Tag Archives: 90s reggae

Garnet Silk Biography 2000

Garnet Silk Bio

By M Peggy Quattro    (written in 2000 for the release of Definitive Collection)

Garnet Silk, the young singer/songwriter who died in a horrific fire at the age of 28, was one of the brightest stars to ever shine in the Reggae galaxy. During his short, illustrious career, Garnet Silk was hailed by many as “the next Bob Marley.”

After five years of lewd and rude Dancehall lyrics, Garnet ignited the stagnant music arena with Roots Rasta music. He is credited as the artist most responsible for the conscious and spiritual resurgence of early 90’s Reggae. His profound lyrics and distinctive vocal styling—a throwback to the poignant messages of the Marley era—captured an international audience.

From 1992 to 1994, Garnet Silk released a multitude of songs that soared up Reggae charts and touched the lives of those who heard them. The long-awaited Big Beat/Atlantic Garnet Silk: The Definitive Collection is a celebration of the memory—and a tribute to the music—of this legendary artist.

Recorded at Tuff Gong and Couch Studios in Kingston and mixed at Kariang Studio in Ocho Rios, this two-CD set features 20 songs recorded and/or re-recorded over a three year span. Garnet’s silky voice is enhanced by the assemblage of Jamaica’s finest musicians—Sly & Robbie, Tyrone Downie, Earl “Wya” Lindo, Mikey Boo Richards, Earl “Chinna” Smith, Mikey Chung, Dean Fraser, and Sticky Thompson, to name a few. Garnet insisted that real instruments were to be used and all the musicians were to be in the studio at the same time. “Like the Wailers,” said Tony Chin Loy, co-founder of Kariang Productions and co-manager, “the old fashioned way—the Bob Marley way.” Chin Loy revealed that when Sly Dunbar came to do the project he had not played a real drum kit in five years!

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Garnet Silk – On Record – A Discography 1995

Garnet Silk on Record

by Lee O’Neill           V13#2 1995

The passing of Garnet Silk is greatly mourned throughout the Reggae community. It is becoming a far too common occurrence for talented artists to needlessly lose their lives. In Silk’s case, the tragedy is compounded by his youthfulness, his vitality and the sense that he hadn’t yet come close to fulfilling his considerable potential.

It’s Growing was Silk’s first album released on VP Records in 1992, although he had been releasing records for at least a couple of years in Jamaica. It’s inconsistent, at best, with a handful of great songs, such as the title track, “Place in Your Heart,” “Commitment” and “I Am Vex.” Some of the other songs, however, sound forced or incomplete, and while Silk has one of the best voices, he hadn’t completely learned to control it or discipline it on It’s Growing. The session was produced by Bobby Digital. Continue reading

Garnet Silk at home in Kingston

Garnet Silk – An Interview at his Kingston Home 1994 

This interview was held on January 13, 1994, at Garnet’s Kingston home. The visit was as warm and memorable as the 27-year-old singer himself. Tragically, by year’s end, Garnet perished in a fire alongside his mother at his childhood home. I cherish my time spent with this humble, delightful, kind human being who possessed childlike joy and a smile that touched everyone he met. Rest in power, dear soul…your music, message and memory live on.   ~M. Peggy Quattro

Garnet Silk – A Son of Ethiopia

By M. Peggy Quattro      V12#2 1994
Words in double brackets [[ ]] signify updated 2020 material ~MPQ

Garnet Silk at Home, Kingston 1994The highly anticipated return of Garnet Silk to the performing stage was purposefully planned to coincide with the birthday celebration of his good friend, DJ Tony Rebel. On January 15, 1994, Rebel Salute was staged in the cool and lovely city of Mandeville, situated in their home parish of Manchester, Jamaica.

In July 1993, following his doctor’s orders, the popular singer/songwriter took a needed hiatus from his rigorous performing and recording schedule. The reason given: exhaustion. [more later in this interview]

Garnet Silk exploded on the Jamaican music scene in 1991 and soon became the most in-demand performer on the island. A steady stream of shows and performances, tours and recordings throughout ‘92 and most of ‘93 took its toll on the performer. To begin the new year, and a new era in his dazzling career, Garnet Silk appears rested and ready to resume his appointed rule as musical message giver.

Garnet Silk
Garnet with photo of HIM Haile Selassie, his inspiration for life

Every song released by Silk in the last two years has attracted rave reviews and considerable airplay in Jamaica and abroad. His unique vocal styling and charismatic presentations have him marked by music industry personnel and fans alike as the “next Bob Marley.”

