Sunday 9 December, 2018

Appleton blends old with new for Heart Of Jamaica

Reggae singer Jesse Royal (third right) talks about his contribution to Appleton's Heart of Jamaica album at the launch event last Wednesday at Ribbiz Ocean Lounge in downtown Kingston. Seated beside him are producer Mikey Bennett (second right) and other recording artistes. (PHOTOS: Marlon Reid)

Reggae singer Jesse Royal (third right) talks about his contribution to Appleton's Heart of Jamaica album at the launch event last Wednesday at Ribbiz Ocean Lounge in downtown Kingston. Seated beside him are producer Mikey Bennett (second right) and other recording artistes. (PHOTOS: Marlon Reid)

Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum has gathered a confluence of Jamaican artistes for its first ever journey into the music world, with the Heart Of Jamaica album.

Freddie McGregor, whose musical journey started in the 1960s as a seven-year-old boy and Pluto Shervington, with a career that stretches as far back as the 1970s, are elder statesmen on the Heart Of Jamaica album, which was guided by the expert knowledge of music producer, Mikey Bennett.

Apart from McGregor and Shervington, established acts such as Wayne Marshall, Bugle, Jesse Royal, Tessanne Chin, Chris Martin, Ikaya, Ding Dong and saxophonist Dean Fraser, form part of the core of the album.

Also on the album are a few artistes whose names are known but they have not been able to step into the realm of stardom, such as Natel, Duane Stephenson, Chevaughn and Jodi-Ann Pantry.

Completing the list are others who have been either earmarked for big things or just getting their names out there hoping to be noticed, like Jamila Falak, Minori, Favia Beswick, Justine, Sevana, Tamo-J, Stephen McHugh and Craig Jackson.

According to Brand Communications Manager at J Wray and Nephew, Alison Moss-Solomon, the album stems from the company’s Signature Night event, where reggae music fans get the opportunity to watch performances from Jamaican acts live.

Moss-Solomon said, “reggae music is the genre that embodies the Jamaican spirit and comes from the heart. It is a kaleidoscope of songs that tell stories of Jamaican people, the struggles, the triumphs and of course our love.

“It (the album) is going to embody a lot of the commemorative days that we have – Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, birthdays, New Year’s – and we are hoping that we can feel the energy, the love and soul that all the artistes and production team have put into this album,” Moss-Solomon added at the launch of the album at the Ribbiz Ocean Lounge in downtown Kingston last Wednesday.

According to Bennett, he was approached to do a Christmas album but he felt that the project would have been even more worthwhile by doing other holidays, especially since there are some seasons that are underserved in that regard.

“I think that this project presented an opportunity to ‘Jamaicanize’ a lot of important celebrations. I’m looking forward to going to the next New Year’s Eve party and hearing the song ‘New Year’ by Chevaughn and Ikaya; Tessane’s song ‘Push On Through’ during the next university graduation or celebrating paternal figures with Wayne Marshall’s ‘You are My Father’," Bennett said.

“I’ve had two occasions celebrating important moments with the Jamaican songs ‘Rise Up’ and ‘Make the Christmas Catch you in a Good Mood’ to see how Jamaicans react and I am looking forward to that again with this album; I can’t wait," he added.

See more photos by Loop News photographer Marlon Reid in the slider below.

Appleton Heart of Jamaica

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