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British pop artiste visits Jamaica for Prince tribute - Hopes to explore his roots

Published:Thursday | June 16, 2016 | 6:00 AMDave Rodney
Mark Anthony

For the next week, a British-born singer, songwriter and composer, with Jamaican roots is turning his full attention to the island. His name is Mark-Anthony Abel, and on Sunday, June 19, his exquisite and haunting vocals will form part of the explosive musical harvest that will rock Caribbean FashionWeek 2016 in Kingston.

This year's concert is a tribute to the late music industry icon, Prince, and the phenomenal group he created, Morris Day & The Time, will turn the Pulse complex on Trafalgar Road into Paisley Park, as much of the night's music will be inspired by the late legend who was not only a musical superstar, but also one of the world's great fashion stylists.

Mark-Anthony Abel will bring his own soul-infused British pop to the party, and he will also perform his own rendition of his favorite Prince song, Nothing Compares to You.

Abel exploded on the London music scene a few years ago and was offered a deal by Atlantic Records UK. His amazing and distinctive voice has enabled him to open for industry powerhouse Amy Winehouse, and he has enjoyed the privilege of performing for the likes of Laurence Fishburne, Brendan Frasier, Damon Alburn and Sting on the other side of the Atlantic.

Mark-Anthony's vocals are almost always compared to soul music legend Seal, and Abel now brings to the industry an edgy approach to his craft that is fresh, undaunted and sensual with a timeless, hip, youthful swag. He has jut completed his latest album called, Naked Future, and the set features twelve tracks that includes Sit Down, Sitting On Top of the World, and I'm So In Love With You. Abel says his ability to create great music is the by-product of his desire to study the streets and connect and communicate his insights with the world.

But while he's in Jamaica for a week, music is not the only thing that's on his mind. From a distance of thousands of miles, the city of Kingston has always been a source for his musical inspiration.

He says that as soon as he touches down on the rock, he wants to explore and embrace those parts of his roots and culture that he is still learning about. He also learned a lot about the Jamaican experience from his dad Eric Abel, who migrated to the UK as a child with his mom in the '60s, and who, as an early Jamaican music impresario, had written songs for John Holt, Pat Kelly, Barry Isaacs, Judy Boucher and Derrick Morgan. On his whirlwind Kingston visit, Mark-Anthony will make a stop at the Bob Marley Museum.

"It is an absolute honour to be able to perform in Jamaica at Caribbean Fashion Week, and while here, I also want to spend some time to soak up my culture like a sponge, trace my family roots, and be one with my soul and my true self," he told The Gleaner.

The chairman of Pulse Investments is pleased to welcome Mark-Anthony to the legendary Trafalgar Road stage. "Our Sunday tribute concert to Prince is a global effort, and we are certainly very pleased to be joined by Mark-Anthony Abel coming in from London," Kingsley Cooper stated. "The night will be an extraordinary, unforgettable convergence of music and fashion, and we can hardly wait to see it unfold", he added.

After his one-week sojourn in Jamaica, Mark-Anthony will head to New York City for a number of performances there, including the Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival on Sunday, July 17 in Roy Wilkins Park, Queens.

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