Westerhall Rums UK, Nick Kingsman interview on Colourful Radio 20-Jan-2019
In the Southern Caribbean, on the South East corner of Grenada, lies the beautiful Westerhall Estate.
Since the early 1700s it has been producing sugar cane, coconuts, bananas and limes. Most importantly, over the centuries the family at the estate have developed a unique approach to the blending and bottling of rum.
Westerhall’s location on Grenada, the ‘Spice Isle’, means our rum is infused with a unique range of flavour notes. We’re now proud to say that we can promise quality and taste that can’t be found anywhere else.
But more importantly, we are right at the beating heart of Grenadian culture, and the result is a selection of rums with a range of individual tastes and aromas that scream sun, summer and carnival.
Steve Arrington interview on Colourful Radio 23-Dec-2018
Steve Arrington, known for his innovative vocals on such funk classics as “Watching You” and “Just A Touch of Love,” with Slave, as well as his solo hits like “Weak at the Knees”, “Way Out” and “Nobody Can Be You”, and the top ten singles “Feel So Real” and “Dancing In The Key Of Life” Arrington’s songs have been sampled by the likes of Jay-Z, Jermaine Dupri, Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Snoop, LL Cool J, Mariah Carey, and N.W.A, Masters At Work, and even on Pitbull’s massive hit “Timber”.
In 1975, Arrington moved to San Francisco, hoping to take his music to a national level, and landed a spot in the renowned percussionist, Coke Esovedo’s band, and eventually moved in with the percussionist and his manager, becoming a Latin soul apprentice and protégé. Arrington went on to play with Escovedo’s older brother Pete and niece Sheila – now known as Sheila E – during his time in the Bay Area, which included a tour featuring guitarist, Carlos Santana.
As that tour was ending, Arrington returned to Dayton in 1978, to join Slave, as drummer and eventual lead singer, and for the next four years and four albums, he contributed to the innovative Dayton outfit’s most successful period, as dance floor classics like “Watching You,” “Just a Touch of Love,” Snap Shot,” and “Wait for Me” all bear his trademark tenor.
In 1982, Arrington left Slave and formed Steve Arrington’s Hall of Fame. After two Hall of Fame and three solo albums for Atlantic Records, which included “Dancin In The Key”, with three weeks at #2 on the dance charts, and “Feel So Real’’, with #6 on the UK Singles Chart. Arrington was nominated for the 1986 NAACP Image Award for Male Artist of the Year and in 2000 Steve won a Grammy for his contribution to “Money Ain’t A Thang”, performed by Jay Z and Jermaine Dupri.
Arrington left the music business in 1991, at the height of his career and joined the church, devoting his life to spirituality. He continued to study music, from gospel to jazz, classical to blues, electronic to world music, and Latin to hip hop. This fusion of spirituality and musical study resulted in the 2009 self released “Pure Thang”, his first release in nearly 20 years. In it, you hear the discovery of new ideas mixed with the musical legacy of those that came before him. “Ever since slavery, spiritual men and women have come to the fore and spoke,” he says. “It’s a legacy…Last Poets, Mahalia Jackson, the Impressions, Gil Scott-Heron.” Music still represented the desire for freedom, equality and love for Arrington, and this was to be his renewed mission.
He counts blues artists with longevity like Buddy Guy and BB. King among his heroes, and admires, how they’re embraced by new fans throughout the years. He respects innovators like Miles Davis, who embraced and absorbed the music culture of each new generation during his career, to create a continuously evolving musical legacy. As a fan, he is a musical adventurist, embracing everyone from Stravinsky and Bartok to Flying Lotus, Hudson Mohawke and Madlib.
Arrington’s current musical journey consists of embracing and connecting with new fans who are hearing his music for the first time, from 2013’s collaborations on the album “Higher” with Dam Funk and “1Question” with Snoop on the 7 Days of Funk album, to 2015’s collaboration with productions duo, Christian Rich (“What More” on “FW14”) and most recently, with Kool Moe Dee (“Are You Beautiful”, 2018). Steve received a standing ovation after his lecture at 2013’s Red Bull Music Academy in NYC – only the 2nd in RBMA’s 15 year history! In September 2014, Steve released “Way Out” (80-84), a retrospective album, which also includes a bonus of previously unreleased and unfinished tracks.
Steve is touring with a new band, as well as doing dates with artists like Public Enemy, DJ Quik, Chub Rock and Q Tip, who are more than up for the idea of sharing the stage with someone who influenced and inspired their careers, as well as classic RnB groups, such as, The Ohio Players, Original Lakeside, The Bar-Kays, Con-Funk-Shun, Cameo and Zapp. In early 2017, Arrington was in the studio with George Clinton, where he added his vocals to a few tracks, plus he’s working on a new album of this own due out later this year.
Judi Jackson interview on Colourful Radio 16-Dec-2018
The name Judi Jackson, is not widely known within the music industry, yet anyone that has met Judi Jackson or seen her perform live will tell you, look out for Judi, she is destined to be a big star.
Born June 1st, 1993, in Roanoke (pronounced, rOH-un-nOHk) Virginia, (USA), Judi’s early years were filled with challenges and obstacles, some of which most would never overcome. Her mother Nancy Lee Martin was a very intelligent writer, pianist, poet, and scholar. Her father, Alonzo Levi Jackson, was an African percussionist/conga drummer and also a historian of African culture and linguistics.
Although both of her parents attended university, only her mother continued on to graduate. Shortly after Judi was born, her parents separated leaving Judi to be raised by her mother who remarried to a very abusive partner. During this time, Nancy and Judi escaped to live at the Red Cross’s women’s shelter. This is where Judi first recognized her affinity for music. She would sing to the women during chapel on Sunday’s to lift their spirits. Whilst staying at the Red Cross, Judi’s mother became terminally ill, and had to be re-admitted to hospital. On this day during one of her grade school classes, Judi’s best friend, Ashley Jones, noticed that something was wrong. She took Judi home for a sleepover, that later they all would jokingly refer to as being “the longest sleepover ever.” Ashley’s parents, Edward and Stephanie Jones, lovingly took Judi in as their own child, and she was fully adopted into the family by the tender age of 12.
Judi is forever thankful to the Jones’s for their love and care, and refers to them as “Mom” and “Dad.” Judi would sing in church, being the first female to play “HARK”- in her church school’s rendition of “HARK the Herald Angel.” It was here that her desires, gifts, talents, and hard work in the music and theatre world continued to blossom. Her talents led her off to the University of Mary Washington, (Fredericksburg, VA), where she majored in Theatre with a minor in Musical Theatre. She shined brightly in college and excelled in all of her classes graduating cum laude. Judi could have played the victim during the difficult times in her life, however, she chooses to focus on her goal of becoming an accomplished multi-talented singer, songwriter, recording artist and musical theatre performer.
