Junie Ranks wants to 'Bring Back De Love'

Friday, January 07, 2011

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JUNIE Ranks who reigned in the 80s with songs such as Cry Fi Mi Boops is today singing a different tune. Known for risqué songs, the female deejay who is now based in the United States is all about bringing back the love in dancehall.

Released on her own J-Ranks label, Bring Back De Love is said to be receiving a lot of buzz on the international scene.

In an interview with Splash, Junie Ranks says the track is about the days when dancehall was full of love -- when it was all about the love of the music and not the bling every time new artistes buss," adding that "nowadays it's all about guns and war with each other."

Junie came up with the hook for the song about three years ago but just could not seem to come up with the right lyrics for the song. That is, until she heard a song by fellow artiste Ed Robinson entitled Heroes -- a song about icons in the business.

"As I heard his song, the words just hit me. I took up my pen and book and said what's on my mind. I did not call anyone's name but if the cap fit just wear it -- mi throw mi corn mi never call no foul," Junie said about her latest single.

"It hurts my heart to see how the sweet reggae music has turned into violence music, so Bring Back De Love is about calling back the foundation artiste to build peace and love inna the dancehall," she continued.

Junie says she has a lot of respect for young artistes, but is saddened by the fact that they seems to have no real love for each other. "They are too thin-skinned. Music is love not war," she pointed out.

On the subject of clashing, Junie Ranks was swift in her reply. "I would not clash with Lisa Hyper or Spice, or any other female artiste that's under my age group. They could be my daughters. You have to give respect to get respect. What happened to lyrical war? Not bad word cussing on stage, but a friendly clash like Four the Hard Way -- back then with me, Lady G, Sister Charmaine and Lady Junie. Look at Ninja Man and Shabba Ranks -- Ninja Man and Shabba used lyrics against each other but I never see one raise a hand at the other, and when the clash was over we all are friends again," she mused suggesting the direction clashes need to go again.

If this New York-based artiste has her way then it will be all about love in the dancehall again and not war.

Looking ahead Junie is hoping to hit the local stage one day soon as she needs to "put my name back out there".

"Although I am no stranger to dancehall, I am a stranger to the younger generation. A lot of them never heard about me. They might have heard my songs but don't know who sing them, so I have to let my voice be heard again," she told Splash.

June Evans aka Junie Ranks was born in Kingston, but grew up in Old Harbour, St Catherine. At a young age she fell in love with deejaying listening to artistes such as Lady Ann, Sister Nancy, Sista Verna and Mama Liza among others.

Junie Ranks soon started to make a name for herself deejaying on the local sounds ET Sound System and on Technique Disco where she initially got her first big break.

Junie Ranks got the break she was seeking when she was introduced to producer Winston Riley, who was so impressed with her talent when she auditioned for him that he took her to the studio the same evening.

Over the years Junie Ranks has recorded singles such as Big and Ready, Dibby Dibby Man, Naw Stop Ge Bun, Sweetest Girl a combination with Wayne Wonder, Lick Out 'Gainst De Man Dem and Sea of Love featuring John Mouse which went to number one in Canada in 1990, and gave her the Female DJ of the Year title in that country.

Currently affiliated with DASK Entertainment, Junie is busy working on some new material for her upcoming album scheduled to be released sometime this year.

The video for Bring Back De Love will also be released at the B-Hive Lounge in Brooklyn and has appearances from a lot of foundation artistes such as Wayne Smith, Tony Tuff, Michael Palmer, Sammy Dread, Lady Ann, Ed Robinson, Al Campbell, Courtney Melody, Ansel Meditation, Johnny Osbourne, Mikey Jarrett and more.

— Cecelia Campbell-Livingston

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