Prezident changes course

Prezident changes course

Observer senior writer

Monday, September 28, 2020

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Fans who have followed Prezident Brown's career associate him with Rastafari and roots-reggae, but for his next project the veteran singjay changes course.

He told the Jamaica Observer last week that his first album in three years will have a strong hip hop flavour. The set is currently in production in Northern California where Prezident Brown lives.

“Mi love hip hop! Mi been doing hip hop songs on mi albums long time but dis is di first time mi going to do five or six (hip hop) song on a album,” he said.

Prezident Brown, 55, describes the sound as “voice and beats”. He is working with beat-makers from California and Rivah Jordan (son of singer Jack Radics) on the album which he hopes to release next year.

His previous album, the aptly titled Journeyman Pilgrimage, came out three years ago.

Though he is known for hard-hitting songs like Faith and Micro Chip, Prezident Brown has also experimented with hip hop. Generation Next, his 2003 album, contains the songs Oh La La (Pump it Up) and Priority Jam (with Gentleman), which were a departure from his roots sound.

He points to hip hop heavyweights Tupac Shakur, The Notorious BIG and The Fugees as some of his favourite acts.

While there has been a break between albums, Prezident Brown (real name Fitz Cotterell) continues to record songs for various producers such as Cliff Manswell, a Trinidadian musician who has played in his band for many years.

His latest single, Son of A Gun, is part of The Message, an EP produced by Manswell scheduled for release next week.

Born in Clarendon but raised in Oracabessa, St Mary, Brown was a protégé of producer/sound system operator Lawrence “Jack Ruby” Lindo. He started out in the music business during the mid-1980s performing on Ruby's 'sound' in Ochi Rios and began recording late that decade.

Most of his albums are done for independent record companies in Europe and the United States.

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