Through the Jefferson Center’s Music Lab in Virginia, Judi spent her early years immersed in a school for young artists and musicians to learn, practice, and perform their talents. In 2007 at the age of 14 Judi was fortunate enough to meet Wynton Marsalis at the Jefferson Center performance hall after a show. He sent her a box of music the following Christmas, that became the seed of inspiration for her development as a jazz vocalist. She began listening to and studying the sounds of Blossom Dearie, Billie Holliday, Sarah Vaughn, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, and Mahalia Jackson, amongst many other greats.
Judi continued studying over the next few years and started gaining more experience as a performer by opening for acts such as Mavis Staples, where Snarky Puppy saw her perform and snapped her up to record her original piece ‘Only Love’ as a guest artist on their Grammy-winning album Family Dinner – Volume One.
Kara Marni interview on Colourful Radio 18-Nov-2018
21-year-old R&B powerhouse KARA MARNI is the next wave of break through talent for 2019.
Fusing elements of R&B peppered with classic soul, her exemplary debut EP release ‘Love Just Ain’t Enough’ has earnt praise from Vogue, Fader, Wonderland, Glamour, Music Week, Hunger as well as seen Kara support pop royalty such as Rita Ora, Ray Blk, Madison Beer and Raye on the live circuit.
Tipped as a One to Watch for the next 12 months, Kara’s rich, powerful, soulful sound is inspired by heritage artists such as Sade, Minnie Ripperton, Amy Winehouse and Lauryn Hill, fused with her own contemporary take on forward thinking R&B. Kara quotes “I love soul music, I love current music, and it’s the fusion of the two”.
Sabrina Francis interview on Colourful Radio 14-Oct-2018
Born in the country side of Grenada to a music-loving family, music and song-writing have always been a way of life for Sabrina Francis.
Mind you, she wasn’t forced to practice the piano 8 hours a day or write entire symphonies, but she and at least four of her siblings were all taught to appreciate the simple beat of a drum and to take pride in the gratification that can come from expressing yourself with a pen.
Over the years, Sabrina’s has had a number of very memorable opportunities to share her voice with anyone willing to listen. Sabrina’s song “This Is Home“ was used by the Grenada Tourism Authority to promote Grenada as a holiday destination.
Sabrina and her band FLOM (For the Love of Music) started doing small annual tours in Europe, spanning over Switzerland, Germany, Austria and Italy so far.
Sabrina’s first album, “Think in Colour“ was recorded and produced by Samuel Baur (CH) in 2017. Once that was done, Sabrina Francis & FLOM had multiple opportunities to open on the main stage of the Pure Grenada Music Festival. During this festival Sabrina met English singer Joss Stone and did a small collaboration with the UK soul songstress.
Eshe Escoffery interview on Colourful Radio 07-Oct-2018
Eshe Escoffery’s musical pedigree is formidable. Her gospel roots gave rise to the internationally acclaimed sister group, ‘The Escoffery’s’ who entertained audiences worldwide for over 25 years.
Their 1991 debut Album ‘Opinions’ with Atlantic Records featured the single ‘Look Who’s Loving Me’ written by the late Sandra Escoffery & Marcus Johnson of The Ethnic Boyz, which charted in the top 20’s on both sides of the Atlantic and firmly established Eshe and her sisters on the music scene with their jazz inflected soulful sounds tutored by their father George Escoffery and supported by their mother Millie Escoffery who made many of their stylish outfits.
Inspired by her father, George Escoffery, Eshe was exposed to diverse musical genres and styles that he played in the family home, through the bass amplified Tannoy speakers. From gospel and jazz, to reggae and African music, her schooling was broad and these influences are reflected in this debut EP.
Sulpacio Jones interview on Colourful Radio 30-Sep-2018
Dynamic and authentically inspiring, Sulpacio Jones is a melodic and passionate artist, songwriter and producer who expresses her truth through the art of love and life experience. Born in San Diego, California and raised in Berkeley, California, this vibrant beauty captivates audiences with her unique funky sound and sexy musical undertones. As an independent R&B Soul artist, Sulpacio has established a strong presence in the music industry and continues to effortlessly create a synergy that reaches audiences in the United States and expands across the globe; topping reputable, international music charts and a catalogue which reaches fans Worldwide.
Her debut self-titled EP, released in summer 2013, immediately impressed industry professionals, catapulting her single, “Should I Stay,” to the number one spot on the Top 20 Independent Chart Show in London. UK’s Colourful Radio listeners voted Sulpacio as “BEST NEWCOMER” for her refreshing sound that keeps soul music lovers awaiting her next move. London’s Soul Brother Records states, “IT’S ONE OF THE BEST SOUL SETS OF 2013.” With over 100,000 streams since her debut, it is no surprise that Sulpacio holds her place steadily in the indie music scene.
After a successful tour, Sulpacio was eager to return to the recording studio for her sophomore album, “LIVE, LOVE FLY, HIGH”–a collection of edgy up-tempo bangers, alluring soulful ballads, and distinctive lyrical content. With the release of her latest project, “FUNKY LOVE”, a funk infused Neo-R&B set of sexy, delectable ear candy, her true fans will be more than delighted as it was well worth the wait. With song placements in various film and TV projects, Sulpacio has no plans of letting off the gas, and still stands true to her message: “No matter what’s trending and no matter how music or the demand changes, I want to consistently deliver the true essence of music to my listeners. This is what they want and it’s what I do!” she eloquently shares. And indeed Sulpacio Jones is doing it yet again.
LyricL interview on Colourful Radio 09-Sep-2018
Lyricist, Singer-Songwriter, FeMCee, 2014 ‘Spokenword’ BEFFTA Award Winner and Artist-Tutor LyricL, is a jubilant, exultant performer, whose animated fresh style exudes joy, in a euphoric and beautiful way!
Born in London to Nigerian parents, LyricL’s early and enduring musical influences came from home. A drummer/DJ Daddy, who “loved African Jazz, Gospel and High Life, entertained with chest-tap percussion, beatbox and skillfully played his hands as wind instruments, as Mommy dances and sings in her own key of happiness to this very day.”
Wilderness, Southport, North Sea Jazz, Sabolai Music and the Toronto Jazz Festivals, have embraced her creative works. An eclectic catalogue that spans Hip-Hop, House, Jazz through to Afro and Broken Beat with a soulful edge, stirring grooves enhanced by her lyricism and Spokenword.
Support act to Patrice Rushen, Xantone Blacq, The Roots, Omar, Incognito, Big Daddy Kane, Black Thought, DJ Jazzy Jeff and Jill Scott, LyricL is an often sought after keen creative ally. Lighting up mics and stages with her performances, LyricL has been fortunate to both tour and record with a range of talented musicians and producers; MJ Cole (UK) Nathan Haines (NZ) KiloBeats & David Oscar (Accra, Ghana), Roots Soul, Kyoto Jazz Massive (Japan) and Guerrilla Science (Toronto).
