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Singer Jahmel has put in his share of studio time and roadwork since he began recording in the early 1980s. He is finally reaping the fruits of his labour.His song, Here I Come, recently entered reggae charts in New York and South Florida, peaking at number two in the latter region.

Here I Come is the lead single from his sixth album, Roots Wine & Roses.

“Its just sounding the trumpet that I man is here once again representing the real in reggae music,” he told the Jamaica Observer recently from his base in Rochester, New York.


Released in July, Roots Wine & Roses was co-produced by Jahmel, Sly and Robbie, and Albert ‘Malawi’ Johnson, a stalwart of the Twelve Tribes of Israel of which Jahmel is a member.Like Here I Come, the set did well in New York City and South Florida, areas with massive Jamaican communities.

It is Jahmel’s first album since 2012’s Timeless, which was produced by his mentor Roydale Anderson. With Sly and Robbie and Johnson he went for a classic sound.

“I sought to make an authentic reggae album with the original Channel One, Tuff Gong, Studio One sound in mind,” said Jahmel.

Though in his mid-40s, the Kingston-born Jahmel (Melville O’Connor) has been an artist for over 30 years.

Watchful Eyes, his first album, was produced by Anderson and featured the Wailers rhythm section of Aston ‘Familyman’ Barrett and Carlton Barrett.


Moving back to Jamaica in the 1990s, he worked mainly with producer Donovan Germain, a tandem that yielded a self-titled album in 2004. He admits his decade-long stay was far from fruitful.

“I have had my fair share of frustration due to lack of airplay, but they say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, so I would like to think that all these things have made me stronger, and ultimately a better musician,” he said.

—By Howard Campbell

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