Junior Kelly recently released his latest album “Tough Life.” The VP Records project comes chockful of enjoyable songs. Among the tracks are ‘Rasta Should Be Deeper’, ‘Touch My Heart’, ‘Hold The Faith’ and Receive’ (which is sitting pretty on the local and overseas charts).
Rapping with Jahworks.org recently, Junior shared that he has just completed negotiations for a Japanese tour later this month. Coming up on the calendar will be shows in Canada and the Caribbean as he seeks to promote his ‘Tough Life’ album.
The Rastafarian who catapulted to the top with his lovers rock track ‘If Love So Nice’ doesn’t want to sit in a mould. “I try to be as flexible as possible. I don’t want to be typecast. I’m an expressionist,” he said, revealing that he gets his inspiration for his songs from all over, “Nature, birds, bees, the ambiance…you name it,” the singer quipped.
“Tough Life,” his sixth album, is all about his experience and those of others around him. Nothing gives Kelly greater joy than his fans getting the message that he sends in “Tough Life.” “The reggae we have grown to love and listen to as children is alive and still doing well,” he promised. Listening to the album, one hears the reminiscent vibes that give credence to his words.
Junior’s career pace accelerated in late 1995 with appearances at major Jamaican stage shows, including Reggae Sunsplash and Sting as well as shows in several northeastern American cities. While in America, he also recorded two songs, ‘Hungry Days’ and ‘Good Tidings’ for Willie Carson’s Front Page label. He returned to Jamaica to concentrate on his songwriting and met Michael Stanford of M Rush Records for whom he recorded several singles, including ‘Black Woman’ and If Love So Nice’.
Despite his seemingly sudden rise to success, Junior Kelly, also the writer of ‘If Love So Nice’ and who just completed a song on the Reflection rhythm, has been assiduously toiling in the music industry since 1985.
“Some say this is a lucky break. I say no, it’s a result of hard work,” explained the affable sing-jay who cut his first single ‘Over Her Body’ in 1985 for Neco Records. “Some say that culture in the music is a dying art form, but it’s not. You have artistes like myself who try to uplift the nation with words you can live by. There’s just less attention given to us by radio disc jockeys.”
Here is one artiste that is never at a loss for words when it comes to the social realities in Jamaica. He is passionate about the current trend of the music, as he said, “The state it’s in is deplorable. It’s like a dilapidated building that needs to be demolished. The river of filth that is flowing towards our youngsters in [the] disguise of good and solid music is nothing that is going to help them to be movers and shakers in the future. So in order for society to heal itself and get better, the whole industry needs to change and give back Jamaican people the richness they deserve in the music.”