Unapologetic originality, lyrical dexterity and openness, to innovate, elate and debate.
Kim Tibbs interview on Colourful Radio 26-Aug-2018
What some may call “luck,” others call DESTINY. Since birth, Kim Tibbs has been honing her craft…Crediting her late father, Pastor Robert L. Tibbs for her musical ability, Kim has over thirty years of musical experience as an accomplished Arranger, B-3 Organist, Keyboardist, Lyricist, Pianist, Producer, and Songwriter. Kimberly is currently an Endorsed Hammond Artist with Hammond Organ Company USA, a Roland Artist with Roland Corporation US, a Peavey Artist with Peavey Amplifiers USA, and a Slick Audio Recording Artist; as well as a Staff Writer for the Songs of Love Foundation; Kimberly is also a Council Member of the Board of Advisers in the College of Arts located at J.C. Calhoun Community College. Kimberly holds a Bachelors of Arts and Science in Business Administration, Double Masters Degrees in Organizational Leadership and Masters of Business in Public Administration as well as currently working on a Doctorate of Business Administration in Leadership. Kim is also a Fashion Designer. Her fashion specializes in one of a kind bold, eclectic, and unique hand-crafted pieces ranging from women’s fashions to household goods.
As an Artist, Kim Tibbs has gained international acclaim with her forthcoming release, “…Kim.” Her first single, “I Need You For Your Love,” entered the Official U.K. Soul Charts at Number #24, November 6, 2016 and in two weeks, it skyrocketed to Number #1 separately along with the second single, “Soul!” staying there for Four Consecutive weeks; before ending the yearly chart at a respective Number #2 for both singles. The single, “I Need You For Your Love,” landed at Number #4 on the year end Official U.K. Soul Chart Top 100 Songs for 2016. The third, fourth and fifth Singles released called, “Drifting,” “For!” and “Move!” respectfully have been successful granting her movement the ability to now be traced in 36 countries and steadily growing to a wider audience daily, with “Drifting” and “For” both debuting on the Official U.K. Soul Charts at Number #9, getting to the Number #4 position on April 23, 2017. On August 25, 2017, the debut album,KIM, was released remarkably charting strong in 3 days on the Official U.K. Soul Chart at Number #7. By September 3, 2017, KIM moved into the Number #1 position on the Official U.K. Soul Charts with “I Need You For Your Love,” “Soul!,” For!,” “A Building That’ll Last,” “My Better Side,” “Drifting,” and “Come On By,” all charting at separate Number #1 positions alongside the album making 7 SOLID Number #1 charted songs along with a Number #1 Album and a total of 8 songs respectfully charting from the album; Staying at the Number #1 position for 4 weeks straight as a an album. KIM finished the year at Number #23 on the Official UK Soul Charts Top 100 Albums and Songs for 2017. Kim was nominated in November, 2017 for Best International Artist in the Bright Star Awards 2017/2018 for her album, work as an artist/professional musician, and won the Best International Artist 2017 award in the Bright Star Awards in London, United Kingdom, January 28, 2018.
Sheldon Senior is a fresh and dynamic artist out of Mandeville Jamaica who is making his presence felt on the world music scene, assuring him a future in the global reggae industry. This extraordinary singer/songwriter has been creating deeply meaningful and thought provoking songs that capture the essence of an artist capable of achieving worldwide acclaim.
His musical roots were formed through listening and studying a wide variety of music from ska to jazz, reggae to R&B, negro spirituals and gospel music. From an early age Sheldon possessed the charisma and vocal power to reach an audience in a deeply soul-comforting way, leaving them wanting to hear more of this talented singer. His constant drive has allowed him to evolve from singing on sound systems to become the lead singer of the Conscious Rebelz, one of JA’s up and coming roots rock ensembles, as well as a solo artist. He has performed worldwide, from the streets of Mandeville to some of the largest stages in Europe.
Sheldon has recorded with some of the top producers in the reggae world; Jah Youth Productions of Hawaii, Shayne Green’s Forever Music based in Sly Dunbar’s studio, Pharfar’s Food Palace Music in Denmark and for his most recent release, Stephan Günther & Thomas Klick of XV Audio in Germany, who produced his latest EP, Break Through, available through all quality retailers. A video from the EP, Wise Up is to be released shortly.
The Danish press wrote of one of his performances on a 2010 European tour: The entire Aalborg experienced the best summer reggae stage show with Sheldon Senior. The energy level was so high that after his first song he had 70,000 massive waving their hands in the air. The born talented entertainer was so dynamic on stage you could feel him reaching the hearts of the enthusiastic audience with so much positive vibes that he had the crowd buzzing with excitement. It was a little bit of Jamaica in Aalborg with Sheldon belting out some of the best music from the island and a lovely reminder of Bob Marley.
Lov’Ellis interview on Colourful Radio 15-Jul-2018
Lovella Ellis, known by her stage name as Lov’Ellis, is one of the wave of British singers with a Lover’s Rock, Roots Reggae, and a versatile Soul edge.
Her music credentials are seeped in a rich history of musical heritage as her father was none other than the late great Rocksteady legend, Alton Ellis OD.
Lov’Ellis was born to Sigma Ellis January 8th 1981 in London, UK.
Lov’Ellis discovered her craft from the age of 9 but kept it from her family until the age of 16 years old, she would harmonise songs word for word behind closed doors.
Lov’Ellis first performance was with her Father in 1999 was at the Spanish restaurant Pangea, on Atlantic Road Brixton. She recalls standing on a beer box as her first stage.
she went on to perform with her father again in 2001 at the Catford Theatre and the Metropolitan Hotel on Edgware Road London.
As time went by her love for the music industry heightened, and the passion for song writing blossomed naturally leading her to perform regularly at venues all over the UK, including the popular Jazz Cafe in Camden Town, London.
Sadly, on October 11th 2008 Alton Ellis passed away in Hammersmith Hospital, London. It was a sad and difficult time for Lov’Ellis and her siblings Dean Ellis & Christopher Ellis to watch their Father take his last breath.
Representing her Father
It was now time for Lov’Ellis to step up and keep the promise she made with her father, to try and continue the legacy he has left behind.
In November 2008 after returning from Jamaica, Lov’Ellis was then invited to represent her father as a special guest at the British Film Institute (BFI) where she performed two of his well known hits songs, ‘I’m Still in Love’, & ‘Breaking Up is Hard To Do’. Coincidentally Lov’Ellis had also covered these songs in R&B in 1998.
February 14th 2009 at the Hootananny, Brixton, Lov’Ellis & and her manager Jeff Thompson on behalf of the Ellis family held a tribute show in honour of her Father entitled ‘I’m Still in Love’. This was also a statement to the music industry that she would continue in her father’s footsteps come what may.
