Fitzroy Francis takes a stand


Fitzroy Francis takes a stand

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

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Fitzroy Francis had worked as a marketing man and road manager for most of his time in the music business and gave little thought to starting a record label until 2011 when singer Zanadu encouraged him to do so.

He decided to give it a shot, and launched Mightyful13 Records which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. Stand Up, a recently released song by Jamaican/Filipino duo Garrette and Axel, is one of the projects marking the milestone.

Zanadu's song Trade Winds was the first song released by Mightyful13 Records. And though reggae remains its focus, Francis has also worked with Afrobeats and pop acts from Africa and The Philippines.

“It is of great importance for the label not to be seen as a reggae-only label but an international music label that produces reggae, Afrobeats, contemporary, etc, with its primary objective to provide a positive impact on people's lives,” he told the Jamaica Observer.

The 53-year-old Francis, who is from Waterhouse, got involved in the music business while still a student at Kingston College. Over the years, he has worked with Junior Reid, The Wailing Souls, Shabba Ranks, and Black Uhuru in different capacities.

He considers his time with Black Uhuru the most fruitful.

“I have been involved with Black Uhuru since 1998, and did my last tour as a road manager [with them] in 2013. Being around Black Uhuru is one of my greatest musical experiences. It enabled me to learn the don'ts and do's when it comes to the business of music, and took me places where I met multicultural people,” he said.

Zanadu, Andrew Bees, the current Black Uhuru lead singer, Jesse Jendau and Hugh English are some of the artistes who have recorded songs for Mightyful13 Records. The music industry has evolved since he got involved, but for Fitzroy Francis that is one of the things that keeps him in the game.

“There have been constant changes in every era and aspect of the business, and that's why it is important to re-educate yourself to be compatible with the changes,” he said.

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