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WHATEVER HAPPENED TO NARDO RANKS?

Nardo Ranks

By Cecelia Campbell-Livingston—-

The late 1980s and early 1990s were good times for deejay Nardo Ranks who made local charts with songs such as Dem A Bleach, Burrup and Rykers Island (with Cocoa Tea).

He migrated to the United States 16 years ago but is still in the entertainment business as a deejay and actor.

“I took a hiatus for a few years from the music business, and was spending some time with my family, then I dabbled in the acting business a bit, as host for Reggae Plus TV and The Jump Off (a low-budget movie) by Derek Simmons (actor/director), among other things,” Nardo Ranks, now in his 40s, told the Jamaica Observer.

Continuing to build his acting resume, Ranks plays the lead character Billy Fungus in Artifice, an upcoming low-budget movie. He is also featured in an upcoming sitcom, I And High, to be aired on Caribbean International Network Television.

As much as he likes acting, Nardo Ranks says music is still his first love. He recently returned to the recording studio for a reggaeton remix of the hit song Purrrm! with Puerto Rican singer Cosculluela.

“I just recorded eight songs in Atlanta at House of Hitz Recording Studio, three of which are on the all-star compilation CD entitled Blaza/Bricktown House of Hitz,” he said.

Born Gary Henderson in the east Kingston community of McIntyre Villa (popularly known as Dunkirk), Nardo Ranks says he got interested in music at age 10.

He honed his deejay skills on the Caveman sound system in the mid-1980s and got his break in 1989 with Wha Happen Sound Boy which featured singer Wayne Wonder, who also grew up in Dunkirk.

His most popular song in Jamaica was the 1993 hit, Dem A Bleach, produced by Sly and Robbie.

The song took on the growing practice of skin lightening and quickly became a dancehall and radio favourite.

Burrup was produced by Cedrica ‘Soljie’ Hamilton for American independent company Profile Records. It did well in Japan, parts of Europe, and New York, where it went No.1 for 2 weeks!

Rykers Island, his ‘combination’ with singer Cocoa Tea was also well-received.

Nardo Ranks says he has new album and mix tape in the works. His last album was Cool and Humble for Startrail/Heartbeat Records in 1995.

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