My brother's keeper

Observer senior writer

Monday, December 03, 2018

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On Saturday, December 8, Buju Banton is set to be released from federal prison in Georgia. He has been incarcerated in the United States since 2010 for a drug-related crime. Leading up to his release, the Jamaica Observer presents a daily feature on what has transpired in that time for members of his family, friends and colleagues.

TWO of Buju Banton's sons have followed his path into music as producer and artiste. Markus Myrie, his eldest son, is head of Markus Records while singjay Jahazeil has recorded a number of songs for his brother and other producers.

Myrie, 23, kicked off his production career as a 17-year-old. In 2012, he got his first major hit with Bad Mind Dem A Pree by I Octane and Bounty Killer, which opened the door for other top acts like Elephant Man to record for his fledgling label.

Other songs of note from Markus Records are Mama Love by Byrka which did well in Japan reggae circles two years ago, and Ninja Kid's Before God Come.

Myrie has also produced songs by Ding Dong ( Protect Your Life), Deja ( Black Egypt), and Jahazeil ( Who Am I).

In a 2012 interview with the Jamaica Observer, he spoke about Markus Records and the importance of his father's music to him.

“Markus Records is bringing its own style, its own sound and just quality music to the game. I'm just doing me and encouraging others to give a listening ear to my productions,” Myrie said, adding that Buju never wanted him to be an artiste.

“He didn't want me to pursue music as a career unless it was the business part of it.”

The Markus Records catalogue includes the song Lose Your Love by The Gargamel himself. It is a special song for Markus Myrie.

Lose Your Love was recorded when I went to visit him while he was out on bail. It's a very beautiful song,” he said.

While most of his songs to date are produced by Markus, Jahazeil's best known song is Hold On, produced by deejay Delly Ranx. It did well for the 21-year-old this year.

He considers his father and brother as his biggest musical influences. In an interview with the Observer in June, Jahazeil commented on his personal relation with Buju and his impact on him as an artiste.

“There's a lot to remember about him, but most of all, his dedication to the music and to his family. I haven't spoken to him in a while, and I am looking forward to seeing him,” he said.

He added that, “I hope to collaborate with him. He has been a big inspiration for me and he told me that my songs are good and that I am to just keep on pushing.”

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