Gong’s Hardwork on Winehouse pal’s set
BRITISH singer Juliette Ashby, who started her career as part of a rap duo with Amy Winehouse, recently released her debut album BitterSweet.
The set includes collaborations with Damian 'Junior Gong' Marley, as well as American R&B artiste Alicia Keys and rapper Da Brat.
Ashby says her sound is eclectic, a blend of Rhythm and Blues, reggae and neo-soul.
Hardwork & Mavelle is the name of her song with Marley. It is not her first foray into reggae, having done two songs with Jamaican producer Jazzwad, Drop A Baby and No Regrets.
Ashby told the Jamaica Observer that she wrote Not Trying, one of her most important songs, while in Jamaica.
"I was sitting on the beach and felt so at home and loved everything about the place," she recalled.
Like Winehouse, Ashby was born and raised in London. The two were members of the group Sweet 'N' Sour.
"We wanted to be the UK version of rap group Salt 'N' Pepper. From then on, I never left the studio," she said.
Winehouse, who had a troubled personal life, won five Grammy Awards in 2008 for the album Back to Black.
She died from alcohol poisoning in July 2011.
-- Cecelia Campbell-Livingston