Sun | Sep 19, 2021

Chaka Demus sweetly serenading ‘From Mi Heart’

Takes pride in music setting an example for all men

Published:Monday | September 6, 2021 | 12:08 AM
Chaka Demus said the music he has made over the years, as one half of the duo, Chaka Demus and Pliers, has been meant to set an example for all men
Chaka Demus said the music he has made over the years, as one half of the duo, Chaka Demus and Pliers, has been meant to set an example for all men

For nearly three decades, Jamaican reggae duo Chaka Demus and Pliers have been releasing catchy, up-tempo songs dedicated to the fairer sex — but it’s not about flirting, says Chaka Demus. “The music is not about that; it is about true love. When I said, Woman, your love is like [a] burning fire in my soul’, I was speaking from mi heart,” he told The Gleaner.

The entertainer explained that songs like She Don’t Let Nobody, Tease Me, I Wanna Be Your Man and Murder She Wrote were written, recorded and released to set an example for all men.

“That’s how I expect a man to express himself, with respect. When I express myself to my woman, that is how I expect other men to deal with women,” he said. “I believe that type of communication is lacking among some of the youngsters, because a lot of them don’t know what is the meaning of love.”

Having married his childhood sweetheart, Chaka Demus, whose given name is John Taylor, says that he has an appreciation for unique bonds like his own. He met his wife, Charmaine Taylor, on Kintyre Road in Papine. She was attending a different school from his.

“Charmaine, who I met at 17 years old, is my ‘Sweet Caroline’ and more; she’s an extra special woman. She loves her children more than how she loves me, not putting anything above them. She has done so much, good at managing her money, and I can always count on her when I am in need,” Chaka Demus shared, adding that “we made a good decision when we marry [on] April 27 of 1991”.

Significant meaning

Chaka Demus said he and Charmaine share love for Dorsett Wisdom’s First Real Love, but Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline still has significant meaning. Speaking of how the remake of the American singer’s song, which he dedicates to his wife, came about, the entertainer revealed that he first heard the original recording of Sweet Caroline while in London touring with Pliers over 20 years ago. Immediately, the voice of Freddie McGregor came to mind, Chaka Demus said, and he reached out to the reggae-soul veteran, who recorded his part.

He said, “What inspired me to do this classic was the meaning, melody and how catchy the song was. At that time, I wasn’t even thinking of competing with any other covers; I just found it to be a great song and wanted to cover it. Freddie McGregor did his vocals 21 years ago, and I only recorded mine in November 2020 while working on my album.”

The track has entered the Guerrilla Top 40 radio playlist in Romania, which Chaka Demus sees as a blessing for the complete album project From Mi Heart. “You won’t get another single like Sweet Caroline, but you will get other great singles this year,” is his message to fans who are looking out for more musical collaborations from him. He recently signed a distribution deal with Platinum Camp Records, which Chaka Demus anticipates will get the word out about the album.

“All tracks on my album were produced and financed by my recording label, Bright Star Production — I invest everything into this — and Platinum Camp Records says they can give me strong promotion, which I am waiting to see,” he expressed.

In the meantime, he and Pliers are also working on an album to mark their 30th anniversary recording and performing together. “We will be recording over some of our classics to be released in 2022. It feels like I’m just starting. When you love what you do, you always feel happy doing it. Over the years, I’ve learnt a lot; I never stop learning. It’s not all good, but there’s a lot of hope,” Chaka Demus said.

stephanie.lyew@gleanerjm.com