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PON DI ENDS – BACK UP TO THE HILLS WITH NADINE SUTHERLAND!

BY CECELIA CAMPBELL-LIVINGSTON—-

Nadine and her proud father Lenford—-

LOCATED in the cool hills of Above Rocks, St Andrew, the district of Long Coconut Tree’s most famous citizen is singer Nadine Sutherland, who first made reggae charts in the early 1980s.

As her father Lenford Patrick welcomed the Jamaica Observer team and her manager Ryan Bailey into his home, he spoke with pride about the daughter who fulfilled a dream he never realised.

“I felt good when she took it up (singing) at such a young age (11). I encouraged it as I was quite satisfied,” he said.

Patrick had dreams of making it as a singer. In the 1960s, he was a member of The Royal Flames, a vocal group that hung out at producer Leslie Kong’s Beverly’s Records with singer/musician Theophilus ‘Snappin’ Beckford.

He has not given up on releasing a song he recorded.

But for now, he is content just supporting his daughter. Leading the team to the foot of the hill, he and Sutherland broke into an impromptu duet.

Next stop was a shop and bar where the preteen Sutherland hung out and enjoyed treats from community elders. Harry Smith, popularly known as Iya P, reminisced on the little girl who grew up before his eyes.

“She was a quiet child, she wasn’t fussy, but the one thing we couldn’t miss from back then is how she loved to sing,” he said. “I am not surprised that she turned out to be a singer, ’cause you could tell from back then.”

Above Rocks and neighbouring districts have been home to some of Jamaica’s top artists including the Bonner brothers (Pliers, Spanner Banner and Richie Spice) who are from Rock Hall. Though not born there, Joseph Hill of Culture and Mr Vegas lived in Zion Hill.

NadineSutherland:AboveRocks

Nadine Sutherland first came to attention almost 35 years ago with Starvation on The Land and A Young One Like Me. In the 1990s, she had several hits including Babyface and Action which was done with Terror Fabulous.

She has not been active musically for some time. She is completing a Master’s degree in Cultural Studies at the University of the West Indies (Mona).

“I’m hungry for the music right now, but because of my studies I couldn’t go fullblast, but I did enough to pay for my studies and keep the roof above my head,” she joked. Now in her mid-40s, her last release was Karma, produced by Rory Gilligan of Stone Love.

“Rory and I are working on an upcoming album which, hopefully, will be completed by the end of the year,” she said. Sutherland enjoyed working on the project, a mix of roots and lovers’ rock. According to her, “I get to show all sides of me.”

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