To us one of the most pleasant and unexpected surprises at the annual "Reggae Geel" festival was the appearance of UK top vocalist, "Mr. Melody" Lloyd Brown. Replacing the announced reggae veteran Little Roy - who had problems with his passport - Lloyd Brown delivered a good, although short performance, and fully displayed his excellent vocal qualities. Introduced to the singer by Henry "Tenue" Buttons, he kindly took time to talk to us before it was his turn to take the stage. Below the story of "the man with the golden voice".

Lloyd Brown's musical career actually started in 1978 when he - like so many artists in reggae business - teamed up with a local sound system, in this case Jah Marcus Hi Power from London, UK, for whom he started to work as a deejay. However this association didn't last that long as he shortly after went to Jamaica, where he stayed for eight months. There he saw a show called "Where It's At", which featured Dennis Brown and Big Youth on Jamaican television and from then he knew he really wanted to become a singer.

Back in London he joined Sweet Distortion; a group nominated as "Newcomers Of The Year" in 1984 and a regular backing outfit of such top reggae stars like Gregory Isaacs and Aswad. From there Lloyd Brown continued his career as a professional artist. Sweet Distortion also released a couple of well-received singles of their own and played the part of the Jackson Five in the cultural musical Black Heroes in The Hall Of Fame. Lloyd Brown then started to record as a solo artist and scored some minor hits including "Ring Up My Number". During this period he started to play other roles in Black Heroes including Otis Redding, which was definitely his most notable. It took him on a rather successful tour which brought him to the Caribbean, the USA and Europe.

In 1990 Lloyd Brown recorded his first no.1 hit, a cover version of the Dr. Hook song "Sharing The Night", which was followed by "Love You Down". Both won "Single Of The Year" awards and thus helped to put Lloyd Brown's name on the UK reggae map. Meanwhile he started to write more of his own material, and in 1995 his teaming up with deejay Tippa Irie proved very successful.

It not only brought both artists two big hit tunes - "It's A Love Thing" and "Stress", the latter holding the no.1 position in the UK reggae charts for eight consecutive weeks - but also a deal with the major Arista Records. However, despite the fact that Arista released a single entitled "Baby Mother", which shortly afterwards was followed by Lloyd Brown's debut album "Straight No Chaser" on the "Groove & Quarter" label, nothing much happened.

Although, in 1996, Lloyd Brown started to write tunes for a new album, he also took a break for two years. The year 1999 saw the release of Lloyd Brown's brandnew double CD "Rhyme & Reason", which was produced by Llloyd "Musclehead" Francis of Saxon and contained all the songs he had written in the previous years. "Rhyme & Reason" was well received by UK reggae connoisseurs and fully showcased that Lloyd Brown not only excels when he performs a tender lover tune, but that he's also able to deliver great tunes dealing with cultural concerns. Lloyd Brown was back with a vengeance!!

Then Lloyd Brown recorded some singles for Cave Productions including reggae versions of Lighthouse Family's "Lifted" and Santana's "Maria, Maria", which both appeared on compilation sets in Jet Star's "Pop Hits Inna Reggae" series. However, with Lloyd Brown's version of Craig David's hit tune "Fill Me In" things really started going in the new millennium. The single became so immense popular, that Craig David himself phoned Jet Star to get a copy. It eventually led to the release of numerous tunes across the same riddim. This year Lloyd Brown worked together with Bitty McLean, and together they recorded an album entitled "Deep", which is going to be released by Jet Star. Also Jamaican reggae artists start to recognize Lloyd Brown's talent and potential like for example Beres Hammond who recently utilized the "Lessons" riddim for a wicked new song entitled "Say Thank You".

At the end of our chat Lloyd Brown says that he loves to perform on stage because of the contact with the audience. And regarding future plans he states... "I want to make lots more good reggae music, and I also want to record with Jamaican artists." And then it was showtime. With the Stone Roots Band utilizing Gregory Isaacs' classic "My Number One" riddim as interlude, Lloyd Brown performed his big no.1 hits "Sharing The Night", "It's A Love Thing" and "Stress" alongside "Forever Loving Jah" and a brandnew tune called "I Know".

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