JC Lodge – Multi-Media Artiste
By Kukuwa Abba
Just over ten years ago, June Carol Lodge (JC to her fans) burst onto the local and international music scene. For someone who had never even considered singing as a career, her entry into the music business seemed like something out of a fairy tale.
After a chance meeting with “Allah” of Chalice fame, she got an audition with top producer Joe Gibbs who liked her voice. JC recorded a cover version of Charley Pride’s “Someone Loves You Honey” and the record went straight to the top of the Jamaican charts.
The success story didn’t end there. “Honey” took off in a big way in Europe, racing into the top ten charts in Germany and Belgium and going to Number One in Holland. The LP of the same name also went to Number One. JC was able to tour extensively in the wake of her chart success, both in Europe and North America.
It seemed impossible to follow up such a flying start and for a while it was difficult for JC Lodge to match the success of her debut single. She did, however, continue to have chart success locally with songs like “More Than Words Can Say.”
Over the years, she has learnt that the music business is a roller coaster. The breaks are even more crucial for female artistes, especially in Reggae music where they have found it difficult to succeed and endure.
If you look at the successful female artistes in Jamaican music, they have all had a man to stand up for them in the business. Fortunately, JC has had husband/manager Errol O’Meally from the very beginning, and this has made the rocky road that much easier for her.
What a lot of fans may not know about JC Lodge is that she is also a talented artist. She views her art as decorative, and has had commercial success selling her paintings. Some of her work, in fact, will soon be part of an exhibition in Kingston.
This talented lady has also appeared on stage as an actress. She says that she has serious plans to go on to movie roles.
Music, however, continues to be the main priority. JC has her sights set on international stardom at the highest level. Something in the order of Bob Marley’s achievements.
In 1988, JC recorded “Telephone Love” for veteran producer Gussie Clark. It became a big hit in Jamaica and on the ethnic charts in Canada, Britain, and the U.S. When Pow Wow Records released the record in the U.S., it got extensive crossover airplay and was a club hit in the U.S.
This success brought JC to the attention of Tommy Boy Records, a subsidiary of Warner Bros. International. She was signed by them last year and has since been working on her debut album for this company.
The first single from the LP is set for summer release. The direction of the music will reflect JC’s intention to reach out to a wide audience internationally. She is the only female Reggae artist with a major label contract and the pressures to succeed are tremendous. At this level, both musical material and the artist’s image are very important. JC has always portrayed a sexy image and Tommy Toy Records obviously sees commercial potential in this.