It has been 40 years since rock band Toto released Africa, a soft rock song that went number one on Billboard magazine's Hot 100 chart. If Jamaican singer Timmy Love's version gets a fraction of that success, he would be a happy man.
His reggae version was released in August. It is the follow-up to Forever Young, originally done by German pop group Alphaville.
"It was my idea to cover the song, I liked this song from I was growing up. The fact that it was done by Toto for Africans for their poverty and struggle moved me," Timmy Love told the Jamaica Observer.
The original is from Toto IV, the 1982 album that made Toto huge stars. It was an international hit and enjoyed strong airplay in Jamaica.
To do Toto's version justice, Timmy Love worked with keyboardist Dwayne Morris, who recorded the track. They were backed by guitarist O'Neil Stennett and Joann Williams, who provided backing vocals.
Sidney Mills and Paul "Computer Paul" Henton also worked on Owen's Africa.
Before migrating to the United States, Timmy Love (real name Timothy Lovelace) cut his teeth on the north coast tourist scene, where he developed an appreciation for different sounds. He lives in Connecticut where he leads the RefleXX Band with whom he has recorded five albums.
Last year, he cut a reggae version of Forever Young, which did well on reggae charts in South Florida and the tri-state area.
— Howard Campbell