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Spotlight on Singing Melody
By RudeGal
(more articles from this author)
1999-09-09
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Jamaica is an island filled with an overflow of talent. However, not every young talented signer with potential really achieves a level of respect or a status where they are taken seriously. Over the years there has come to be a handful of men who stand out beyond the rest. Singing Melody is one of these singers. Like many, he has had an extremely long haul filled with the ups and downs of the music industry.

In Jamaica, there are certain factors in life that seem to stand out. One is the laid back not in a hurry attitude of the residence of this small and beautiful island. Another factor is the friendliness of the people. But perhaps one of the strongest attributes of the island life is the music. Music is a natural part of the inhabitance. Singing Melody grew up in an area where Barrington Levy, Cocoa Tea and Little John all lived and hung out. The musical influence of his community was a bit stronger than the average neighborhood. It was at an early age that music became an integral part of his world and he was quite perceptive at the influence music had on the people around him.

Deciding to venture into the music arena was a struggle at first. He spent a lot of time just listening to the sounds around him as he began to hang out around sound systems after secondary school. Melody originally got his first chance the way many a yute starts off, by singing with a local sound system. In his case it was the sound system named Volcano. He was fortunate to be able to leave the sound system and record some vocals with King Tuby's Studio, one of the more prestigious studios in Jamaica back in the 80's. The song he recorded at that time was titled "Tie Me." While the song didn't do much for his career, it did land him recognition among producers.

In 1989, he was given the chance to work with one of Jamaica's leading musician duo's Steely and Cleevie. Going into their studio, he voiced a cover of the R&B hit "Shower Me With Love," originally done by Surface. From 1990-1993, Singing Melody pursued forward and recorded with producers like Digital B, Jack Scorpio and King Jammy's. One song in particular, Bobby Digital's recording of "Groovy Kind Of Love" did well for Melody.

Not getting the push in Jamaica he was looking for, in 1994, Singing Melody picked up and went to New York to broaden his musical horizons. After a year, he returned to Jamaica and recorded a cover of "Whatever You" with Top Rankin Records. This song helped to re-emerge him in Jamaica as a singer to take notice of. The buzz was on! In 1996, he met Jr. Rodigan in Boston and recorded yet another cover this time of Jon B and BabyFace's hit song, "Someone To Love." This song led the way to include him on VP Record's successful Reggae Gold series, the 1996 edition.

Even though Singing Melody was achieving a certain level of success, the song that really allowed him to be listed among the top 10 singers in dancehall for the Caribbean community was the cover of Toni Braxton's "Let It Flow." 1996 was also a milestone in Melody's career as he teamed up with some friends who each had their own respective solo singing careers and formed the first "Reggae Group" Lust. The members of Lust included Lukie D, Thriller U, Singing Melody and Tony Curtis. Always feeding off each other, experimenting with harmonies, this foursome was determined to reform the Jamaican music industry and earn respect for their art form.

Each of the four artists had a flourishing soloist career and was hesitant to abandon that goal entirely. After agreeing to work together but not to let their group project prohibit their individual direction, they made history at the 1998 MIDEM conference in France. However, just when the public was anxiously awaiting more from this dynamic force they took a break due to conflicts of schedules and management.

For some this might be a blow, but for Melody it proved to be an opportunity to perfect the tracks for his next album, the first to be released from VP Records based in the states. His current solo album "Sweeter" has taken many by storm. For some, it wasn't until the induction of Lust that they'd even heard the name Singing Melody. For others, this new album is but a reflection of the talent they always knew he had. The clothing line Yaga has even shown their support to his abilities by lacing him with their line. (Everyone knows cross promotions is a must!)

Either way, his album with VP Records is swaying even the hardest to hit reggae enthusiast. That's not to say his album is limited to the die hard Reggae fan. Rather, "Sweeter" is deliciously appealing to the R&B audience. His current single, a rendition of "Want You Back" has opened the eyes to decision making executives. The video for "Want You Back" was shot in Chicago and will be released shortly. With this video behind him and the success of his single, the future looks very hopeful for this sultry voice - Singing Melody.


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