Nathaniel Stewart/Freelance Photographer
Sanchez performs at the Original Dancehall Jam Jam on New Year's Day 2006.
Krista Henry, Staff Reporter
A nightingale of music who captivated audiences with his every performance, Kevin Anthony Jackson, popularly known as 'Sanchez', was the golden voice of Jamaican music. In a dance when the lights were dimmed and lovers slowly rocked together, a selector could draw upon hit after hit from the Sanchez arsenal to guarantee a special moment. And with a firm belief in God, Sanchez has praised Him on many a gospel song. A selector, singer, family and churchman, Sanchez can make the ladies weak in their knees with just one note.
How did you get started in the business?
Well, I started doing something here and there. People said I could sing, so I started doing more dances. I started on a sound called Rambo Mango, selecting and singing, until Red Man heard of Sanchez and every Wednesday I went down to his studio and sang.
Why move from selecting to singing?
Tell yuh the truth, it wasn't bringing out what I had in me. Singing took more of that drive; I said go and got out of there.
Were you always interested in music?
Every time, from I was a kid. My mom used to tell me I used to knock pans when I was young. So it's from birth.
Were you ever formally trained?
No, never ever ever ever, thank God. Thank God for being so good I never set foot in a class to train. I mean a lot of us got our talent; some of us don't see it before it goes out the window. I saw mine from an early stage.
How did you get your name?
The name was given to me by my friends, Daddy Lizard, Flourgon and Red Dragon. I was playing football and I scored a goal. Dem seh mi play like Sanchez, a Colombian footballer I think. Ever since the name just stuck.
What is your connection with Daddy Lizard, Flourgon and Red Dragon? How did that come about?
The sound I used to play on, they would DJ over the mic. I think maybe I was jealous of them. They were the stars; maybe I wanted to be a star. So I started using the mic more. All my career I've performed with them. They're my friends.
What would you consider your big break?
I would say when I did Lady in Red for Red Man. It opened doors. The song wasn't a number one, but at least it gave me a break, made my name known.
What is your most memorable moment?
Seven encores in 1988 at Reggae Sunsplash. I would never forget that. The seventh time I never went on, but I went six times.
When you look back at your career, is there anything you wish you could have done differently?
Putting my feet on more solid ground, keeping my ting more firm, businesslike. I started by hoping to be heard and recognised, not stressing the business side.
How is life on the road travelling with the family?
Great! It's the greatest thing I've ever done. I would recommend it to those artistes, 'cause no matter what I know my family is there.
What are you doing now?
Presently, I'm constructing a studio. Sexylus is a sound I built over 15 years ago. We've been on the streets playing wid Stone Love, Kilamanjaro, all of them. We have space for a studio designed for up-and-coming talents. We have a talent show every Wednesday in Standpipe, kinda like Digicel's show. Looking for talents still, that's what I'm really about right now.
What is the most outrageous thing a female fan has ever done to you?
My goodness, it was one night at Temptation. I went to the front of the stage to interact with the crowd. This woman grabbed my you know where. It was the most annoying, greatest thing ever. I stopped right in my tracks."
Have you ever done a straight R&B song?
No, but yes. Yes, in the sense that it's recorded. No, cause it's not released.
In your clashes with Pinchers, did you enjoy squaring off with him?
Actually no, it was the most annoying thing in my career. My family tell me not to watch anything, I have the better voice and time has told. At the time it was just to see who was the best and it wasn't coming from my side. I wanted to get things out there, people thought I sounded good. I stayed steadfast over the years.
Covers and church
Why did you start off by doing so many covers of songs? Was it forced on you by record producers?
It was choice. Those were the songs I grew up on. My greatest wish was to get them on reggae rhythms. I thought that would be great. I started doing it and people loved it, so I continued. I loved doing Praise Him and Never Diss the Man; I think they have a strong message.
When you started writing original songs, was it because of all the criticisms you were getting for doing covers or because you wanted to?
I didn't want my fans to have me down, to think that I'm helpless and don't have the potential to write. They had me as not being capable of doing it. When they started hearing my writing it was a go; they couldn't believe it."
A team of writers was assembled to do an original album. What was the name of that album?
We didn't give it a name. I will stick to one of the songs I loved as a name, which is Never Haffi Come to This. The song is full of regret; the impulse is most influential. The album itself is not yet released. Only one song with me and Ninja Man, Ask Me For A Search. I'm trying to drop it for the next two months time.
Why have other persons written for the album?
Just to have a different feel and taste. Not just a straight reggae album. Plus there are collaborations with foreign artistes, spreading my wings.
What is your background in the church?
I used to play music, lead the choir, Sunday school, junior and senior, and church choir. Pretty much all kinds of activities.
With such a background, why join Rambo sound?
Reasons beyond my control. I'm not proud of leaving the Church. But my songs I try to keep clean, 'cause Kevin Jackson used to be in the Church.
Why move from reggae to gospel?
I didn't move from reggae to gospel. I was just showing my respect, thanking God for what he did. Doing gospel is always a pleasure.