AFTER years of working with a diverse number of acts including Burning Spear, Alborosie, the Jolly Boys and Mike Upper Club All-Star band, guitarist Lenford Richards recently got his biggest gig to date.
He played on Alicia Keys' monster hit, Girl on Fire, which was recorded at Geejam Studios in Portland.
"It was a great experience working with Alicia and her team. I also played on another track on the album," Richards told the Jamaica Observer. "They needed a guitarist to play on the tracks and I was available, so that's basically how it came about."
The 57-year-old self-taught musician, who resides in Norwich, Portland, says he has been involved in the music business for 40 years.
In addition to Burning Spear, he has played with Rita Marley, as well as with the Lloyd Parks and We the People, Zap Pow and Jahpostles bands.
"I have done work with different artistes from Europe over the years. But working on the Alicia Keys track is the biggest thing I have done to date," said Richards.
Portland has buzzed with musical activity in the past decade. Keys is the latest high-profile artiste to record at Geejam which is located in Port Antonio, the chief town.
The facility is operated by music industry executive Jon Baker.
Among the list of acts who have recorded at Geejam are Amy Winehouse, No Doubt, Canadian rapper Drake, Bjork, India Arie, Snoop Lion, Major Lazer, Cee Lo Green and Dru Hill.
Girl on Fire is the lead single from Keys' fifth studio album of the same name. The song peaked at number seven on Billboard's Hot R&B Hip Hop chart, and stalled at number eleven on the Billboard Hot 100.
To date, Girl on Fire has sold over two million copies in the United States.