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Sunday, February 21, 2016

Mightyful13 records is the authentic voice & sound of music, poetry & quotes

When Fitzroy Francis started his record label just over four years ago, he wanted to revisit the songs he heard artistes like Black Uhuru and Junior Reid make in their native Waterhouse. Francis is the man behind Mightyful13 Records, which works with mainly roots acts such as Andrew Bees and Hugh English.

The latter’s cover of The Beatles’ Hey Jude is the fledgling company’s latest release. According to Francis, though he was weaned on roots-reggae, he embraces all facets of the music. “I was there when the music change in the mid-’80s during the computerise age so I am very much aware of diversity. The concept behind Mightyful13 Records is to reconfigure the missing link of our ancestors’ original musical form,” he told the Jamaica Observer.

Francis, who was once Reid’s manager, launched the label in November 2011 in Queens, New York. He counts theMighty In Battle ‘riddim’ and Andrew Bees’ cover of Delroy Wilson’s Better Must Come, as its most successful projects to date.

Hey Jude has also done well, making reggae charts in New York and South Florida.
From the ‘Wailaz Corners’ area of Waterhouse, Francis came of age when that community was a musical hotbed. Black Uhuru, which had its genesis there, was arguably the biggest reggae group in the early 1980s.

A number of homegrown artistes were also emerging, including Hugh Mundell, Reid and Wayne Smith, who gained international fame through the game-changing hit, Unda Mi Sleng Teng.
“Growing up there was bittersweet because of the political divide. Its great musical heritage or legacy and the spiritual Ras Tafari influence and good parental upbringing was the essence of the community,” Francis recalled.

Singers Zanadu, Chrisinti and Michelle Gordon and deejay Fragga Ranks are some of the artistes who have recorded for Mightyful13 Records. The Earth’s Motion, a beat by Sly Dunbar and keyboardist Franklyn ‘Bubbler’ Waul, will be the company’s first release for 2016.

Written by Howard Campbell of the Jamaica Observer

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