Thu | Dec 5, 2019

Sanchez reflects on 32 years in music - Artiste to perform live at Tracks and Records tonight

Published:Saturday | October 19, 2019 | 12:19 AMStephanie Lyew/Gleaner Writer

When veteran entertainer Sanchez takes command of the microphone tonight at Usain Bolt’s Tracks and Records at Marketplace, it will be against the backdrop of an illustrious 32-year career. Popularly proclaimed the ‘Prince of Lovers Rock’, Sanchez is still walking to the beat of the 1990s into the early 2000s – a period considered the most prolific era for dancehall music and a time when many of Jamaica’s recording artistes, like himself, made significant musical strides.

“Back then, the songs originated from the heart and it is clear in the lyrics as well as the way the entertainers delivered it,” Sanchez told The Gleaner. Whether or not a song recorded was originally written by him, he adds, “It became more about the love of it and the livelihood – eating, breathing and living music – that meant something profound to an artiste from that time, even when a song was adapted from elsewhere.”

Known to transform soulful R&B into a cadenced reggae groove, or rhythmic flow over dancehall sounds to traditional gospel, Sanchez said despite not mapping out his career, choosing to step in the direction of music was never a risk in the unpredictable 1990s entertainment climate.

Even when he got lost, “it was an eye-opener to the world of opportunities” on his trek towards musical success. Success from which he has gained many accolades, such as honorary citizenship at a red-carpet function in the city of Lauderhill, Florida, and the International World for Lovers Rock Ambassador for Reggae in 2000, his induction into the International Gospel Hall of Fame and the Governor’s Cup for Excellence at the Caribbean-American Gospel Awards in 2003, an award from Authentic Real Music in recognition of his 20th year in reggae music, among others. These have helped to seal Sanchez’s place as an indispensable contributor to the various genres.

He noted, “All of that was supposed to be my dream that I wanted to share with people and I never felt for one minute that my career would not have taken off because the first song of my catalogue was a bang … people loved it, so right there I had hope.”

BRANDING

The only thing the Loneliness crooner said he would do if he had a time machine would be to apply more meaning and structure to the development of his brand.

“When Sanchez was looking for the right song, it was like searching for grounds, or better yet gravity, to lift me up; going around to voice for every producer hoping that the song would be heard and when it didn’t, find another studio or producer to record again,” he shared.

Sanchez will hit the stage tonight for the opening of the R & R Series ‘Steppa’, an event that will run the gamut of live entertainment from musicians to stand-up comedians across the island.

It is there, he assured, “Real lovers of reggae and vintage dancehall can expect a good show (as is normal); I never try to shortchange fans, so I will be performing music with my band from right across the board, old and new, to demonstrate the value of three decades’ worth of music, and produce an all-round good show that will be a treat.”

Rennae ‘Lady Rennae’ Garrel, one of the retro-themed event’s promoters, said, “It couldn’t be anyone else for this new venture created by me and Laff from Yaad CEO Renae Excell; Sanchez is loved by the people, who will find the utmost joy in being the choir to his music staged in the perfect hub where they can also step the night away.”