VOCALIST and music producer Asley “Grub” Cooper was honored by the Rita Marley Foundation for his contribution to Jamaica’s musical heritage at a function held at the University of the West Indies, Mona campus, recently.
Stephen Marley, son of reggae legend Bob and Rita Marley, presented the award to Cooper.
“It has been a pleasure and privilege to work with the Marley family, and it gave me great opportunity to expose my art and brought me to the attention of many globally recognised artistes with whom I had the pleasure to work. I hope this award will be an inspiration to musicians everywhere to keep grinding away and never give up. You never know what breakthrough may be waiting just around the corner. I promise to continue to be a musician of excellence, worthy of the award. Everyone should know that despite the Marleys’ fame and success, they have not forgotten their roots and remain anchored and approachable, always remembering where they came from and who took part in their journey. Again, Rita, despite my acclaim as a songwriter and lyricist, words cannot express my heartfelt appreciation. I am truly humbled,” he said after accepting the award.
Cooper performed a melody of Rita Marley tunes including One Draw, Harambe, That’s The Way, A Jah Jah.
An established songwriter, Cooper has penned several international hit songs, including Rita Marley’s One Draw, Harambe, That’s The Way, and Love Iyah; and Fab 5’s All Night Party, Jamaican Woman, Mini Mini, Freeze, and Yu Safe. He played on American singer Johnny Nash’s album I Can See Clearly Now.
He has worked with I-Three, Ziggy Marley & the Melody Makers, and the Grace Thrillers. He provided background vocals for British musician Boy George’s single Believe In It All. Six of his musical arrangements for singers Eric Donaldson and Roy Rayon won the National Popular Song Contest (formerly Festival Song Contest).