Still founded under the name S.I.S. Vibrations (a play on words with "vibrations sans issues" or "vibrations without problems"), SMAD is the alter ego of Thomas Ben Ita, a singer-songwriter from the French city of Clermont-Ferrand. At first SMAD still performed solo - like on the 2014 album 'Généalogiquement Roots' or 2018's 'Demain' EP - these days Thomas is joined by brothers Simon 'Slim' and Alexis 'Selecta Z' Raynaud (both founders of Root's Trip, a converted caravan used to promote reggae culture and music by showing video reports, photos and drawings) and graphic designer and photographer Yoan 'Yok's' Delannoy, together turning the SMAD's live sets into real audiovisual experiences. With 'Indépendant', SMAD is now also musically making a new start (as illustrated in the lyrics of 'Nouvel Album'). SMAD (a contraction of two terms from Jamaican patois: "smaddy", a corruption of the English "somebody", and "mad" or crazy; making him a crazy or unusual individual...) solely uses the language of Molière (just the once alternating with Wolof and English in 'Soudés', a duet with French-Senegalese singer-songwriter Aly 'Lidiop' Diop, over a riddim produced by Backwash Band, a backing band from Bordeaux), and to fully appreciate the lyrical finesse of the different songs, a solid knowledge of the French language is required. For SMAD the content of his songs is clearly just as important as the musical side, as illustrated in tunes like title track 'Indépendant', in which SMAD calls on the listener not to bend to the expectations of others, but to remain your own unique self, 'Reggae Français', an ode to French reggae, 'La Différence', in which he denounces the ubiquitous racism and xenophobia in Western society, and the similar 'Humains', about how we continue to deal with the refugee problem, or 'Double Jeu', in which he denounces the persistent adultery of some men. On 'Indépendant' you'll mainly find the better French ragga, but with songs like 'Dynamite' and 'Nouvel Album', the album also contains some dubstep and dancehall influences, and apart from the aforementioned Lidiop, Ryon's Cam ('Pour Vous') and Max Livio (excellent closing track 'L'Infréquentable') also made vocal contributions. Solid French reggae release!