Anthony B is King


Anthony B is King

Observer senior writer

Tuesday, June 02, 2020

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MAKING albums was a music business requisite when Anthony B kicked off his recording career in the mid-1990s. Though most artistes prefer releasing singles in the digital age, the fiery deejay still has faith in producing a collection of songs.

King in my Castle, released on May 1, is Anthony B's 20th album. It comes 25 years after his sensational rise with Fire Pon Rome, a defiant song that took jabs at Jamaica's corporate and political leaders.

With 19 songs, King in my Castle is a tour de force by modern music industry standards. According to 44-year-old Anthony B, it reminds him of the old days.

“It feel like di first album mi do wid Bobo. Dat was straight rub-a-dub; dis have some dancehall but it have some nice rub-a-dub chune,” he told the Jamaica Observer recently from France.

“Bobo” is Richard Bell, the imaginative producer whose Startrail Records produced Hurt The Heart, Anthony B's first song, and Fire Pon Rome. Bell also guided him on Real Revolutionary, his first album.

Anthony B and Bell parted ways over 20 years ago. Though he has not had massive hits like Fire Pon Rome or Raid The Barn (another Bell production), the wiry artiste is one of reggae's best touring acts, with Europe and Latin America his strongest markets.

He says things have changed the way Jamaicans have looked at music over the past 25 years.

“When mi put out a album no Jamaican buy it...Jamaica mek it seem like new artiste an' veteran artiste in di same basket. Yuh ever hear a Anthony B song play inna Jamaica yet? Dem sey, 'a old artiste dat!',” he stated.

It's no surprise that the Trelawny-born Anthony B (real name Keith Anthony Blair) believes King in my Castle is his strongest work to date. It contains songs like Yuh Never Know, which he describes as a “dancehall Fire Pon Rome”; Talk Talk Talk (with Zamunda); and a self-produced cover of Foreigner's anthem, I Want to Know What Love Is.

At this stage of his career, hit songs are not a priority for him.

“I'm doing what Grammy artistes do. Mi tour every year; mi always load wid work. Mi nuh need hit song to tour or sell out shows, so dat is a blessing,” he said.

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