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ELEVEN years after moving to Jamaica, Bermudan roots singer Magma steps into the spotlight at the Countryside Club in Kingston next Thursday.

It is where the lanky Rastafarian launches The Mission, his debut album.

Magma has recorded for noted producers since settling in reggae land. Among them, Downsound Records’ Josef Bogdanovich, Paul Lowe-Chin and veteran session guitarist Earl ‘Chinna’ Smith.

Smith, Magma and Donovan Joseph co-produced most of The Mission’s 13 songs, including Love Life, Walking Down Memory Lane and Money Has No Heart.

Though he has had a big hit in Jamaica, Magma believes he has grown as an artiste, working with seasoned musicians like Smith and Roots Radics Band drummer Lincoln ‘Style’ Scott.

“Just being ’round the elders I get better at writing songs. I have more ‘overstanding’ of the [recording] studio and acoustic music,” he told Splash.

“To me, this album is mission fulfilled.”

Most of the songs on The Mission were done live, with Smith, saxophonist Tony Greene and bassist Errol ‘Flabba’ Owen are some of the musicians who worked on the set.

Adam Mayo (Magma’s real name) was raised in Warwick, a town just outside of Hamilton, the Bermuda capital. Though he was weaned on his British father’s pop music collection, it was the rebel sounds from Jamaican Rastafarian artists in the 1990’s that impacted him most.

He recalls being inspired by the fiery Afro-centric tones of artists like Anthony B and Capleton, and yearning to be part of the Jamaican music scene.

Originally known as Mango Seed, Magma did shows around the small Hamilton reggae scene, before finally deciding on a move to Jamaica.

The core of his recordings reflect his Rastafarian faith, but he has done ballads such as Love Coming at You (for Scott) and a self-produced cover of Paul Simon’s 1972 classic, Mother and Child Reunion.

Several Caribbean artists (Lord Creator, Jackie Opel, Pressure Busspipe) settled in Jamaica and had hit songs. Magma is determined to join the fray.

“I’m happy with the sound [of the album]. It’s just to get it out to the people now an’ see what they think,” he said.

— By Howard Campbell


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