Lov’Ella then went on to record ‘Willow Tree’, in January 2009, as a tribute to the legend himself, and also ‘Love on Top’ which proved to be very popular with DJs in the UK and other parts of the world.
April 2009 Lov’Ellis graced the stage at the Coronet London, as the Opening act for Beres Hammond. Also appearing on the night was, Ken Boothe and Maxi Priest.
Saturday 27th November 2010 an exclusive Concert, with Errol Dunkley & Lov’Ellis took place at The Black Grape. This was another chance for Lov’Ellis to exhale as an artist in her own right.
As a result of Lov’Ellis’s hard work recognition just kept coming. She won the Community Music Arts Award in 2011 for ‘Best Crossover Act’. In that same year came the release of the documentary ‘Story of Lover’s Rock’ of which Lov’Ellis had a featured part in. This Documentary was showed in cinema’s all over the UK.
Lov’Ellis had the pleasure of performing on the same stage in the UK with Artist such as. Heatwave, Rose Royce, Jaki Graham, Kenny Thomas, Omar, Junior Giscombe, Beverley Knight, John Holt, Freddie McGregor, Janet Kay, Carrol Thompson, Ken Boothe, Luciano, Gappy Ranks, Morgan Heritage, Mr Vegas, and many more.
In 2012 Lov’Ellis teamed up with Nereus Joseph, to cover the song “Come Out to Play” written by Ciyo Brown; it became an instant hit and stayed in Choice FM’s UK Official Reggae Chart for 4 weeks at number 2.
In February 2013 Lov’Ellis was awarded the Best British Female Newcomer by the British Reggae Industry Award (BRIA).
she was also nominated for the BEFFA as ‘Best Unsigned Act’ in 2013. To her surprise once again in 2014, Lov’Ellis was up for ‘Best UK Reggae Act’.
Debut EP Release
In 2013 Lov’Ella recorded her first album, “VERSATILE”. The album launch took place at the well know Jazz Café in Camden Town.
However, after reflecting over the production on a few of the tracks, she decided not to release it, and went back to the drawing board.
Since then Lov’Ellis has released her 8 track EP “I’m Getting Stronger” available on her website.
Lov’Ellis states, “It has not been easy being the daughter of a legend, due to the high expectations placed on me. I’m proud of the little I have done so far but I still have a long way to go”.
Lovella’s music has taken her to many places throughout Europe the West Indies and other parts of the world.
One of her important projects is to finish a ‘School Tour’ educating children about Domestic Violence (DV).
She has good acting abilities and is currently exploring the possibility of a career in film and television in the very near future.
Lov’Ella’s desire is to see all the singers in the Ellis family come together and create a foundation that will inspire a future generation.
Lov’Ellis took time off the reggae scene in order to re-brand and maintain her own artist identity. therefore, changing her artist name from Lovella Ellis, Lov’Ella to. Lov’Ellis.
Her first come back single was an original song released February 14th 2016 entitled ‘Loving You Baby’ complete with an interesting video merging ballet and reggae. The song became an instance hit and went straight into the Mi-Soul Reggae Charts and reach number 1 knocking of Jamaican singer Nesbeth ‘My Dream”
Raheem DeVaughn interview on Colourful Radio 08-Jul-2018
Three-time Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Raheem DeVaughn, son of renowned jazz musician Abdul Wadud, grew up in Maryland and cut his teeth performing in clubs throughout the Washington, D.C. area. Originally signed to Jive Records, Raheem’s first three albums—The Love Experience (2005), Love Behind the Melody (2008) which reached #1 on the Top 10 R&B Hip-Hop Albums Chart and earned him two Grammy nominations (Best Male R&B Vocal Performance “Woman” and Best R&B Song: “Customer”), one BET Award, two BET J Virtual Awards for “Male Artist of the Year” and “Album of the Year.” The Love & War MasterPeace (2010) which has been deemed his most ambitious album to date and earned Raheem another Grammy Nomination in 2011 for his entire body of work for Best R&B Album of the Year, and resulted in chart-topping singles like “You,” “Customer” and the female-empowerment anthem “Woman.”
Stepping out as an independent artist for his 2013 release, A Place Called Love Land, Raheem remained consistent in his artistry and the same holds true with his last album Love, Sex & Passion (2015), having reached Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums at #4, Billboard’s Independent Albums at #2 and Billboard 200 at #31.
Gearing up for his 6th Studio album release this summer, Decade of a Love King (2018) promises to take listeners to new heights and celebrate the sound that the last 10 years have brought him to, creatively and sonically.
Anthony David interview on Colourful Radio 01-Jul-2018
Born and raised in Savannah, Georgia, it wasn’t until the aspiring musician moved to Atlanta in the 1990s that he began to gain momentum with his music. It was in Atlanta that he met R&B singer India.Arie who invited David to contribute a song to her 2001 album “Acoustic Soul”. David subsequently wrote the track “Part of My Life” which aided the album earning seven Grammy Award nominations. After touring with India.Aria on her supporting tour, David issued his debut full-length “Three Chord & The Truth” in 2004. Released on Brash Records, David supported the release as the opening act on India.Aria’s U.S. tour, greatly enhancing his popularity.
The singer-songwriter’s sophomore album “The Red Clay Chronicles” arrived in 2006, later spawning the single “Something About You” in 2007. The following year David co-wrote the song “There’s Hope” for Aria’s third studio album before inviting India.Aria to sing on his duet “Words”. Peaking at No. 53 on the Best R&B/Hip Hop Songs Chart and subsequently earning a Grammy nomination, the single epitomised the seductive R&B and soul of his 2008 full-length “Acey Duecy”. The album, peaking at No. 7 on the Top Heatseekers Chart, received widespread positive reviews and introduced the singer to a much wider audience.
It was three years before any new material found its release with the 2011 studio album “As Above So Below”. Featuring Shannon Sanders at the production reigns and vocal contributions from Little Brother rapper Phonte and Boyz II Men’s Shawn Stockman, the album found David in good company and was his best-selling record to date. “As Above So Below”’s lead single “4Evermore”, peaked at No. 18 on the Top R&B/Hip Hop Songs Chart, and was followed by the compilation album “#LocationLocationLocation” the same year. The singer’s fifth full-length “Love Out Loud” appeared in 2012, spawning the singles “Can’t Look Down” and “Sweet Pain”. Anthony’s most recent release was ‘The Powerful’ in 2016.
Winston Reedy interview on Colourful Radio 17-Jun-2018
Hailing from Jamaica, Winston Reedy is thought to be the most successful & popular UK based Reggae Artist. Reaching Back to the 1970’s When Winston was lead Vocalist of the Cimarons which led him to Jamaica in 1975 to make an album “ON THE ROCK” from this Album a version of Bob Marleys “TALKING BLUES” went to number 1 in Jamaica, the Cimarons went on to tour Europe, the Middle & Far East, Japan & Caribbean which enabled Winston to work with some of the Greats such as, Jimmy Cliff, Dennis Brown, Dennis Alcapone, The Pioneers & Paul McCartney to name a few, this led to Winston appearing in the Stevie Wonder & Paul McCartney Collaborative Video “EBONY & IVORY” a worldwide hit. The Cimarons also appeared in the film “BLACK JOY” on leaving the Cimarons.
