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Exclusive Premiere: Author Gregory David Roberts Creates Melancholy Ballad ‘If You Loved Me Again’

The mind behind best selling book ‘Shantaram’ has teamed up with Jamaican singer Zia Benjamin and producers DJ Popof and Dale Virgo for the track off his debut album ‘Love & Faith’

Anurag Tagat Apr 05, 2021

Jamaican singer Zia Benjamin in a still from Gregory David Roberts' 'If You Loved Me Again' music video.

As it turns out, author Gregory David Roberts wasn’t just writing Shantaram when he was in prison in the Nineties. The acclaimed book set in India was created alongside songs by Roberts, who is currently based in Jamaica. In the last two years, the author found likeminded collaborators to focus on building and completing a 16-track album called Love & Faith, which released in December.

Roberts said in a statement, “Music saved me, it inspired me in the midst of suffering, to keep going and never give up.” He adds that all his days begin and end with music and writing books is often accompanied by listening to music in the background. He says, “Producing songs gives me a chance to work with others, where writing is a solitary act. Songs give different voices to characters and make stories come alive in new ways. In 2018, it all came together in Jamaica for Love & Faith, 16 songs that take you on journeys of loving and living in faith.”

The album aptly showcases different moods and styles of Roberts as a composer. With his new music video “If You Loved Me Again,” there’s a stirring ballad that’s anchored in Jamaican vocalist Zia Benjamin’s downhearted vocals and saxophone by Kemroy Bonfield. Roberts says about the song, “[It was] a warm and creative collaboration that began with a beautiful tune by DJ Popof, which inspired a mood and a string of words that then became the deeply moving vocals of Zia Benjamin, a rising star in Jamaica, which has a heaven of talent.” Jamaican sound engineer Dale Virgo also co-produced the track.

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In the music video, we see Benjamin starting off in the water as lighting strikes in the background, as well as amidst greenery. Director Ben Merker says that his team worked “to envision a healing sequence within a dreamy post breakup” setting for the music video. He adds, “The saxophone, melodies and attitude guided the changes in nature along with colors, locations, outfits — also provided the kinetic energy that drove the healing element of the video. Shot in St. Ann, Jamaica.” 

Watch the video for “If You Loved Me Again” below. Stream ‘Love & Faith’ here.