Interview with ...
You recorded your first song for Donovan Germain "Julie" in 1992. How did you get connected ?
I believe I got connected with Donovan Germain through Danny Browne in terms of a musical link up, however I believe I met him before that. I can't remember now... getting old !
After this first song, you recorded 2 hits for Penthouse : "Lock me up" and "True Confession".
“Lock me up”, I always loved the Tempo riddim, so Germain called me and gave me a tape of it and I went home and did not sleep the whole night as I really wanted to have a good song for Penthouse as I didn't feel like I did my best with my first song "Julie", an ok song but I knew I was better than that and wanted to do better for Germain and his label. When you have Beres Hammond, Marcia Griffiths and Tony Rebel turning out the songs they were doing, you haffi come good !
When I heard the song "Man fi know Jah" on the Swing Easy riddim, it was right after Tony Rebel voiced it. I had another song, I ran back home and came back the next day to record “True Confession”. Boom !
Your well know gimmick "Oh my oh my, here comes the lover once again" became "Oh my oh my, Jesus come again". Like many jamaican artists - Papa San, Thriller U, Twiggi or Stitchie - you turned christian during the 90's. Could you explain it ?
It was in 1997, in October and I was doing great as an artist but I was really struggling as a person. Many don't know but while I was on stage entertaining people I would go back to a house that was challenged with abuse, physical and sexual. This drove a wedge between me and my father and I did not speak to him for about 5-6 years. However in 95 my father became ill and wanted to see me. In this meeting he started to talk to me about God..... That was the last time I saw him as he died shortly after that. Now during all of this I was suffering from sleep deprivation based on nightmares as I would often have visions of my father abuse on my family. However in October 97 it all came to head as I went on my knees and ask God to first take away the nightmares and second show the truth to who He really is...... Jesus Christ, Emperor Salasse, Buddah.... That morning and since then I have never had another nightmare and I was sure as I knew my name that I was to become a Christian as something happened to me in that room that night that I can't explain
You have an unique and recognizable voice. How did you develop it ?
I believe that my voice is a true gift from God as I did not develop it to have a unique sound. In other words I was not trying to sound different nor did I shape it over the years to do that... It's just how God gave it to me.
You recorded for many top producers in Jamaica. What is Donovan Germain's specifity in comparison to other producers ?
He really knows how to trust the artist and to allow the artist to be him or herself. That's how you had a Beres Hammond, Marcia Griffiths to a Buju Banton who all felt like Penthouse was home. When he was in the studio, he made you feel like it's not Germain's way but together let's find the hit. When you look back at Twiggi, Wayne Wonder and also Dave Kelly as a person behind the scenes. He gave them the time and support for them to find their way.
Among all your singles for Penthouse, which one is your favorite ?
My favourite is "True Confession". I think that's Donovan Germain’s favorite too. The song writing got much better.
Your last song for Penthouse is "My Girl Tonight" recorded in 1997. Why you did not record any more for Penthouse since ?
That song was written by myself and Stitchie and was just my way of staying in the juggling and keeping the music out there. I never recorded for Penthouse because it was in that year I became a Christian however that doesn't mean that I will never record for Donovan Germain again... Someday we all have to come full circle.
DISCOGRAPHY ON PENTHOUSE RECORDS : |
- It Wasn't Me / Lies (1996 - Try A little Smile riddim)
- Julie (1992 - Dickie riddim)
- Lock Me Up (1994 - Tempo riddim)
- My Girl Tonight (1997 - Sexy Girls riddim)
- True Confession (1995 - Swing Easy riddim)
listen to these singles :