Winston’s first Solo Single “DAUGHTER OF ZION” soared to the top of the Black Echoes Reggae Chart, In 1982/3/4/ for three consecutive years Winston was voted Best British Male vocalist by the listeners of BBC Radio London. He went on to tour with UB40 & signed a contract with UB40’s Label Dep International on the last tour with UB40 a video was made called “WINSTON REEDY LIVE” which was broadcast on the programme ‘CUTTING EDGE’ courtesy of US MTV.
Over the years Winston has appeared at The Royal Festival Hall, The Royal Albert Hall, The O2 Arena & Wembley Stadium alongside Bob Dylan, UB40, & Santana. He Released an album “LOVE THING” on his own record label Cherry& Lee. In 2011 he appeared in the BBC programme “REGGAE BRITTANNIA” along with Ken Boothe, Dennis Alcapone, Big Youth Brinsley Forde, Dave Barker, Neville Staples, Pauline Black & Dennis Bovell. He went on to make an album with French Band Donkey Jaw Bone titled “MAKE A CHANGE” and is available on Wagray Chapter 2 label.
A proud moment for Winston was when he was asked to appear at O2 Indigo Arena For Jamaica 50 celebrations. His latest double album Project “VISION IN LIFE” with Room In The Sky Producer M. Lewis & the Salute Band. has recently been released on Vinyl, CD & Electronic Download available from Lion Vibes Records London and https://roominthesky.bandcamp.com/album/vision-in-life Winston will be appearing in Africa before the end of 2018.
Jo Caesar interview on Colourful Radio 10-Jun-2018
Jo Caesar is a singer/songwriter from East london who has worked and performed with a variety of musicians and artists that include Luciano, Bounty Killer, Mafia and Fluxy, Gappy Ranks, King Sounds and Caron Wheeler, who provided the backing vocals on Jo’s first single ‘Sometimes released on her (then) own independant label ‘Sound Box Music’ in 2000.
She also spent time as a lead vocalist of a girl band (Boudica) managed by RonTom the founder of the sugababes but then decided to set sail on a solo project. 2001 she joined JetStar Record label, frequently featuring on the ‘Pop Hits Inna Reggae’ compilation album. Some of her cover versions included hits like: Mary J. Blige – Enough crying and Corrine Bailey Raes’ – Put your record on.
2005 Jo Caesar, Maxwell D and Junior Brat, formed a group under the name ‘Musketeers’ releasing a single with a video entitled ‘I’ll be there’ which played on MTV, Base and Channel AKA formally known as Channel U.
More recently, in 2015 Jo set herself a personal test and entered into a talent competition, beating hundreds of hopefuls from all over Britain to become the winner of a reggae version of X-factor held at London’s prestigious Shaw Theatre. It was her unique sound, stage presence and what seemed to be effortless but passionate delivery of Shirley browns ‘Used to be your house and an original song ‘Coming on strong written by Jo Caesar. [now available for download] She wowed the crowd and judges, earning her the title as RSF Winner of 2015.
Jah and Never see me cry were two other singles that Jo put out before she took a hiatus brake from music. Returning in 2018 with more passion, ammunition and focus she is equipped for success.
Now under new management (JAT MUZIC UK) Jo has already headlined at London’s Brixton Ritzy Cinema (upstairs) her very own one woman show. It was well received with a brilliant turn out.
She is now in the studio preparing her forthcoming EP of mostly original materials but has chosen by popular demand to put out her newly anticipated single, remake of Shirley Browns ‘Used to be your house’ available for download 29th June 2018 on all major digital stores.
He began his music career by performing for different New York reggae dancehall sound systems in the 1980s, most notably Tony Screw’s Downbeat The Ruler, based in The Bronx.
His recording debut was in 1986 on the African Love Music independent record label with “Who The Cap Fits (Let Them Wear It)” from the album Rough & Rugged. In his early years, Jeff Buckley led his group on guitar and lent a hand with backing vocals. He appeared on Sly and Robbie’s 1987 album Rhythm Killers.
Shinehead was signed to a recording contract by Artist & Repertoire Representative Raoul Roach with Elektra Records in 1988, and remained with them until 1995.
His best-known single was the cover version of Sting’s “Englishman In New York”, re-titled as “Jamaican In New York” (1993). It reached #30 in the UK Singles Chart in April 1993. The single featured on the Sidewalk University album.
He is largely credited as being one of the original acts to cross hip-hop with reggae music, now known as reggae fusion, with songs such as “Try My Love” in 1992. Shinehead’s vocal talent can be heard across various tracks on the “Unity” (1988) and “The Real Rock” (1992) albums. His rapid deejay chat style can be heard on stellar tracks like “Cigarette Breath”, “Gimme No Crack” and “Do It With Ease”. Shinehead’s melodic, Singjay approach is present in songs like “Strive” while he brings more hip hop flavor in tracks like “Chain Gang”.
His “Chain Gang” was the first video to be shown during a regular season episode of Yo! MTV Raps, in 1988.
He is still very active. He was part of the yearly Jamrock cruise in 2015. In 2015 he played at the CES in Las Vegas. Shinehead is multi talented and this is more clear than ever with the success of his sound system Kingston 12.
Imagination featuring LEEE JOHN presents: “Police and Thieves” the 2018 film from “The Do it Right Now campaign”
Presenting the Police and Thieves music video, duration (3 mins) and short film (11 mins) the brain child of Leee John, lead vocalist and writer of the group Imagination, inspired by his observations of the challenges facing young people today.
His aim, to assist in helping and supporting young people globally to make the right life choices and ultimately achieve their full potential and in turn becoming positive contributors to their communities and society as a whole. The “Do it Right Now”, initiative is a campaign to enhance people to embrace the moment and make the most of life.
From the acclaimed album “Retropia” the music tracks “Do it Right Now” and “Police and Thieves” act as central focus points of a bigger global campaign, which echoes with the message of support and exposure can and WILL change lives.
On 9th June, 2017, Imagination Feat. Leee John released ‘Retropia’ on Cristal Records, the group’s first album release since 2013’s ‘Flashback – The Very Best of Imagination’.
Billed as the group’s penultimate album, ‘Retropia’ features the unmistakable vocals of Leee John set against Imagination’s equally distinctive combination of retro soul, funk and jazz.
