About the Work: The photos here are selected from a series of portraits taken at Kingston recording studio Channel One in 1984. Young artists gathered around the studio all day, waiting for auditions or for their time to step inside and voice a piece over of one of the popular rhythm tracks.
Chineyman, brother of drummer Barnabas, was an aspiring record producer. He lived around the corner from Channel One, an infamously dangerous neighborhood during the troubled 1970s and hoped for a break. He eventually was able to leave Jamaica and make a new life in the US.
As young hopeful from the ghetto, George began cutting his first records in the early 80s, but never really made a name for himself. Several years into his career, he felt he had been called by the Lord and he now performs and records gospel music as ‘Brotha George’.
Born in the ghetto of Trenchtown in Kingston, Jamaica, the tough and talented Eek-a-mouse was just at the height of his career as a recording artist and singer-rapper with the sound systems of Kingston. His unique “Egyptian” style imitated the singing of parts of the Arab world. Although past his peak, he continued to record and tour until 2010 when he was arrested on kidnapping and drug charges. Released on bail, he disappeared and was found in Paraguay and deported to the US. Since then, he has been released and has set off again on tour. A retrospective of his work was just released by V.P. records in New York.
All Photographs Are © Ruth Lesser
Beth Lesser Photographer Bio
During the 1980s, Beth Lesser edited and published Reggae Quarterly, the first international reggae publication to focus on dancehall style music. Beth and her husband, David, spent the decade thoroughly immersed in Jamaican music, David hosting the top reggae radio show in Toronto and the couple traveling frequently to Kingston and New York to interview artists. Since that time Ms Lesser has written four books on the topic of dancehall reggae. In addition, Ms Lesser’s photographs of the Kingston music scene have appeared in books, magazines, newspapers and documentary films around the world as well as on over one hundred CD/ albums covers.
Blog / Website: Beth Lesser – Reggae Photographer & Writer
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