Irrepressible, irresistible, thankful Gem Myers
Singer recording lover's rock album
Carl Gilchrist, Gleaner Writer
It's hard to accept that Gem Myers' biggest hit, One Man Woman, was done all of 30 years ago when she was a teenager.
It could be seen as a rebuttal to songs of that era by male artistes who glorified having simultaneous relationships with several women. It was released three years after Myers made a life-changing link with the Fabulous Five Band.
"I still work with the Fab Five entity," Myers told Entertainment Avenue. "I mean, when I landed there in 1981, that was the biggest blessing in my life. They taught me all I know. It's so wonderful to be among those guys. They are great people!"
For her, those early years were "nice".
"Those years helped me to hone my skill and helped me to do better and better because I measure what's happening now against those days, and there's no comparison," Myers said.
No comparison indeed. With 30 years of experience to draw upon and the blessing she constantly reminds us of, Myers' vocal ability is simply amazing nowadays. Instead of shorter notes, she takes the long - really long - route, easily eliciting huge responses wherever and whenever she performs.
"I started in 1981 as a teenager and I'm blessed to be still doing what I love. It's just the blessing that keeps me going. I just open my mouth and do what God has blessed me to do. No special anything, no special preparation. I just say my prayers and open my mouth and God takes care of the rest. It's just the blessing. I can't put my finger on anything else. At my age, a lot of people don't get the opportunity to still do what I'm doing. I'm still getting work at the highest level, so it's truly a blessing," Myers said.
Only two albums
After One Man Woman, not many recordings followed. In fact, over the ensuing years, only two albums came from her, the last one about six years ago. Having established and maintained her high vocal standards, it has come as a surprise that Myers hasn't reached the dizzying heights of international stardom. But she admits that she, and no one else, is the reason for that.
"Truthfully, I don't think I have tried hard enough to make it internationally. I think I get too comfortable doing what I'm doing. So I just enjoy what I do when I'm doing it. I always aim to please. If it's a big stage or a little gathering, I am fine because I aim to please. I understand what I have is a gift, and so I enjoy it. I always put out 200 per cent," Myers said.
She has made the north coast her happy hunting ground and performs regularly on the hotel circuit, even though Myers believes hotels are hiring fewer local singers nowadays.
That might be a contributing factor to her heading back into the studio to work on a new, yet-to-be-named album, hopefully to hit the streets next year. "I have about four songs already recorded. The album will have a whole heap of lover's rock, some cover songs, and we're working, on a couple originals. It will be a mixture, but mostly lover's rock," Myers said.
Computer Paul, Fab Five, and Taddy P are contributing producers.
After 33 years in the music business, Myers says. "I can't complain. I will never complain about how I'm doing now. I'm not a teenager and I still get to do what I love to do."