Since first lighting up the charts during the 1980s and selling over 30 million records thanks to an impressive run of hits such as ‘Body Talk’, ‘Just An Illusion’, ‘Flashback’, ‘Music & Lights’ and ‘Changes’, the multi-award-winning British soul group’s lead vocalist/songwriter Leee John has enjoyed throughout the years a prolific career as a solo artist, collaborator, songwriter, producer and, more recently, a filmmaker.
And after such a long wait for ‘Retropia’ Leee says fans can expect one more Imagination album: “I always knew ‘Retropia’ was going to eventually happen one day, I just didn’t realise there would be such a long period of time over the years in between. As soon as we finished recording this album it became obvious to me we have one more to go, so I’m now in the unusual position of knowing this is Imagination’s penultimate album.”
The recording process for ‘Retropia’ would become a vital catharsis for Leee, who was coming to terms with the death of his sister Linda and three close friends in the space of a year. Leee said, “I felt like I was in emotional whirlpool; trying to deal with all these deaths and supporting my family, especially my mother who’d lost a daughter, and my best friend’s daughters who’d now lost both parents.”
Understandably, recording the vocals in such circumstances was emotionally demanding. Leee said, “There are several songs on the album that remind me of my sister, including the song ‘Brighter Day’ which I wrote in Munich on the day she had her accident and subsequently passed away 24 hours later. I couldn’t listen to the song – much less sing it – without thinking of her, but I somehow found the inner-strength to realise what I had written was uplifting and had a spiritual sense of dealing with life’s trials. It took so much of my strength to perform it.”
Produced in London in LJ Studios with long-time associate producer/engineer Dee Vaz, and mixed by François Gaucher at Alhambra Studios in Rochford, France, Leee produced, arranged, wrote and co-wrote all the songs on ‘Retropia’, except for the album’s four covers versions: Eddie Kendrick’s ‘Tell Her Love Has Felt The Need’, Junior Murvin’s ‘Police and Thieves’ (a secret bonus track which was co-produced with Dennis Bovell), a collaboration with the Gibson Brothers and acclaimed British blues guitarist Mark Vandergucht on AC/DC’s ‘Highway To Hell’, and another collaboration on Stevie Wonder’s ‘Visions’ with Level 42’s Mike Lindup, which was recorded for the charity SOS Children, of which Leee has been a Patron for the past 18 years.
The album’s co-writes arrive in the form of British R&B group Loose Ends’ keyboard player Steve Nichols on ‘Do It Right Now’ and ‘Secrets’ (which also features Incognito’s Jean Paul ‘Bluey’ Manuck on guitar) and Toby Baker on ‘Make Your Mind Up’.
With Retropia dedicated to Imagination’s fans around the world, the set also includes songs which Leee has performed on stage live but, surprisingly, has never placed on any album until now. These songs include ‘Utopia’, ‘Make Your Mind Up’ and ‘Fantasia’, which became an underground classic when Leee put it out in the early ‘90s as a white-label obscurity under the name Johnny X.
Looking ahead to the album’s release, Leee said, “The recording of Retropia got me through a very dark time and gave me the strength to keep in our hearts the spirit of those who are no longer with us. Each song creates a tapestry of time, and the music and the melodies will live on long after we are gone.”
IMAGINATION feat. LEEE JOHN – Police And Thieves
LJ Music Ltd and the “Do It Right Now Campaign” in conjunction with Voyage Youth & Spark2Life.
IMAGINATION feat. LEEE JOHN “Police And Thieves” the film 2018.
From the “Do It Right Now Campaign”.
Alan Charles on Colourful Radio DAB 13-May-2018
Alan Charles – Playwright | Poet | Theatre Producer | Director
Alan Charles is a gifted and talented individual who wears the hats of playwright, poet, MOBO award nominee gospel artiste and event’s organizer. Alan uses his God giving talent inspire and uplift his audiences. His style of writing is appealing to all class of people.
Alan’s brand of poetry alongside his conscious, thought provoking, inspired raps and chants has seen him share the stage with some of the biggest black comedians and entertainers in the UK. His artistic gifting has taken him as far afield as North America, The Caribbean, Africa and Europe. Alan’s story telling type poetry made the transition from poet to playwright an easy one and this was evident in his first full length musical stage play “I am getting there”. In this 1996 offering Alan combined his love for music, theatre, poetry and comedy to mark his arrival as playwright of substance. The show was performed at venues throughout the UK.
It would be another 13 years before Alan would return to the theatre to write, produce and direct a full length theatrical production. He marked his return in 2009 with the hit musical comedy stage play “Love Sax and all that Jazz”. A story of 4 female friends and their experiences as it pertained to Love Sex and all that drama. That production would go on to do over 25 performances across the UK and also toured of the Caribbean island of Trinidad at the invitation of the University of the Southern Caribbean.
The play was part of the USC’s 2010 Lyceum series. The programme was designed to provide an opportunity to promote and enhance the intellectual, cultural, and aesthetic aspects of student growth and development through a series of outstanding theatre productions, concerts, and other art forms.
In 2011, Alan teamed up with Trinidadian singer songwriter Vanessa Briggs to stage the hugely successful semi autobiographical musical play “Shoulda Coulda Woulda”. The show which was written and directed by Alan was based on the songs and life of Vanessa Briggs and told the story of triumph over adversity. How music and a faith in God was used to overcome a life of abuse, pain and anger.
In the same year Alan was approached by a youth based organisation (Lives not Knives) that help young people out of gangs, off the streets and into employment and apprenticeship, to write a script tackling gun and knife crime youth culture. That resulted in the musical theatre show entitled “Keep It Moving Cause Time Is Money” The show was staged at Fairfield Hall (Croydon) in the presence of members of parliaments, business leaders and leading figures in education.
In 2012 Alan staged the sequel to “Love Sax and all that Jazz2” entitled “Da Mans Dem”. The show deals with love and relationships from a male perspective. Asking those age old questions what do men want? What defines a man? And why do men cheat?
In 2014, Alan’s aim to tour the production abroad by training and directing local cast was realised with the production of 7 shows in Trinidad & Tobago using a local Trinidadian cast. This was followed by a tour of Barbados with the UK cast. The production has quickly become a source of cultural exchange and appreciation and Focus Arts looks forward to taking the show to both Canada and USA in the very near future.
In between the plays Alan has recorded 2 albums “Da Plan” in 2001 and the MOBO nominated
“Strength ah mi life” album in 2006.
