Dreaming of reggae

BY KEVIN JACKSON Observer writer

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

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AMERICAN producer/songwriter Bryce Wilson has always dreamed of working on an album featuring Jamaican acts. This could become reality soon, based on developments during his latest visit to Jamaica.

"I've dreamed of coming to Jamaica and working on an album that had the focus and special thing that Bob Marley, the Heptones and those guys had back in the day. The horns, the guitars and the organs which made those recordings special, I would like to do an album with all those elements," Wilson told the Jamaica Observer last week.

Wilson was a member of the duo Groove Theory (with singer Amel Larrieux), which scored major hits on the Billboard charts in the 1990s with Tell Me, Baby Luv and Keep Trying. He was in Kingston as a guest judge for the televised talent show, Digicel Rising Stars.

He pointed to Jamaican acts which impress him.

"I would like to do some work with Tifa. I think Jah Cure's voice, the world hasn't really gotten a chance to hear it; he's a good songwriter. I'm a big fan of Bounty Killer and I would like to do a project with him," Wilson stated.

Wilson was born in New York and currently resides in Los Angeles. His mother's family is Jamaican (he has relatives in Spanish Town), while his father is of Barbadian heritage.

"Growing up in New York, reggae and soca music were prominent in the house. I grew up listening to early dancehall music which was a major influence for me. Later on, the song Rock Box by Run-DMC left a lasting impression in my mind and that's when I decided I wanted to get into music," said Wilson.

He joined Kurtis Mantronix and DJ D in the rap/hip-hop group Mantronix, which released five albums including 1990's gold-seller, This Should Move Ya.

Groove Theory also had a good run. Their 1995 self-titled album contained the hit songs Tell Me and Hello It's Me, and went gold.

Wilson has two number one hits as a producer/songwriter. Toni Braxton's You're Making Me High in 1996 and Secondcity's I Wanna Feel, which topped the UK pop chart last year.

He has produced songs for Beyoncé, Lupe Fiasco, Mary J Blige and Babyface. As a manager, he worked with Brandy, Sean Kingston and rapper The Game.

Wilson later got into acting. He made his debut in the 2003 Morgan Freeman film, Guilty by Association, and has appeared in television shows and films including New York Undercover, Beauty Shop, The System Within and Show Stoppers.

"I got into acting for a weird reason. I was getting tired of the politics of the music business. I wanted to do something where I can move on my potential and try a different form of expression," he related.

Wilson is a partner in Size Management, an electronic dance music company owned by DJ and music producer Steve Angello (of Swedish House Mafia).

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