Knowing the other side of Eljai

Monday, April 25, 2016

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WHEN Belizean singer Eljai started recording songs for a new project in late 2015, the initial idea was to release an EP.

Midway the sessions, he had a change of plan.

"Things were going so well we thought it would be better to put out an album. I think we made the right decision," he told the
Jamaica Observer.

That album, The Other Side Of Eljai, will be his third. The lead song, Everything I Do, is produced by his Jah Mix Entertainment company; it was released April 1 by Tuff Gong International.

Everything I Do is a cover of Canadian singer Bryan Adams’ 1991 mega hit, (Everything I Do) I Do It for You. At the time that song ruled international charts, Eljai was part of Belize, a Rhythm And Blues trio who were signed briefly to Warner Brothers.

"I always loved the song and wanted to do my own version. Some people think it’s an original, so that’s a compliment I think," he said.

The Other Side Of Eljai is the first album since 2010for Los Angeles-based Eljai.
I Know, his previous album, was produced by Fabian Cooke, a Jamaican who also calls the City of Angels home.

It was Cooke who produced Da Rebirth, Eljai’s debut album, which came out in 2006.

Born Lloyd McFarlane Jnr, Eljai grew up in Belize City. Though his early recordings with Belize were R&B-influenced, he said reggae was always in the picture.

The sounds of Dennis Brown, Bob Marley and Peter Tosh were big on his playlist. So too Trinidadian calypso giants Lord Kitchener and the Mighty Sparrow.

Saxophonist Dean Fraser, keyboardist Carroll ‘Bowie’ McLaughlin and British hitmaker Stingray Records, worked on
The Other Side Of Eljai. No release date has been announced for the set.

Eljai believes he has grown considerably since his first album.

"I’m definitely more confident as an artiste, a lot more mature. People who buy this record will hear that," he said.

— Howard Campbell

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