Reggae singer-songwriter Wayne Wonder has a voice that reaches the soul. He's a game changer with more to offer than melting ballads and catchy numbers. The Jamaican born and raised has established a spot for himself among music greats, and with several hits under his belt, Wayne's ready to take the next step while continuing to do it his 'way'.
Check out the music video to one of my favorites 'If I Ever', and continue below to learn more about this soulful artist:
Tell us a little about your life growing up in Jamaica.
I was born in Portland but grew up in eastern Kingston, Franklyn Town and Rea Town.
When did it become evident that music was your calling in life?
Growing up in Rea Town I was exposed to music every Sunday night. They had this spot call ‘old hits’ so even from inside my house at 2E Water Street I could hear it from there and I got curious.
Who are some of your biggest musical influences?
My Mother, the church, the Wailers, Beres Hammond, live sound systems…
At the start of your career fans were used to hearing you perform reggae covers of widely known international hits. But later on you stated that you wanted to record more original material. Can you explain your reasons behind stating that you wouldn’t do covers anymore and how performing other people’s songs affected you as an artist?
In the year 1993 I made a pledge not to cover. Reason being, I started to travel outside of Jamaica to the US where at times I would run into Artist that I had covered there songs, like R. Kelly. So, it was time for them to hear me; my melodies, my words, my style.
Was not being able to express your creativity freely what really lead you to start your own record label, Singso?
Singso was created to just make the creative juices flow, not just for me but at the time I also had young artists around me who needed a chance like Showki Ru and Demo Delgado and my alto ego Surpriz.
What do you want listeners to take from your music?
I would say piece of mind, happiness; can really relate to it in a positive way.
2002 took your career to the next level after the release of No Letting Go, one of your most successful songs to date. What was the concept behind that one particular track and did you ever in your wildest dreams thought it would explode the way it did?
No Letting Go to me is just one of my songs that got the right listen ear and the timing was right. I kept pushing on because when I parted ways with Dave Kelly a lot of people did not rate me so God just proved them wrong lol…
The album, No Holding Back, received a Grammy nomination along with several international awards. Did you feel any pressure whatsoever to top that with your next release?
No pressure whatsoever. I make music no rush no fuss. I’m the same Wayne Wonder before No Letting Go and after.
How would you say your last album, Foreva, differ in terms of musical direction from No Holding Back?
I wouldn’t say it differs, my style was always blending one drop hard core dance hall with nice melodies and a little R&B flavor. I call it sweet and sour.
When can fans expect your next album to drop and can you share a little with us about the concept?
The Album is called My Way coming out on Singso Music December 4th and as I said its concept is a blend of all the Wayne Wonder styles wrapped up in one package. It also features Shaggy, Mya and Surpriz.
You are indeed a veteran in the biz. So, since your breakthrough until now, how would you say you’ve evolved as an artist and as a person?
I am more experienced. I have seen the World and I don’t take my music and life for granted.
Thanks for stopping by. Please leave a message for your fans.
Love goes out to my fans because of you I am inspired to go on, thanks.
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