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BOBO OMAR AIMS TO PUT LINSTEAD BACK ON THE MUSICAL MAP!

Bobo Omar—-

IN 1970 when Omar Phillips was born, a merry band of musicians from Linstead called the Soul Defenders were making their mark at producer Clement “Coxson” Dodd’s Studio One.

Phillips, known as Bobo Omar, also hails from the rustic St Catherine farm town. A producer and head of OneTreeRecords, he wants to return his hometown to the musical map with hard-hitting roots music.

“As a member of the Bobo Shanti tribe, I do music with anyone who has a positive message to convey. At this time, I’m doing just dat, promoting Motion and Stick a Bush by Sativa and Network by Tony Curtis,” he told Splash.

Sativa, a singjay, and Curtis a singer with several hits from the 1990s, are from Linstead. They are among the artistes Phillips consistently works with.

Phillips, who lives in Brooklyn, New York, started OneTree Records 13 years ago. Prior to that, he had worked in the music business as a promoter, helping stage shows in the Cayman Islands and New York City.

Though the Big Apple once produced hit dancehall/reggae songs and artists such as Shinehead and Shaggy, 45-year-old Phillips points to the difficulty of getting the break in Jamaica from NYC.

SoulDefenders

“It is tough to get songs played in Jamaica, but also everywhere in the world because there are hundreds of songs released daily and hundreds of new artists are born daily,” he said.

The music scene was not as cluttered when he was growing up in Linstead. In the early 1970s, the Soul Defenders were the hot ticket out of Linstead.

With Joseph Hill (later of Culture) on percussion, they played on numerous sessions that produced songs like Thelma by Larry Marshall and homeboy Freddie McKay (Picture on The Wall).

Since starting OneTree Records, Phillips has also released songs by deejay Ancient Fire. The label’s latest project, Fire Time from Capleton, is scheduled for release in May.

— By Howard Campbell

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