Young crooners and music stalwarts celebrate Beres' 'Never Ending'
While rain pelted the Corporate Area on Thursday, inside the TVJ studios on Lyndhurst Road was warm and cozy as VP records and specially invited guests celebrated the launch of Beres Hammond's new album - Never Ending.
But not only was it the album launch, it was also a listening party on Hitz 92 FM, and it was also live-streamed on radio stations in Holland, New York, and the UK, among other locations.
Jamaica's favourite lover's rock singer told The Gleaner, "I make my songs based on my everyday experience. I'm still listening. Mi ah enjoy it too, enuh," of his new album.
Fans may be accustomed to hearing the singer's sweet, romantic serenade, and they will get that on this new album. In addition, Never Ending also includes a love song about Jamaica in the form of Land of Sunshine. The first single, I'm Alive, is a 21st-century 'roots' track, with Beres singing praises for life's simple and essential joys.
The visual, directed by RD Studios, wanted to portray Hammond's childhood and the beginning of his love for music to his current-day performing in front of his Dumbarton Avenue studio - Harmony House.
Throughout the four-minute video, artistes influenced by Beres make a cameo. They include Jah Cure, Alborosie, Romain Virgo, Christopher Martin, Shenseea, Jesse Royal, Bulby York, Kurt Riley, and Teflon Zinc Fence.
Donovan Germain, of Penthouse Records, told The Sunday Gleaner: "I was privileged to hear it a long time ago. I can say it's a good album."
Chris Martin, who has always looked up to the veteran artiste, told The Gleaner, "Beres can do no wrong for me. Maybe I'm a bit biased, and I don't care. Every song will sound awesome to me. But I'm Alive is one of my favourites and My Kind of Girl."
HONOURED BY INVITE
Growing up on Hammond's records, Martin currently revels in the opportunities to perform on stage and to be in the same room with the living legend.
"To be specially invited to his launch ... it's a pleasure. It's an honour. It's a wonderful thing for me. Beres is one of the stalwarts in Jamaican music and the art form of music, overall. I'm just happy to be here," Martin said.
Romain Virgo, who was also present, looks to follow in Hammond's footsteps.
"I think Beres is somebody who always stayed true to himself. He's real. Whatever him say, that's his life. The person who you see on the stage, the way he sings and sounds and reacts to the people, it's the same person you will go backstage and see. That's the kind of life that I always want - to be true to self in whatever I do. It's a blessing to see somebody who can be true to themselves and be true in their music. I think that is what makes him different from everybody else.
"That's why people react to his music the way they do. He's somebody that we all look up to. He's a mentor in many ways, through life in general and through his music. It's a blessing and an honour to be here with somebody who we see as our legend, our singer, our motivator," he added.