Queen Omega looks for Joy in Jamaica


Queen Omega looks for Joy in Jamaica

By Howard Campbell
Observer senior writer

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

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When Queen Omega last visited Jamaica nine years ago, the Trinidadian roots singer recalls recording songs that were supposed to be for an album. That never materialised, so she considers her current visit a matter of taking care of unfinished business.

The bulk of recording sessions will be in Kingston with Thomas Broussard, a guitarist who has collaborated with Jamaican artistes such as Chronixx, and a number of reggae acts in his native France.

Broussard produced Joy, one of Queen Omega's recent songs. She told the Jamaica Observer that tracks from the upcoming sessions will be for her first album in seven years.

The sound is consistent with her previous work.

“I'm a roots artiste so the songs will definitely be conscious. I can't say right now who are some of the musicians we'll be working with but that's the beauty of music; it's magic,” she said.

Though there has been a gulf between her last album, Together We Aspire, Together We Achieve, Queen Omega says she has released a steady stream of singles and maintained a busy live schedule, mainly on the European festival circuit.

Much of the last five years, she added, has been spent with her family in Trinidad and getting her professional house in order.

“I've always been releasing music but truth is, I've never had strong management. I have that now and I'm expecting great things in 2020,” she said.

Queen Omega was born Jeneile Osborne in the San Fernando region of southern Trinidad. There, she soaked up the calypsos of masters like Lord Kitchener and the Mighty Sparrow, as well as the soca beats of Machel Montano.

She also admired American R&B stylists such as Diana Ross and Aretha Franklin, and names Marcia Griffiths and Steel Pulse among her biggest reggae influences.

Early in her career, Queen Omega was based in the United Kingdom, where three of her albums, including her 2001 self-titled début, were distributed by Jet Star Records. Servant of Jah Army, her 2008 album, was directed by Neal “Mad Professor” Fraser, one of that country's top reggae producers.

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