WITH over 15 years as an entertainer under his belt, singer Ryan Oneil knows it takes more than just a mellow voice to make the big time. A little perseverance can also carry you a long way.
Oneil's latest song, I'm Just Saying, is produced by Irie FM disc jockey Ainsworth 'Big A' Higgins for his Footstepz label. However, he is not leaving it up to the producer to do all the promotions.
"When yuh live abroad, it can be hard to get your songs going in Jamaica but once yuh monitoring things aggressively it can work," Oneil said.
Oneil lives in the New England state of Rhode Island which has a vibrant, but not massive reggae scene. There is a much bigger network for Jamaican music in New York and New Jersey, where he says he is pushing I'm Just Saying, which was released in May.
"We've been getting a lot of calls for the song and there's some momentum. We can feel it," he said.
Oneil hails from the Glendale neighbourhood of Maverley and has been recording since the late 1990s. His first song, Dreaming, was done for the Oasis label as Thriller T but was never released.
His next stop was the Anchor studio of Gussie Clarke, arguably the most successful producer of the 1990s. Oneil was a member of the Anchor camp for five years, recording songs like Right Move, but never got the breakthrough.
He worked for other producers such as Olive Shaw whose Capricorn label released Slow Down, and Danny Marshall of Raw Moon Recordings which produced A Nuh Me which Oneil considers his most successful song to date.
Oneil believes I'm Just Saying has the goods to give him that elusive hit.
"Frustration is part of the game yuh nuh, but I never one day think about giving up," he said.