Horace AndyHorace Andy's career is one of the few reggae success stories. Hisinstantly recognizable voice now floats mysteriously through strains ofMassive Attack, bringing one of reggae's key vocalists to a much wideraudience.
Born Horace Hinds in 1951, in Kingston Jamaica, "Sleepy" got his startin recording at Coxsone Dodd's Studio One label in 1970. His initialefforts did not really hit, and getting Horace off the ground was a bitof problem. Coxsone Dodd recalls, "When he came to Studio One he wasvery laid back so you really had to groom him. It was a problem to gethim started, you know, with the musicians, 'cause they kept putting himoff. So I had to tell them to rehearse him because from the first, Iknew something was there..."
Dodd remembers Horace not being a great songwriter at the start, and so"foreign" (American) tunes were turned to. Coxsone "used to always pickthe foreign music" and what was picked in 1970 was Parliament. Their"Omium" album was released in that year, and the George Clinton-penned"Oh Lord, Why Lord" was chosen as a vehicle for Horace, which proved tobe a killer for Horace, brilliantly arranged and sung in true HoraceAndy stylee. By 1972, hits were coming fast and furious for Horace, andhe "bust out" with the highly memorable "Skylarking," whose topic(begging amongst unemployed youth) struck a cord with the JA recordbuying public. By the time Horace gets to songs like "See a Man's Face,"he, the musicians, and the studio were well on fire.
Horace grew and developed at Studio One, and soon his distinctive,unusual, warbling falsetto was delivering hit after hit - "See a Man'sFace," "Slacky Tidy," and his continuing successes with covers oftenoutdid the originals, as was the case with Cat Stevens' "Where Do TheChildren Play" and Paul Simon's "Mother and Child Reunion."
After graduating from Studio One with flying colors, Horace "enrolled"with producer Bunny Lee and hit again in 1973 with the very crucial "YouAre An Angel." From that moment on straight through till the end of thedecade Horace could do no wrong - he produced excellent material for notonly Bunny Lee, but Niney, Leonard Chin, Keith Hudson, and others
. In 1977 Horace took up residence in New York and producer Everton daSilva and Augustus Pablo collaborated to produce one of Horace'sbest albums ever, "In the Light," and its dub album, "In the Light Dub."Both of these LPs have been recently re-issued by Blood and Firerecords.
Horace recorded for Lloyd "Bullwackie" Barnes and his Bronx-basedBulwackie's outlet, releasing further great product.
Horace has resided in the UK for the last 10 years, and has teamed upwith the Mad Professor for more studio work. Horace's coup-to-date hasbeen his link-up with UK avant-soulsters Massive Attack. Massive Attackformed their own record label, Melankolic, in 1997. Its initial releases("Spying Glass") feature longtime pal Horace, who has also been taken onthe road as part of their touring line-up, where Horace has grafted theJamaican-composed "Man Next Door" to the Massive Attack sound. Speakingon his successful relationship with them, he commented that for years hehad been wanting to do music in that vein, but "there was no one inJamaica to do it."
We welcome Horace Andy to the 6th Annual Sierra Nevada World MusicFestival.
For Horace and Saturday performer Alton Ellis in conversation check outan excerpt from Lol Bel-Brown's Boomshakalacka magazine atHorace Andy and Alton Ellis.