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Looking to greater things: Pliers completes solo album, 'Sex and Religion'

Published:Sunday | January 3, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Sadeke Brooks, Staff Reporter

Although he is still a member of famed dancehall duo Chaka Demus and Pliers, Everton Bonner, more popularly known as Pliers, is currently busy promoting his solo album, Sex and Religion.

Pliers completed his second solo album in early October, and it was released early November on his own Bonner Productions, through Zojack World Wide. The album is available on leading Internet download sites, such as ITunes, Amazon and Rhapsody. It will be released on CD early this year.

The 14-track album features production work from Pliers himself, Sly and Robby, Mikey Bennett and Jack Stereo, with guest appearances from Richie Spice, Spanner Banner and Bascom X. The first single from the album Sweet Memories has already been released and is in heavy rotation locally.

Pliers said he decided to do another solo album because he wanted "to allow the people to get a taste of Pliers, for the people who love my voice and my style".

"Chaka Demus and Pliers, we do shows together, but right now mi jus' a do some solo songs. Even when my solo career tek off, they will still see us perform," he told The Sunday Gleaner. He added: "We need to come with a different vibe. People been hearing bout Chaka Demus and Pliers for a while now, so maybe they need a different vibe."

But he did not say whether he preferred to work in a group or alone. Pliers simply said: "I realise that music find me very young, before I even know Chaka Demus. I just do music as long as it is positive."

He also said that he knew people still loved clean and conscious music, but it was sad that the negative aspects of the industry were highlighted more.

This is not the first time Pliers is doing solo work. Prior to teaming up with Chaka Demus, he had a thriving career with songs like Snake In The Grass and Bam Bam. However, it was when he became part of the duo that he experienced real success.

international appeal

With appeal that has crossed international borders, Chaka Demus and Pliers is the first Jamaican act to place three consecutive top five singles on the British charts. Between June 1993 and January 1995, they notched up a record five consecutive UK Top 20 entries, including Twist and Shout, their number one hit with Jack Radics.

Their album, Murder She Wrote, also had several hits on the UK Singles Charts. They also performed alongside Alicia Keys at the American Music Awards in 2007. According to Pliers, they also entered the Guinness Book of World Records for two million records sold in two weeks.

After all that success, their relationship with Island Records somehow disintegrated and they were dropped from the label.

Nonetheless, that level of success is something Pliers believes they could achieve again.

"We can reach back to that stage if we are willing to do the work," he said, pointing out that their success could have been much greater if they had done all the necessary work.

After all they have achieved, he said, they have very little income to show from it.

"We Jamaicans have to fight hard to get what is due to us. We nuh get nutten from Murder She Wrote. A so di record company dem stay. They realise that they could give some of these guys two pounds and tek away their rights. They sold out their publishing for pounds," Pliers told The Sunday Gleaner.

Hence, he decided to do his album, Sex and Religion, on his own. "Anything mi sell now going to come to me," he said.