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Junior Kelly Launches Tough Life

Junior Kelly certainly has the knack for putting the right label on things. Like when he questioned why love could be so nice, yet hurt so bad and the song became the anthem for safe sex.

Now his sixth album tackles the issue of Tough Life, and since most Jamaicans agree that life could hardly be any tougher right now, it could well become the anthem for a generation refusing to cool.

Despite the acid title, the new product includes some refreshingly pleasant love songs and some moving inspirational ones too. These include his most recent hit single, the addictive Receive, which was very warmly appreciated at the launch, and a great duet with Dennis Brown titled Hold the Faith. There is also a JC Lodge revival titled Love You Like That, on which Lodge sings her mega reggae hit, Someone Loves You Honey.

Kelly's new CD, Tough Life, was launched at a function at Kabana Restaurant, Hope Road, Wednesday night which drew quite a large crowd of the faithful who insist on the superiority of the message over the rhythm.

The album was recorded at five studios, Tuff Gong, Sky and Robbie, Anchor, Cell Block and Gumption and is Kelly's sixth with his last two offerings being Love So Nice and Smile.

Speaking with the Observer, Kelly said he was really pleased with the outcome of the project especially its over-riding philosophy and the message he wants to send to the people of Jamaica through the songs on Tough Life which took him approximately eight months to put together.

"Tough Life is special for me. I was not born in a bed of roses or had a crown to be placed on my head. Instead, I grew up in one of the harsh ghettos of Kingston (off the Waltham Park Road) and it was really a very tough life for me. But I never gave up hope and this is the essential message, that there is always hope. To me Junior Kelly, the greatest failure in life is not to try," Kelly said.

Commenting on the production of Tough Life, Kelly said he had no problems writing or coming up with the creative inputs but he was insistent on getting the right blend and flavour on the album.

"It took eight months and most of the time the production team and myself were searching to get the right personnel in place so as to get the right mix. It is like a kitchen where you can have all the ingredients but the final product is not as tasty and right as you would want. So I spent the extra hours making sure that we had the right people to deliver the flavour and blend that were required," Kelly said.

Guest speaker at the launch, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Delano Franklyn, paid tribute to Kelly's dedication to wholesome reggae music and his commitment to professionalism.

Source: Balford Henry, Observer

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