Bermuda has a special place in the heart of international reggae star Beres Hammond—as Colin Thompson reports in this article for Bermuda’s Royal Gazette.
So it comes as no real surprise that the veteran crooner has chosen the Island as the venue to launch his ‘One Love, One Life’ concert tour of North America.
The prolific singer/songwriter, who has churned out hits such as ‘What One Dance Can Do’, ‘Putting Up a Resistance’ and ‘Groovy Little Thing’, first toured Bermuda in the 1970s as lead vocalists for the former group Zap Pow.
Needless to say, that experience left a lasting impression upon Mr Hammond who has returned to the Island’s shores several times since to wow local audiences.
“Bermuda is one of the first places I visited as a young man growing up,” he told The Royal Gazette. “It was one of the first places I left Jamaica to perform, so I will never forget that.
“When I actually started touring I came to Bermuda as a young man with a group called Zap Pow and I believe I was about 17 years or something like that.”
The reggae great last performed in Bermuda in September 2008 at the Culture Shock ‘Sweetness is My Weakness’ concert at Somerset Cricket Club.
“I always look forward to going to Bermuda,” he said. “I don’t know whether it’s the people, the weather or whatever it is … but it’s always magical so I always look forward to going there.”
Mr Hammond is scheduled to perform at Par La Ville Car Park on July 31 and will be backed up by a full entourage that includes band, backup singers and dancers.
“We are coming at full blast and I’m excited to be coming back to Bermuda and really looking forward to it,” he said. “It’s going to be fun, and I am sure of that.”
Throughout his illustrious music career Mr Hammond has delivered to his adoring fans and he says his next tour of Bermuda will be no exception.
“I always try to do the best I can,” he said. “I give it everything I have and I don’t think I have ever failed.”
Since first performing in Bermuda decades ago Mr Hammond has forged many friendships on the Island which has a strong reggae following.
“I have made lots of friends in Bermuda but I prefer to call them family,” he said. “There are different places around the world where people always embrace me, and Bermuda is one of them.
“The weather and the people of Bermuda are very nice and loving. They really love reggae music and I am all into that. It’s just love for the Bermudian people, much love all the time.”
The ‘One Life, One Love’ concert tour is named after Mr Hammond’s latest album that was released last year and soared to the top of the Billboard reggae albums chart.
The six-week tour will see the veteran crooner perform in cities including Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Miami, Chicago, San Diego, Los Angeles, Toronto and Vancouver.
The reggae great began his career in the early 1970s, participating in talent contests in his native Jamaica after initially being inspired by late R & B legends Sam Cooke and Otis Redding and later compatriot Alton Ellis.
“I started out singing ballads and as a solo artist my first hit was a song called ‘One Step Ahead’,” Mr Hammond recalled. “That was the one that brought me to prominence here in Jamaica. Internationally I think ‘What One Dance Can Do’ brought me my first international success and I never stopped.”
Also due to perform during the upcoming concert, to be held on the eve of Cup Match, is Hammond’s backing band, New Kingston, as well as local acts Uzimon (Daniel Frith), Troy Anthony and his group Fyahbeat Unlimited and Collie Buddz (Colin Harper).
An international reggae star in his own right, Collie Buddz is perhaps best known for his 2006 hit single, ‘Come Around’. He also performed on Shaggy’s 2007 album ‘Intoxication’.
“I’ve never met Collie Buddz and I’m looking forward to meeting all of them (local acts),” Mr Hammond said. “Maybe I can learn something.”
For the original report go to http://www.royalgazette.com/article/20130709/NEWS/707099961