Lloyd Brown

 

The UK successfully created the Lover's Rock form of Reggae music and one of the main singers in this genre is Lloyd Brown.

At the time of interview, Lloyd was 38 years old. He was born in Clapton, East London and raised in Tottenham, North London. In 1977 he took his first trip to Jamaica and recalled, "Coming from a country where black people in the media were hardly featured at all except in a novelty sense, going to Jamaica and seeing advertisements with black people and Reggae music being played all day, every day, it was quite a culture shock for me... The turning point was when I saw a programme called 'Where It's At', which is the Jamaican equivalent of 'Top of the Pops' and the number one record at that time was Dennis Brown and Big Youth 'Equal Rights' and I saw them perform it on TV and I thought 'yeah this is what I wanna do'... That was when I decided to be a singer".

However, before young Lloyd started out as a singer, he was a DJ on sound systems such as Unity, Jah Marcus and Exodus. All were UK-based sounds and his DJ name was Papa Brownie. On Jah Marcus sound, Lloyd played alongside Richie Davis and Danny Dread who's now known as Danny Red.

Lloyd became a professional singer in 1982 when he came back from Jamaica after his 2nd visit. Lloyd's family had emigrated to Jamaica in December 1981, but unfortunately his father took sick and died in Jamaica prompting Lloyd to return to England. On his return the sound he was with at the time, Eastland was playing at a talent show and Lloyd was acting as compère. Prior to introducing a band, Lloyd did a quick accapella and then called on Sweet Distortion. The band was famed for having a very young member who was 6 years old at the time. Unbeknown to Lloyd they were on the look out for a new singer and their manager approached Lloyd backstage asking him to audition for the group. This he did and at that point he became a professional singer.

It wasn't until 5 years later in 1987 that Lloyd went solo after spending most of his time with Sweet Distortion touring and doing stage shows. Lloyd's first solo singles were radio hits on Unity Sound's record label. The 1st was 'Music Medley' followed by 'Ring Up My Number', but the majority of readers will know his most famous track was 'Sharing The Night Together' and that was released in 1990.

Whilst Lloyd writes a lot of his own lyrics, he still likes to feature some covers on his albums. However, they are not the standard ones... "I try to do covers of songs that have influenced my life. Some songs I do people think they're mine because they may never have heard the song and also the way I deliver it".

Lloyd tried to show versatility in his music and had included R&B and Gospel on his albums, but he stated, "It's not my main form of music, but I'm influenced by those types of music".

There has always been a debate as to whether it's easier for singers to buss than DJs and Lloyd had his opinion on it, "It depends on where they're based. It's difficult for vocalists in the UK to buss because they have Jamaican counterparts to deal with. At the same time it's difficult for Jamaican vocalists to buss because of the economic infrastructure".

Regardless of this fact, Lloyd is still firmly on the map and has toured with a number of artists including Sanchez, Mikey Spice, Gregory Isaacs, Eek-A-Mouse, Aswad and Alton Ellis to name a few. He got his best response in Spain in 1992 when he was performing at a Bob Marley festival in front of 25,000 people. He fondly recalled, "All of them knew the words of 'Sharing The Night Together'".

Lloyd has worked with a number of producers including Musclehead from Saxon International, The Administrators and Bitty McLean, but is signed to Jet Star Records. In terms of artists he has worked with, the list is endless and includes Don Campbell, Peter Hunnigale, Tippa Irie, Noel McKoy, Don Ricardo, CJ Lewis, Tenor Fly, Carol Thompson, Jack Reuben, Omar and many more. He would like to work with Beres Hammond.

Daintycrew.com asked Lloyd what he disliked in the business, "he sound-alike element. You must have something in yourself you don't like in order to sound like someone else. To sound like somebody else to start your career is one thing. To sound like someone else through your whole career... I don't think that's good. I think music is moving forward in terms of the vocal thing coming back. It's not moving great because of the sound-alike element. It's not moving great because of artists continually putting over an aggressive element. They don't need to go on like that. It doesn't improve Reggae, it drags it back. Everything that's derogatory to people, that's the type of music that's being played the most... I don't play it to my kids".

Obviously with all these dislikes, Lloyd has ideas on what he would like to see change in the business, "I would like to see that everybody knows their place within the industry. DJs just do what they're supposed to do. Play derogatory tunes after the watershed. We should support our local music first. You don't see Jamaican artists bigging up English artists first, they support their own first. We embrace everything that comes in from around the world".

So far Lloyd has been on tour to Jamaica, America and Europe, but he says he would like to check out Japan and also New York as they have a "low bullshit threshold".

Of his success so far, Lloyd feels "blessed" and said, "I've been through a lot of hardships... music has never let me down". His message to his fans was, "Thanks for listening and understanding where I've been with my music, where I am and where I'm trying to go".

We definitely know where it's at and Lloyd Brown is slap bang in the middle. He is humble, talented and a true testament to the calibre of UK Lover's Rock.

To book Lloyd Brown, contact Mikey Koos of ARM Promotions on +44 (0)20 8961 6879 or +44 (0)7956 843 297.

Props to Dainty Crew For This One!
 

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