a 2013/2014 Europeon Summer Tour where he performed in countries such as Germany and Belgium. He also completed a U.S.A. Tour titled “Let Jah Lead The Way” in November 2013 .
“I take pleasure in doing love songs. Essentially, I am inspired to sing about real life occurrences, but in reality as artistes, we create melodies then connect words to them to craft stories that reflect other people’s lives. The energy, mood and my emotion at times may affect how a song might turn out. Feelings, be it sombre, joyful or sorrow, also play a part. People need redemption songs, especially in these times of division and world crisis. I can only say that Reggae music is a medium through which we connect and touch people in any situation, so I work to preserve its legacy”, said Iba MaHr.
The artiste was able to survive the many dangers and harm of his volatile community through advocating love, peace, righteousness and spiritual consciousness. As his name represents, he is quite humble, and does not let anything or anyone trouble his innate calm. With Rastafari as his inspiration, roots and culture is always what he promotes, along with social commentary and soulful-reggae love songs that speaks out to the hearts of people, those in love or out of love. Iba MaHr’s music ranges from reggae, lovers rock and soulful roots genre.
Give heed to the voice, message, and what reggae music has to offer in the future.