Lenky's Christmas gift

Observer senior writer

Monday, December 10, 2018

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Producer Steven “Lenky” Marsden has worked with some of the most hardcore artistes in dancehall/reggae, but is not afraid to tell you that when it comes to Christmas he is a mushy traditionalist. The veteran keyboardist gets in the Yuletide mood on the EP, Lenky Marsden Wishes You A Merry Christmas.

The six-song piece was released on November 23 by his Diwali Records and VPAL Music. It is Marsden's first Christmas project and features singers Richie Stephens, Lymie Murray and Hezron.

“I am a big fan of Christmas. Christmas is a time for family and friends to get together and the weather cools off,” Marsden told Splash. “It takes me back to those times when I was younger...Christmas dinners, neighbours and friends stopping by.”

Most of the songs on 'Wishes You A Merry Christmas' are seasonal classics. Stephens covers Luther Vandross' This Is Christmas while Hezron also puts a spin on Every Year, Every Christmas, another Vandross staple.

Murray covers Someday At Christmas, a song first recorded by a teenaged Stevie Wonder in 1966. It has been a radio favourite in Jamaica for decades.

Marsden does an instrumental version of The Nutcracker, and shares the honours with Jay, an upcoming singer, on Donny Hathaway's This Christmas.

He closes with Snow Flurry, another instrumental.

A longtime member of Sly and Robbie's Taxi Gang, Marsden started Diwali Records over 10 years ago. It is named for the massive Diwali rhythm that drove songs like Sean Paul's Gimmie The Light and No Letting Go by Wayne Wonder to the Billboard charts in 2002.

Doing a Christmas album, Marsden said, is good for his company.

“Every record label should do at least one Christmas album. It is something that can be revisited each holiday season and lasts for years. These songs are definitely some of my personal favourites, I can remember playing them on the (north coast) hotel circuit as a young musician,” he said.

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