King Hopeton to hit the road

Catch Di Riddim

Kevin Jackson

Monday, March 19, 2012

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CALIFORNIA-based roots singer King Hopeton is about to hit the road to promote his latest album Beautiful Morning. The singer was upbeat when this column caught up with him earlier this week.


"The tour will kick off the first of April in Berkley, California and I will be accompanied by veteran musicians including (guitarist) Hux Brown," Hopeton explained.


The 20-date trek will include performances at major American festivals in Oregon, Utah, and Washington DC.


He is busy pushing the title track which is also Beautiful Morning's lead single.


"It is a song based off positivity and reflecting on life in a sense of awareness. No matter what we face and the pressure of life we go through, when we awake in the morning, we still have to give thanks," he said.


Born Horace Campbell, in Alexandria, St Ann, in 1972, King Hopeton was raised in St Thomas. He was a multi-instrumentalist in the band, Rapture which recorded its first album in 1988.


He also played in a band on the north coast hotel circuit called United Force. That gave him the opportunity to work with a diverse set of acts including guitarist Ernie Ranglin, singers Nicky OJ, Karen Smith and Sabrina Williams.


After years of being on the road, things changed for King Hopeton in 1999.


"I got a proposal from Sony Records (Germany) to do an album. I accepted and started working on my first project for Sony. I went and built a recording studio, I started out with my label, Double Lion Records in Ocho Rios, producing and developing, artistes like Teflon, Zamunda, and Little


Hero among others", he said.


Among his current projects is producing an album for California reggae band Dylans Dharma.


Abbablade makes sharp moves


Sound system selector, Abbablade, is looking to make an impact in Jamaica as a deejay after making a name on the dancehall scene in Columbus, Ohio.


Abbablade, who grew up in the Waterhouse community, is hoping to break through in Jamaica with his recently released singles Path to Success, Mama Don't Cry and Glasses.


"Right now I want to take my music worldwide and in order for me to do this I want to make an impact in the Jamaican market," he said.


Abbablade, whose real name is Elvis Wright, did the sound system rounds before immigrating to the United States.


"I have always loved music since I was a child and I would deejay to the songs that I would hear playing in my community or on the radio," he recalled. "My father owned a sound system called Excaliba which was around in the 1990s and I grew up around artistes like Sugar Minott who was a


major musical influence for me."


Since moving to the US, he says he has kept busy recording for independent labels including Roots Records and Basement Deep Records.


Tahz signs with Le-G-Nae Records


For years, deejay Tahz was known for his hardcore lyrics before switching gear for a more melodic sound. The Montego Bay-born artiste recently signed with French label Le-G-Nae Records for whom he has done two new songs, One Pants and Choose Yuh Friends Carefully.


The latter features dancer-turned artiste Chi Ching Ching.


Tahz initially built a name for himself in Montego Bay area performing at a number of school events and functions. This caught the attention of promoters in the tourist city.


His biggest success to date have been the songs, Candle in the Wind and Rest in Peace.


Having paid his dues in Jamaica, Tahz is aiming for new heights under the guidance of Le-G-Nae Records.


Chart Updates


Strength to Survive by SOJA is the number one album on Billboard's Reggae Album Chart this week. It moved from its number 12 debut last week.


Did You Know?


Did you know that the song You Give Good Love, made popular by Whitney Houston, was originally intended for another recording artiste?


The song was written by Lala and produced by Rhythm and Blues singer/musician/producer Kashif. The track was originally offered to Roberta Flack but Kashif felt it would be better suited for Houston.


The release of You Give Good Love was designed to give Houston a standing in the black music market in the US and was released in 1985 as the first single from her debut self-titled album.


It shot to the number one spot on the R&B singles chart and peaked at number three on the Hot 100.



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