Starkey takes on J'can beats

Starkey takes on J'can beats

Observer senior writer

Monday, February 18, 2019

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Trojan Jamaica, a new record company co-owned by musician/producer Zak Starkey, was launched last week. It will focus on reggae projects by Jamaican artistes, with the first releases expected by May.

The label, which has a distribution deal with BMG, is co-owned by Australian musician Sharna “Sshh” Liguz. She and Starkey co-own a recording studio in Ocho Rios, where most of Trojan Jamaica's music will be recorded.

Fifty-three-year-old Starkey is a drummer/guitarist who has played with The Who and Oasis. He is the son of Beatles drummer Ringo Starr.

Starkey and Sshh performed at the Peter Tosh tribute concert in Kingston in 2016 and 2017.

Wayne Jobson, who helped put the Trojan Jamaica albums together, said the label's first album is titled Red, Green, Gold and Blues. It features musicians including Sly and Robbie, Toots and The Maytals and Freddie McGregor doing reggae interpretations of American blues songs.

The second venture is a tribute album and documentary about pioneer deejay U Roy, with songs by Ziggy Marley, Shaggy, Steel Pulse, and Tarrus Riley. Both projects will be showcased during the official launch of Trojan Jamaica in April.

In an interview with the Jamaica Observer in January 2018, Starkey said Red, Green, Gold and Blues is an exciting mix of his two favourite genres.

“I find both reggae music and American blues to be similar with a different approach. Very cleverly, Jamaican music is 'up' music with a serious message,” he explained. “US blues has a very similar message in the words but the music can be harder or more 'down', but both rock just as hard.”

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