From melody to Mentor
BACK in the 1980s, singer Lily Melody did the rounds as a hardcore dancehall act, under the guidance of legendary sound system operator and producer Osbourne 'King Tubby' Ruddock.
Now, under his new moniker Isaiah Mentor, he has dropped the girls tunes in favour of songs which tackle serious social issues.
"In the early days of my career it was all about the dancehall scene. I was more concerned about getting the people to respond to my music in the dances, when I performed alongside artistes like Papa San, Anthony Red Rose, Major Worries, and Dirtsman," Mentor recalled. "But as time passed and I got more mature my values began to change as I grew more conscious on a personal and musical level."
Born Ian Samuels, Mentor is originally from Rae Town in central Kingston. He started his career as a teen with the influential Tubby. Ghostbuster and How Yuh Pretty So are two of his early recordings.
Over the past 10 years, Isaiah Mentor has recorded and released hard-hitting songs such as Fight Fight Fight, Rebel, Rasta Government, and Cry Africa. The latter addresses acts of genocide in Africa.
"Music is more than just about singing and entertaining. I have a message to deliver to the people, my music has to touch the people on a deeper level," he reasoned.
Isaiah Mentor recently recorded Child Support on the Big One Drop rhythm which is scheduled to be released before the end of the year.
He said the song zooms in on the age-old issue of men getting women pregnant and not living up to their responsibilities as fathers.
"A lot of men get women pregnant and don't want to support the woman or the child in any way or form and that's not right," he said. "As a man you have to take care of your woman and child."