Sun | Aug 19, 2018

Florida-based musician wants to reconnect with Jamaican audience

Published:Wednesday | July 18, 2018 | 12:00 AMShereita Grizzle/Gleaner Writer
Joanna Marie

She's had an illustrious career that has allowed her to not only cross the paths of numerous reggae stars, but one that gave her the opportunity to work with some of them.

She has done work with the likes of Garnett Silk, John Holt, Pluto Shervington, Dennis Brown and even Spice. She is Joanna Marie - vocalist, pianist, composer, producer and owner of JTMC Enterprise/JTMC MUZIK.

The multifaceted music professional is based in south Florida, but lately she has been having a longing for home. She released her brand new single, Hush Darling, last Friday, and is hoping the effort will be her window into re-establishing herself on the local market.

In an interview with The Gleaner, Marie explains that Jamaica holds a special place in her heart, and she wants to be able as a musician to keep relevant with her own people. "Jamaica is very important to me ... it's my home. I always feel so loved in Jamaica, and I want to always be able to feel that love and return that love even when I'm not there," she said. "Music gives me the opportunity to do that, to give back to my people the love they have shown me. It's been a few years since my last worldwide reggae release, and I am looking to reconnect with Jamaica."

 

Growth in industry

 

Marie says although she has not been in the island much, she keeps abreast of what's happening in the country - particularly on the music scene. She says she has seen the growth and development the industry has been experiencing over the years and hopes the trend continues as Jamaican music grows from strength to strength. "I feel that the music industry in Jamaica is making a comeback now - especially the new generation of musicians and artistes expressing themselves more. They are showing that they are creative and they are building on the legacy set before them. We can be proud of the progress these young people are making as they keep Jamaica and reggae music on the map."

The entertainer says she plans to do a lot of work with local talent as she forges a connection with 'yaad', but says Grammy - winning artiste Shaggy is at the top of her list as one to work with in the near future. She released her latest project Di Jugglin Vol 1 Dub Mix at the start of this year, and is planning on releasing Vol 2 this September. Hush Darling will be one of the songs on part two of Di Jugglin, which will also feature the likes of Glen Washington, Everton Blender, Ed Robinson, Hopeton Lindo and Hezron.

Joanna Marie started her 'career' singing and performing on the then Popular Ring Ding TV show hosted by the late Louise Bennett-Coverley. In 1984, 17-year-old Joanna Marie began working with popular radio disc jockey Clint O'Neil. Spotting her talent, O'Neil produced Marie's first single in 1985 called Single Girl, and a second I Am So Thankful in 1986. Her career in music spans over three decades.