McAnuff finds Big Brother in France

Observer senior writer

Sunday, May 13, 2018

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Big Brother, the second album by roots-reggae singer Winston McAnuff and French musician Fixi, was released on May 3 by Chapter Two Records. The title song, a Latin dance number, is also out.

McAnuff and Fixi (real name Francois-Xavier Bossard) have known each other for nearly 15 years, but began collaborating in 2013 on the EP, Garden of Love. That year, their first album, A New Day, was also released.

Their songs blend McAnuff's static reggae sound with traditional French tones of Fixi's accordion. In an interview with the Jamaica Observer, McAnuff said they have developed a spontaneous recording relationship.

“When we started working together, there wasn't a specific market, because we are dealing with music of the world. Our music is classified as music of the world.”

A video for Big Brother was filmed in Jamaica, in Kingston and McAnuff's home parish of Manchester.

The 61-year-old McAnuff has established himself as a top reggae act in France. In the 1990s, his once- promising career languished until he was re-discovered by two young French music fans, Nicolas Maslowski and Roman Germa.

In 2002, they released Diary Of The Silent Years, a compilation album on their new Makasounds label. Featuring some of McAnuff's songs from the 1970s and 1980s, it earned a following in French reggae circles. McAnuff became the spearhead of Makasounds, which also distributed his other well-received albums, Paris Rocking and Nostradamus.

Their success throughout France paved the way for McAnuff to tour that country extensively and record with top French musicians such as Camile Bazbaz and M. Makasounds folded in 2011 but Maslowski and Germa regrouped one year later to form Chapter Two Records, which produced and distributed Garden of Love and ANew Day.

Winston McAnuff and Fixi are scheduled to kick off a 21-show tour of France on September 18 at Tribu Festival in the city of Dijon.

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