McGregor's new 'flava'

By Kevin Jackson Observer Writer

Friday, March 22, 2013

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Producer/songwriter Kemar 'Flava' McGregor says he has thrown in the towel as far as working with local reggae artistes. Instead, he is collaborating with several American acts to developing a new sound he calls 'pop reggae'.

"The Jamaican reggae industry feels like the past. The energy is gone," McGregor told Splash. "Hopefully, they will evolve and start to make positive music with more melodies and happier vibes. But right now, the industry is stuck in 2003."

Recently, McGregor has worked with Irish singer Sinead O'Connor, American soul singers Syleena Johnson and Musiq Soulchild, and Canada-based vocalist Divine Brown.

McGregor says he used initiative to contact most of these artistes.

"I came with a new production sound during a time when the pop world needed fresh ideas. Canadian and American artistes expressed an interest in the tracks that I sent to them," he said. "It was just a matter of me being able to find the time to meet with them and to make studio arrangements."

Among these projects is 9INE, an album of duets by Johnson and Musiq Soulchild.

"The album refers to the number of songs on the album, and the number of days it took to record them. It contains all melodic, uplifting, radio-friendly songs with a pop-skank rhythm underneath," McGregor shared.

Five of McGregor's productions are also featured in the TV One reality show R&B Divas which stars Johnson, Monifah, Faith Evans, Keke Wyatt and former Brownstone singer Nicci Gilbert.

The show gives an inside look at how the singers balance their careers and personal lives as they produce a tribute album to Whitney Houston. The series premiered August last year.

A former disc jockey, McGregor got involved in music production just over 10 years ago.

He has produced a number of hit songs including Gyptian's Mama Don't Cry, Queen Ifrica's Daddy Don't Touch Me There, Nothing to Smile About by Morgan Heritage, The Plane Land by Richie Spice, I am Not Afraid and Happy Heart by Etana, Board House by Nesbeth and Beres Hammond's I Surrender.

He has also produced two albums by Gyptian: My Name is Gyptian and I Can Feel Your Pain.




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