In the mid-nineties rasta singer Mark Wonder emerged on the international reggae scene with some notable 45s. The latter included "Sign Of The Times", "Cry Aloud" (in combination with Skatta), "Behold Africa", "Let's Not Be Ashamed" and "Just Lead The Way", all produced by Morris "K.C." White & Peter Jonker for Dutch record label 'Zola & Zola Music'. Due to the liquidation of this record company the planned full length album "Sign Of The Times" didn't become a reality. However, since the release of the 45s (all available on a few compilation cd's) Mark Wonder has been heralded as one of the new crop of singers likely to fill the vacuum left by the tragic death of Garnet Silk. But, even though he finally managed to get two albums released -- "Jeremiah" on 'Sound Proof Records' in 1999 and the live album "New Land" (also featuring a few tracks by Prince Theo), courtesy of Trinity Records, in 2001 -- he's yet to win the wide acclaim his early career promised.

Wonder, who originates from Kingston, but grew up in Albion, Manchester, started recording in the late 1980s. He had originally planned to become a jockey, but the jockey school intervened. He was unable to procure a school-leaving certificate, after dropping out of school, in order to get entry to the jockey school, so he decided to stick to music.

Mark Wonder
(Photo by Jil - © ADDIS)

Mark Wonder, who has been blessed with an awesome musical talent, was influenced by his mother's love for the music of soul singers. He took that foundation, his own natural ability, and added the stylings of Jamaican legends like Dennis Brown and Bob Marley. His first recordings took place in the late 1980s and led to the release of the singles "Got The Loving That You Want" and "Don't Pressure Me". From then other releases followed for various producers including King Jammy, Milton Moore, Morris White, Danny Pepperseed, Bost & Bim, Ingo Rheinbay and also Michael Burkhalter a.k.a. Jahmaik from Swiss label 'Trinity Records'.

Each and every effort confirmed Mark Wonder's status as one of Jamaica's most promising singers and songwriters. When 'Sound Proof Records' released the debut album "Jeremiah" of this humble rasta youth with the "fantastic voice", Jamaica's Daily Gleaner reported of "a sound very reminiscent of Garnet Silk and that of a very promising successor to Silk's throne". Credits have to go to producer Milton Moore, who managed to showcase Wonder's versatile artistic range on "Jeremiah". Listening to this album one experiences that this fine singer has an infectious vocal delivery and writes touching meaningful songs in which he praises the Almighty, serenades a lover or delivers social commentary.

Although his singles and the "Jeremiah" album established him somewhat in the market, it has to be his brand new album that will actually 'Break The Ice' for Mark Wonder and make him a household name wherever roots reggae is enjoyed.

Q: Please, could you introduce yourself?

A: My name is Mark Andrew Thompson a.k.a. Mark Wonder and was born in Kingston, Jamaica.

Q: Why did you choose to call yourself Mark Wonder?

A: I adopted the name Wonder from the great Stevie Wonder, who is my favourite artist.

Q: Who recorded you the first time?

A: Black Scorpio.

Q: Who released your first single?

A: Black Scorpio.

Q: When?

A: Way back in 1988.

Q: Which producers/labels are you working with now?

A: Quite a few such as AL.TA.FA.AN, Special Delivery, Sound Proof and Addis Records.

Q: Could you tell us more about your new album?

A: My new album is called "Break The Ice". It's been produced by Sound Proof production and is released by Redbridge Music from the UK and distributed through Jet Star and Pinnacle. It's a roots album consisting of 17 tracks and featuring the likes of Gentleman, Anthony B, Daddy Rings, Taffari and Skatta. Producers contributed to this project include Special Delivery Music, AL.TA.FA.AN, Addis Records, Trinity Records and Acoustic Vibes, the label that I co-produce with my friend Christopher Briggs.

Q: You came a few times in Europe. How were your trips?

A: Very interesting! And at times exciting to meet people of a different culture who love our music.

Q: Have you ever been in France?

A: Yes! A couple a days in Paris.

Q: What are your next projects?

A: Well.. right now I'm working on new singles and tracks for a new album.

Text: Mr. T    Interview part: B.O

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