Sun | Oct 20, 2019

40 songs, 2 concerts for Echo Minott’s milestone

Published:Wednesday | October 9, 2019 | 12:24 AMSade Gardner/Gleaner Writer
Echo Minott
Echo Minott

Veteran toaster Echo Minott, will celebrate 40 years in the music industry in 2020 with two major concerts in France and Jamaica. A resident of France for almost a decade, the reggae singjay will be returning to Jamaica in November to fine-tune details for the jamboree.

“I’m having a concert in France because, of course, I live here and I have family and some kids in France,” he told The Gleaner. “I haven’t gotten a venue in France or Jamaica as yet but everything is lined up and I will be coming to Jamaica next month to sort out everything. It will be ‘Echo Minott and Friends’ in concert, and more information will be coming soon before the year ends,” he continued.

The milestone will also accompany 40 songs spread across four albums to be released throughout 2020.

“Because it’s gonna be my 40th anniversary, I thought to put out 40 songs and it will really be a compilation of songs people love and know, and some new music that nobody knows, like Hidden Treasures and My Lover,” he explained.

Minott started his career in 1980 under his given name, Noel Phillips, with the release of the album, Youthman Vibration, produced by King Jammy. He adopted the moniker Echo Minott three years later and scored his breakout hit with Man in Love, which gained favour with British music lovers. Not wanting to be confined to any style, Minott ventured into the dancehall arena and released fan favourites like Love Problems and Farmer Man, followed by the 1985 Black Scorpio classic, Lazy Body. His biggest musical moment, however, came in 1986, when he recorded and released the controversial track What the Hell, which tackles the issue of domestic abuse, and employs the ragamuffin sonic that has shaped dancehall music.

“1986 would definitely be the moment that stands out since I’ve been in the business, because I had one of the biggest songs in the world,” the 56-year-old said. “It was the number one song for the year (RJR charts) even though it wasn’t fit for airplay at the time. It also spent months at number one in other charts all over the world and still plays today like it was released yesterday.”

The entertainer established his own record label years ago, NAPEM Records (inspired by his name and moniker), and said he remains relevant by producing his own music, as well as working with other artistes.

“The label is now set up and based in France and I work with artistes all over, like Linval Thompson and Dillinger,” he said. “I’ve put out 50 songs from last year until now on the label, and also released my album, Raw Unplugged, which the fans really love.”

The 15-track project also accompanies visuals, now available on YouTube.

“It’s a digital album now, but it’s supposed to be released on vinyl, so we are working towards that,” he said. “I haven’t been really performing songs from it so I will be doing some songs from it at the concerts next year to share the good music.”

Until then, the singjay is pleased with his strides in the business and is excited about the future.

“Mi just waan know mi have life and keep on doing what I am doing, mi nah rush the business, mi just a tek mi time and do what I have to do cause many things are coming,” he said. “Right now, I want everybody to look out for my son, Johnny Minott, who is doing his thing and putting out good music.”