Andy Livingston talks fatherhood, music
Though his own father was not always active in his life, singer Andy Livingston decided that he would be very much involved in the lives of his own children.
“I had an absentee father for the most part, but when he was with us it was good times. Generally, though, it was the ‘old lady’ alone. My father’s name is Albert, but people knew him as Mr T. He passed away a few years ago,” Livingston shared in an interview with the Jamaica Observer on Friday.
He recalled that the elder Livingston was fun to be around.
“He was generally fun to be around and a kind of social butterfly. A real ladies’ man who my sister called The Mayor. I really enjoyed my time ‘sparring’ with him even when he got old. He was a bright man who valued honesty and hard work,” Livingston recalled.
When the artiste decided to become a father, he took the good lessons from his dad’s example and added his own to make the experience better.
“I was at the hospital watching them being born and I’ve been there every minute since. I made sure that I was present at their games during their primary and high school years when they represented their schools. They were not really the best on their teams, but you would not know that, because of the support that I gave them,” he said with a smile.
Livingston admits, however, that the road has not been without sacrifice.
“When opportunities came for me to perform overseas, several times I would pass up those opportunities. Even when I travelled, I would try to get back home as quickly as I could after every engagement just to be with my children,” he said.
Said Livingston: “Children need both parents and, no matter how they try, mothers cannot be fathers. I also share a very strong bond with my children.”
Today, Livingston is the proud father of 30-year-old Andre and 24-year-old Ashley.
Andre owns a computer graphics business, while Ashley is a cartographer who also does real estate sales.
Livingston grew up in the Rollington Town area of east Kingston with four siblings at home. His father had other children outside of the home.
For his now family, he told the Observer his wife, Joan, the mother of his two children, has also played a significant role in the raising of the children for which he remains grateful.
He began his music career almost 30 years ago after recording artiste U U Madoo took him to veteran singer Sugar Minott’s YouthMan Promotions label.
His work experience then included a tenure at the then Cable & Wireless Jamaica (now known as Flow) and he sang lead on the company’s band.
In 1995 he gave up the corporate world to focus on his music career full time.
As a producer, he formed his Fan Club Music label and produced songs for a number of acts, including Capleton, Frankie Paul, Tanya Stephens, Junior Kelly, Jack Radics, Natural Black, Lady G, among others.
Among Andy’s better-known hits are Pumping (with Lady G), Too Late (a cover of the One Republic hit single), and My Promise which was featured on VP Records’s Strictly the Best Vol 42 compilation series.
Livingston made his literary debut last year with the release of the book titled Through Black Eyes, an anthology of poems that deal with a wide range of social issues affecting modern Jamaica.
He last released a body of music a few months ago – the EP, titled Rebirth, has seven tracks.