Still Smiling
Singing Sweet reflects on his finest moment
Singing Sweet

The Jamaica Observer’s Entertainment Desk continues with the 23rd in its Child Month series highlighting some of Jamaica’s young performers who shot stardom.

Singing Sweet was 11 years old when American-British band Bad English topped the Billboard Hot 100 Chart in 1989 with the Diane Warren-penned ballad When I See You Smile.

The original got substantial airplay locally and made it onto the RJR and Gleaner charts. Singing Sweet’s version, produced by Colin “Colin Fat” Walters in 1992, catapulted him to fame.

“I was 14 when I recorded When I See You Smile. At the time I was attending New Day All-Age School. I decided to record a version of the song because I felt it would’ve been successful,” Singing Sweet disclosed in an interview with the Jamaica Observer.

He said the song’s success changed his life.

Singing Sweet at 14 years old

“It affected my life both good and bad, because it gave me a lot of opportunities to travel the world and to meet a lot of people. But it also never gave me the chance to do the things as a typical teenager,” he recalled.

Singing Sweet’s When I See You Smile shot to number one spot on the JBC Radio Top 30 chart in the summer of 1992 and made the Top 10 of the RJR Top 40.

“When the song became popular, everyone was delighted and happy for me to have gotten that opportunity at such a young age. I was actually doing music in school, so music was always what I wanted to do from an early age,” he said.

Singing Sweet followed up with another hit, a cover of American singer Ritchie Valens’ Donna, released in 1958. His version was also produced by Colin Fat.

But as he grew older, his voice began to change.

“Well, I actually went to a voice coach in Boston and the sessions eventually helped me deal with where my range is now and how to sing while going through the changes,” he shared.

Born Paul McFarlane, Singing Sweet is originally from Grants Pen in St Andrew. He has to date released two albums, 1993’s Donna (produced by Colin Fat Records and released by VP Records) and 2017’s World of Strangers, released by Treasure Chest Productions.

Singing Sweet recently released the singles, Hold Me (produced by Vic Law) and Call on Me, produced by Lando Genius.

Kevin Jackson

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