1996 “I am getting there” (Musical Theatre)
2001 “Da Plan” (Debut CD Album)
2006 “Strength ah mi life” (Mobo Award Nominated album)
2009 “Love Sax and all that Jazz” (Musical Theatre)
2010 “Love Sax and all that Jazz” tour Trinidad (Musical Theatre)
2011 “Shoulda Coulda Woulda” (Musical Theatre)
2012 “Da Mans Dem” tour Trinidad (3 shows Trinidad UK Cast)
2014 “Da Mans Dem” tour Trinidad (7 shows in Trinidad, Trini Cast)
2014 “Da Mans Dem” tour Barbados (2 Shows in Barbados UK Cast)
2014 “Da Mans Dem” tour Canada (1 Show in Canada UK Cast)
2015 “Love Sax and all that Jazz (4 shows in Trinidad with Trini cast)
2015 “Love Sax and all that Jazz (2 shows in St Vincent with Trini cast)
Jasmine Murray on Colourful Radio DAB 29-April-2018
Jasmine Murray was first spotlighted in the music scene in Grenada when a video of her, along with friends, singing Sia’s hit “Chandelier” went viral with over 9 million views. Since then she has become locally (and within the Caribbean) known for her versatility, amazing vocals and energetic performances as “Backpack Girl”.
Her musical genres include: Reggae, RnB and Hip Hop.
She has performed locally at events such as the Naniki Jazz Festival, Ah Night of Love (2015), Ah December to Remember (2015 & 2016), the first Pure Grenada Music Festival (2016) and Ah Night of Love and Consciousness (2016) all alongside the Spice Rock Band.
This year Jasmine had the great honour of performing on the same stage as International Reggae Sensation Chronixx for the Chronology Concert in Grenada.
Jasmine’s original songs include; Cards on the table (Spice Rock Band 2015), Is There A Place (2017 Groovy Soca), Higher Planes (2017 RnB), Low Key ft Deva (2017 Hip Hop)
Notable covers; Chandelier (Sia), No One (Alicia Keys), Luv (Tory Lanez), You needed me (Rihanna), Medication (Damien Jr Gong Marley ft Stephen Marley).
Pure Grenada Music Festival
Pure Grenada Music Festival recap on Colourful Radio DAB 22-April-2018
Caribbean Night with Luni spark & Electrify, Adrian Stern, Nekoyan Sydel Bain, Loxton Mitchell, Jasmine Shenelle Murray, Tammy Baldeo, A#keem, Zamar Band & Alison Hinds aka Alison Hinds, The Caribbean Queen.
Lisa Stansfield has announced that her new album ‘Deeper’ will be released on April 6 2018 on earMUSIC. The first track to be made available is ‘Everything’ – with its groove, funk, soul and signature vocals, the songs is an exciting taster of what we can expect from the new album.
Written by Lisa and her song-writing partner Ian Devaney, produced by Ian & Mark “Snowboy” Cotgrove, and with Lisa taking the role of executive producer, ‘Deeper’ is the iconic soul singer’s eighth studio album. Speaking about the record the Grammy nominated, multi BRIT, Ivor Novello and Silver Clef Award winner said “creating this album was a wonderful adventure. I really believe there’s a special something in this record. I’m so excited to let it go out into the big wide world with pride.”
Lisa’s contribution to British soul is undeniable with a string of hit singles including ‘All Around The World’, ‘All Woman’, ‘The Real Thing’ and many award winning albums. Her unmistakable voice has been a constant presence on the dance floor and airwaves ever since 1989. Most recently she returned to the Top 20 of the UK album charts with her 7th studio album ‘Seven’. A gorgeous and personal collection of her trademark soul, the 2014 record was a reminder of why Lisa has sold nearly 20 million records worldwide and had a string of international top 10 hits.
Romain Virgo on Colourful Radio DAB 01-April-2018
Lovesick is the perfect title for the latest album from reggae star Romain Virgo. The young, engaging tenor is at his best when expressing both the passions and heartaches of love relationships. His music follows the tradition of fellow ‘crooners’ Percy Sledge, Sam Cooke, Kenny ‘Baby Face’ Edmonds, Dennis Brown and Beres Hammond. The lyrical power and emotional depth of his songs go beyond expectations of his age and continue to capture and convert the hearts and souls of fans worldwide.
Lovesick demonstrates an exciting new direction in the artist’s style and flow. “This album is about my personal growth and the new directions we’re taking in the music,” said Romain. “We experimented with styles and genres that we haven’t dared to before. The writing is on a new level too.”
A truly inspired talent, Romain satisfies his loyal reggae following with a constant flow of infectious hooks, while his unique voice as a songwriter and updated “pop reggae” sound place him in a class by himself.
Raised in a disciplined home in the rural town of Stepney in the parish of St. Annes, the young Jamaican is a natural born crooner with an old school soul. He first gained fame when he made history as the youngest winner of Television Jamaica’s (TVJ) popular “Rising Stars” talent competition at just 17-years-old and later by winning Artist of the Year by JaRIA (Jamaica Reggae Industry Association) in 2012. ““Winning ‘Rising Stars’ changed my life completely,” Romain admitted. People didn’t see me as country boy anymore. And I was able to help my family which gave me the best feeling.”
Now, with his third album on the VP Records imprint, Romain Virgo comes into his own. “Over the past few years on the road, we’ve learned what works for the fans, with this album we hope to take it further, going beyond expectations.” The core production for the album comes from Nicholas ‘Niko’ Browne and veterans Shaun ‘Sting International’ Pizzonia (Shaggy, Sting) and Clive Hunt (Abyssinians, Dennis Brown, Alpha Blondy). All lyrics were written or co-written by Romain Virgo.
The lead single “Still” is a love-struck anthem on the Skyscraper riddim, combining 90s dancehall melodies and a pop reggae beat. Riddim producer Richie Stephens, introduced the track to Romain after hearing the up-tempo hit “Now” and its unique and up-tempo energy. “I want people to feel uplifted,” said Romain, commenting on his choice to do more dancehall leaning tracks for LoveSick. “It demonstrates the kind of energy and world I want to create through my music, to make people want to live love.” Anticipation for the music video is growing as the Skyscraper riddim begins its run.
His breakout hit “Now,” a feel-good, energetic track produced by Frenchie of Maximum Sounds, was released in the summer of 2017 alongside an addictively upbeat video filmed in Irish Town and Hope Gardens Kingston, Jamaica. “I was at home when I got the Skank and Wave riddim…I was vibing to it, so I got dressed and went straight to the studio and recorded ‘Now.’ And it came out exactly how we wanted it to sound.” Although the track isn’t based on a personal experience, as is true with many Romain’s songs, he claimed it’s one of his favourites and can see it becoming a mainstream tune.
Another rousing track “Trouble,” produced by Kurt Reilly’s gives fans and new listeners alike a Beres Hammond like feel. Commenting on comparisons to the reggae great Romain said, “to reach the level of a living legend like him you must put in dedication and an endless amount of work.”
LoveSick includes Romain’s stirring version of the Sam Smith smash “Stay With Me.” When I was introduced to the song, I knew I had to record it over a reggae riddim. It’s one of the biggest covers I’ve done so far,” said Romain. “Everywhere we go, the crowds demand “Stay With Me.” People just love it, so it’s become a permanent part of my set.” The song has become a fan favourite across the globe, rivalling popularity with the original version in Japan. Romain, also achieved major success with his cover of Dennis Brown’s “Caress Me,” produced by reggae legend Clive Hunt. “We really spent some time on that song, trying something new with my voice,” he said.