I recently had the pleasure of visiting and interviewing the serious yet mild-mannered Silk during rehearsals and preparation for his triumphant comeback performance at Rebel Salute. This interview is part of the comeback. Continue reading

Garnet Silk Legacy Discussed with Rebel, Garrick & Semaj

Garnet Silk Returns to Zion

by Howard Campbell      V13#2 1995

Garnet at home, 1/13/94

Before we proceed, let’s get one thing straight, Garnet Silk was no Bob Marley. He didn’t profess to be Bob Marley, nor did he want to be. Despite the obvious similarities in religion and profession, the two possessed entirely different personalities.

The inevitable comparisons that have been made since Garnet burst onto the scene three years ago have been further fueled since his death a few months ago. Such a flattering likeness is evidence of the social impact the 28-year-old singer made in such a short period. In fact, he created a spark more famous names, like Ziggy Marley, failed to ignite among the masses.

That was probably the most glaring similarity between Bob Marley and Garnet Silk, the fact that they were both hero-worshipped by Jamaica’s lower class and, through their music, transformed the status quo of a country obsessed with social standing. Continue reading

Judy Mowatt – Singer on Sisterhood V14#5 1996

Judy Mowatt – Leading the Charge of Sisterhood   1996

By Howard Campbell.       V14#5 

judy mowattA visitor to Judy Mowatt’s home is in for a fairly long walk before he or she reaches the spacious front porch which houses a piano. Mowatt’s not pounding the keys today; she’s enjoying some peace and quiet at the back of the home near the hills of St. Andrew, Jamaica, not too far away from where she was born in the small village of Gordon Town.

An admitted lover of the soil, Mowatt’s cozy back room hideaway is surrounded by a small farm of sugarcane and bananas. Gospel music wafts through the air as she appears, barefoot and bareheaded, her locks complimenting her African-style blouse. A photo of Emperor Haile Selassie greets you upon entering, with another postcard-sized photo of the Wailers, circa the Uprising album, occupying one of the shelves of a nearby cabinet.

judy mowatt calendar 1994
Judy Mowatt graced August in our 1994 Calendar

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Puma Jones on Black Uhuru   V4#5 1986

Puma Jones  “It’s Only the Beginning…” 

Interview & Story M. Peggy Quattro
Puma Jones of Black Uhuru
UNITED KINGDOM – JUNE 18: GLASTONBURY FESTIVAL Photo of BLACK UHURU, Puma Jones of Black Uhuru at Glastonbury Festival 18 June 6 1982 (Photo by David Corio/Redferns)

Puma Jones is the American-born female vocalist in the 1984 Grammy Award-winning trio Black Uhuru. One of the first women to break into Reggae’s “Big Time,” Puma proudly acknowledges her position as a forerunner in the recent surge of female recording artists filling international charts today.

Born in Columbia, South Carolina, on October 5, 1953, Puma migrated to New York in the ‘60s, where she grew up listening to Aretha Franklin and Dionne Warwick. Continue reading

INNER CIRCLE GRAMMY NOD V13#2 1995

2019 UPDATE: Congratulations to brothers Ian and Roger Lewis, co-founders of the Grammy-winning band Inner Circle, on receiving Jamaica’s Order of Distinction (the government’s sixth-highest civic honor) at a King’s House ceremony on October 21, 2019, in Kingston. Honored for Inner Circle’s more than 50-year musical contributions, their iconic lead singer Jacob Miller was also recognized and awarded, and his son Taki Miller accepted posthumously on his behalf.

Here is a Reggae Report interview and story by writer and editor Sara Gurgen after catching up with bandleader Roger Lewis following Inner Circle’s 1994 Grammy nomination for Best Reggae Album (they won that Grammy in 1993!)

INNER CIRCLE – Miami’s “Bad Boys” Nominated for ’94 Grammy

by Sara Gurgen

They won the Grammy for best 1993 Reggae album, and now Inner Circle–Miami’s world-famous, hard-working “Bad Boys” of Reggae–have been nominated for the 1994 Grammy with their latest Big Beat/Atlantic release, Reggae Dancer.

“It’s doing excellent, man, everywhere in the world; and when I mean excellent, I mean excellent,” said band leader and rhythm guitarist, Roger Lewis, in a recent Miami interview during a brief respite from Inner Circle’s hectic touring schedule.

“It is one of the biggest selling foreign albums in Japan. Over 300,000 albums [have sold] in Japan [as of Dec. 21]. Hundreds of thousands in Mexico. In Brazil, in Europe–very well. In America, it’s not doing too bad. I think we made it up to about 200,000 copies.”

One of the songs on the album that has been released worldwide and doing very well is “Games People Play.” “It was not really a success in America, but ‘Games People Play’ was literally a hit single everywhere else in the world,” explained Roger. “It was a top 10 song in about 10 countries in Europe. It didn’t really go No. 1 and do what “Sweat” did, but it was top 10 in Holland, in Germany, in Scandinavia, in Brazil; and it was No. 1 in Japan.” Continue reading