Overall, the album is extremely personal, drawing directly from Romain’s real-life experiences. “These are my life stories in terms of love, of having it, of losing it, of finding it again.” Romain expresses that his calling is to sing about the universality of love in all its multiple guises. “I’m a very emotional person,” Romain said. “And I believe love is the one thing that’s going to save us, not just in terms of relationships, but in the broader human sense.” When asked what message he’d like to convey through his music, Romain didn’t skip a beat. “I personally believe that nothing forms a stronger bond than love. It cuts through race, religion, creed, everything. We need to put it at the centre of our lives.”
Pauline Catlin aka Shezekiel
Pauline Catlin aka Shezekiel on Colourful Radio DAB 25-March-2018
Formerly of the successful vocal trio Brown Sugar, Pauline Catlin now known as Shezekiel, along with Caron Wheeler and Carol Simms during the 70’s and 80’s were the first British Reggae music trio with a succession of hits and pioneers of the popular genre known today as ‘Lovers Rock’, produced by Dennis Bovell. Now after a 27 year absence Shezekiel has been working with Jazz musician and Producer Wayne Brown on her debut album ‘Catch the Boat’.
Wayne has collaborated with an array of artists as both a writer and producer including Billy Ocean, Ruby Turner, Earth Wind and Fire, Junior Giscombe, Stevie Winwood, Jonathan Butler, George Michael, Janet Kay, Lulu, Yazz and played with jazz greats such as Coleman Hawkins and Tal Farlow. Wayne went on to sell several million records as a writer and producer with his international top 5 hits ‘Heartache’ and ‘Goodbye Stranger’. The first album ‘The Jazz Club Volume 1’ received international critical acclaim with great support from radio opening doors to performances throughout Europe and the USA.
Shezekiel’s band members include Neville Malcolm otherwise known as “level Neville” one of the most in demand electric and double Bass players in the country having worked with the likes of Incognito, Gabrielle, Tom Jones and Gregory porter to name a few, also drummer Jose Joyette who has played around the world with artists such as Craig David, Ministry of Sound , Nona Hendry, De la soul ,Tunde Jegede and Amy Winehouse, Jose is currently on tour with Dee Dee Bridgewater & China Moses, and Giulio Ramano Malaisi a phenomenal classical and Jazz guitarist who learnt his craft from at the Italian Gilfredo Cattalica Music Academy collaborating with top musicians from all over the world including Greg miller and Phil Ramacon.
Shezekiel is now getting ready to release her first solo single ‘Beams from Heaven’ produced by Carlton Bubbler’s Ogilvie as a tribute and return to her Reggae roots, to be followed by another single ‘I am with You’ produced by Clifton ‘Bigga’ Morrison.
Shezekiel’s forthcoming album showcases a unique musical fusion of Jazz, Reggae and Neo Soul as she magically captures a musical vibrancy reflecting her journey and the collision of her Caribbean and British roots.
Shezekiel’s debut album Catch The Boat is out in 2016.
Lo-Key? on Colourful Radio DAB 18-March-2018
The R&B band/group Lo-Key? is comprised of André “Dré” Shepard (lead vocals), Darron “D” Story (vocals/trumpet), Tyrone “T-Bone” Yarbrough (vocals/bass guitar) and Tony “prof t” Tolbert (lead vocals/producer).
The group got their start at the 1989 Black Minnesota Music Awards Seminar where Flyte Tyme Records’ “Jimmy Jam” Harris was a panelist on the producer’s forum. During the discussion, former member and co-founder Lance Alexander said to Jimmy Jam, “How do I get one of those Flyte Tyme jackets?!”
The forum encouraged Lance and Tony to send Jimmy Jam and his songwriting and production partner, Terry Lewis, a demo of their work, and soon after they were hired as songwriters and producers for the company. Having composed for Alexander O’Neal, Shanice Wilson, Jane Child and Johnny Gill, the two producers earned enough respect to motivate the songwriting and production team to request that the two men form a group.
Lance and Tony didn’t have to look too far. Tony, Tyrone and Darron were initially members of the band Grand Jury in Kansas City, Missouri. After they moved to Minneapolis, the guys met André during auditions for Jesse Johnson’s group “Da Krash.” Thus, in the fall of 1990, Lo-Key? was officially recognized as Lance and Tony brought their group mates on board.
Featuring a throwback sound, the group’s first album “Where Dey At?” showed the guys were not like the other groups prominent at the time. Rather than try to sound like Boyz II Men or Jodeci, Lo-Key? featured a sound reminiscent of bands like Earth, Wind & Fire, Parliament Funkadelic, The Isley Brothers and The Dazz Band. The album’s first single “Attention: The Shawanda Story” didn’t didn’t receive much airplay, but its creative and comedic video continues to be a fan favorite to this day. With later singles “I Got A Thang For Ya,” “Sweet On You” and “Hey There Pretty Lady,” however, the group started making a name for themselves. The Gold single, “I Got A Thang 4 Ya!” reached #1 on the R&B charts and #27 on the Hot 100, while “Sweet On U” reached #13 on the R&B charts and “Hey There Pretty Lady” peaked out at #56.
In 1994 Lo-Key? released their second CD “Back To Da’ Howse.” The album continued the band’s unique “old school” sound, paying musical homage to the artists who had inspired them over the years. The singles “Tasty” and “Good Old Fashioned Love” are still considered R&B classics and continue to receive airplay throughout the US and the UK.
In 1995, the band took some time off to pursue other interests. Each band member went on to make his own impact in the industry. Lance and Tony continued to pen songs for artists like Alexander O’Neal, The Sounds of Blackness and Next, for whom the two are credited with penning their first hit, “Butta Love.” The two men went their separate ways in 1997, with Lance forming the label, Baby Honey Records and prof t. becoming the A&R director for Flyte Tyme’s new label and went on to work with Janet Jackson, Earth, Wind and Fire, The Isley Brothers, TLC, Solo and Jessica Simpson. D worked at BMG distribution and formed his own artist management and television production company, Intrepid Entertainment, T-Bone went on to write and form his own band, and Dré performed with the world famous Platters and Temptations.
Now Lo-Key? are back on the scene, picking up right where they left off and excited about collaborating with the talented Anthony Saunders. Some of Anthony’s credits include working with Boyz II Men, Joe, Justin Bieber, Tamar Braxton and Janet Jackson. The band is currently in the studio working on a new single, “We Grown,” to be released in the first quarter 2018 and is gearing up for shows in the UK in April 2018. With the music-buying public getting tired of songs without substance and “one-hit wonders” on the radio today, Lo-Key? is set to bring their unique blend of live R&B, soul, funk, rock, blues, gospel and jazz back to the music scene right on time!